Current issue of Antiquarian Horology

Volume 38, Issue 3, September 2017

The front cover shows Martin Burgess and the Hares and Tortoises clock, photographed in 1971, four years after completion of the clock. The work of Martin Burgess, now in his eighty-fifth year, is discussed in this issue by Jonathan Betts. Photo courtesy of Will Andrewes

This issue contains the following articles:

Mechanical clocks and the advent of scientific astronomy
by Dietrich Matthes & Rocío Sánchez-Barrios (pages 328-342)
Summary: We give an overview of the role of the mechanical clock in the development of scientific astronomy up to the end of the sixteenth century. Specific attention is paid to indication accuracy of clocks for this purpose. We present the earliest currently known watch with a minute hand and with reading accuracy up to 10 seconds as well as the earliest and often overlooked archival note on a timepiece with a seconds hand. Furthermore we calculate and discuss the impact of indication accuracy on observation accuracy. We focus mostly on indication accuracy first, movement accuracy of the clocks is discussed at the end.

Edward East (1602–c. 1695). Part 1 – Early Stuart period and Commonwealth
by Valerie J. Finch, Adrian A. Finch, Anthony W. Finch (pages 343-364)
Summary: This is the first part of an article outlining the life and times of Edward East, one of the most recognised clockmaking names of the seventeenth century.  Here we describe his early years: his apprenticeship and period as a journeyman. We outline his life and connections with other makers of the time. East made his name against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent times in British history. For the majority of his life he was based in London where he would have seen the monarch make frequent state processions through the streets, witnessed public beheadings and burnings, and experienced the Civil War with the execution of Charles I and the establishment of a Republic. We show how East’s rise was helped by marriage and the early death of a more senior journeyman in the business for which he worked. He fended off legal challenges to his business and coped with the fluctuating fortunes of his brothers. He also rode the complex ambiguities of the seventeenth-century guild system, making sure that he benefited from membership of two guilds and through ownership of workshops both within and outside guild control.

Galileo, Huygens and the invention of the pendulum clock
by Sebastian Whitestone (pages 365-384)
Summary: This article is based on a lecture delivered to the Society in September 2016 giving an account of the invention of the pendulum clock that differs substantially from traditional versions.

Martin Burgess, sculptural clockmaker
by Jonathan Betts (pages 385-393)
Summary: This article looks briefly at the career of sculptural clockmaker Martin Burgess, marking his 85th year and, for those less familiar with his oeuvre, describes one of his remarkable creations. The clock known as the ‘Hares and Tortoises’, made fifty years ago this year, perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Burgess’s work.

The horological legacy of Stanley John Wise
by Geoffrey A. Horner (pages 394- 402)
Summary: Stanley John Wise FBHI (1886–1963) was an electrical engineer and a keen horologist and model engineer. His book Electric Clocks is an important reference work on the subject. In the 1920s he secured an electric clock patent and briefly went into limited commercial production of clocks under the name The Wise Time Company. He is mostly known for having made ‘one-off’ clocks himself, including unusual miniature electric clocks. His collection of electric clocks and models was sold at auction in 2012. This article is a much shortened version of the author’s Technical Paper No. 86 on Wise, published in 2014 by the Electrical Horology Group of the AHS, but includes photos of the products and operation of The Wise Time Company that have emerged after publication of the Technical Paper. Read this article here

The issue totals 144 pages and is illustrated mainly in colour, and is completed by the regular sections Horological News, AHS Programme and Calendar, AHS News, Letters to the Editor and Further reading.