NAWCC Chapter 33
October 2017 Meeting
On Sunday October 29, 69 members and guests of Chapter 33 enjoyed a great meeting at the Crowne Plaza hotel near Toronto Airport.
The mart room had few empty tables and there was a large selection of items for sale. Alex Kung provided a computer/projector setup during the mart whereby Youtube videos on various watch and clock topics were available.
Our display this month was “Marine Chronometers” and several members brought along not only chronometers but ephemera and other related timepieces. Some very rare examples were made available. What made the display even more interesting was the research that had been done by the owners on the history of each of the items. Several members had made contact with the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to trace the provenance of their chronometers. Some very interesting photographs of the ships on which the units had been used were shown as well. A most interesting Longines watch was displayed that had been given to a Dutch Military hero by Glenn Curtiss before the Second War. All in all a fantastic display and thanks are extended to all who participated.
The display was in keeping with our workshop on John Harrison and his solution to the Longitude Problem. Longtime member and NAWCC fellow Graham Jones made an excellent presentation on this subject. His talk reflected not only his reading but his researches at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England where he was able to see the Harrison timepieces first hand. Graham covered Harrison’s background and the social distinction that hindered his work being accepted by the Board of Longitude. Included in the presentation were excellent illustrations of the grasshopper escapement as well as Harrison’s temperature compensating pendulum and balance. Harrison’s attention to the elimination of friction through the use of lignum vitae bearings was also addressed. No talk on this topic could be complete without a description of the tribulations that Harrison suffered at the hands of the Board of Longitude which prevented him from achieving the credit he deserved in his lifetime. Graham’s did a very commendable job of relating this story to us and we are very pleased that he took the time to share it with us.
Our meetings this year will be held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 33 Carlson Court in Etobicoke. And our next one will be November 26. Meetings in the new year are scheduled for January 28, March 25 and May 6. Please come and join us. More information is available on our website: www.torontochapter33.ca.
Submitted by Bob Pritzker