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2006 Symposium


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 ihc185@mac.com "The Development of the Marine Chronometer," by Rupert T. Gould.

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