July, 2003, Chapter Meeting
Presentation by John Huber
Development Of Marine Chronometers
Approximately 35 members, spouses and friends
attended our most recent chapter meeting during the 2003 National Convention
in Charlotte, NC. Henry Fried Award winner John Huber
discussed the development of marine chronometers and the specific technical
innovations contributed by key individuals. A highlight of his presentation
was a splendid show-and-tell, that included a collection of 17 rare
chronometer balances incorporating corrections for middle temperature error.
These balances were acquired form the final inventory of the American
chronometer maker, John Bliss & Company, of New York. They reportedly were
collected by Mr. A. C. Fox, Bliss' last active springer and adjuster, who
retired around 1940. John explained that the Bliss firm did a lot of work
for the US Navy, and Mr. Fox most likely removed these rare balances from
working chronometers and saved them, as the balances and hairsprings were
upgraded to Invar and palladium. This fabulous collection includes examples
of Hartnup's balance, Dent's single-staple and quadrastaple balances, a
Loseby mercurial balance, a John Bliss trammel wire balance, a Kullberg
flat-rim balance, and a Poole balance, among others. Pictures of 17 of these
balances are provided below. For more information about middle temperature correction
chronometer balances, the reader is referred to firstname.lastname@example.org "The
Development of the Marine Chronometer," by Rupert T. Gould.
Click thumbnail picture for larger view.