The thorniest scientific problem of the eighteenth century was how to determine longitude. Many thousands of lives had been lost at sea over the centuries due to the inability to determine an east-west position. This is the engrossing story of the clockmaker, John "Longitude" Harrison, who solved the problem that Newton and Galileo had failed to conquer, yet claimed only half the promised rich reward.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
Dava Sobel, like Simon Winchester or Canada's Pierre Berton, has clearly mastered the art of writing history in a form that is not only informative but, perhaps more important, is also compelling and entertaining. In eighteenth century Europe, although scientists had long wrestled with the problem, sailors had no method of determining their longitude. The economic losses and the loss of life was so staggering that finding a solution to the problem was elevated to the … more
The last years of the seventeenth century and the first years of the eighteenth century saw the rise of significant global commerce. With few land routes and none capable of handling large amounts of cargo, the only option for shipping was via the oceans. As long as the ships stayed within sight of land, they generally knew where they were. However, that had its' dangers as it was always possible that a storm would dash the ship onto the land. Furthermore, many of the new voyages required movement … more
The work describes historical attempts to determine the exact position of objects at sea. The author describes the solar and lunar eclipse. Werner used the moon as a location finder. Galileo designed a navigation helmut-the celatone. Harrison constructed a table of the sun rising and setting. Nevil mas Kelyne published a Nautical Almanac which depicted lunar/solar-stellar distances. This book is perfect for science buffs … more