Marine Chronometer

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2012.ast.8 (DAA-0106)

Description:

The chronometer is stored inside a pair of wooden boxes, one inside the other. The outer box has a wider flat base with one screwhole on each side of the box, perhaps to attach it to a surface. The inner box rests inside the outer box cushioned by a thick green felt material and with an white plastic or ivory label on the front. The inner cubic box has two openings: the top opens to view the timepiece through a glass pane. A middle opening provides key access to timepiece itself.

Inside, adjacent to the timepiece on the upper right corner is a brass winding key. On the lower right corner there is a knob to move a lever which allows the timepiece to rotate in both directions (such that if the chronometer moves the face of the timepiece always remains pointed upwards), or fix it in place. On the top right there is a winding key set upright in a wooden support. The timepiece has a metallic clock face (I-XII) with minute and hour hands and a smaller face (0-60) with a second hand. There is also a dial marked from 0 to 56 (in increments of 8), labeled “Wind”.

The chronometer can be rotated to reveal the winding keyhole on its underside, which is opened by sliding a circular door aside; this springs back when let go.

Alternative Name: Two Day Marine Chronometer

Primary Materials:

Box: Wood, Leather, Metal: Iron Alloy, Felt; Chronometer: Wood, Brass, Glass, Metal: Copper Alloy, Metal: Iron Alloy

Markings:

1) On the outside of the chronometer a small white plaque: “Kendal & Dent; 32377; London.”

2) On the timepiece face: “Kendal & Dent; Makers to the Admiralty; London No. 32377.”

3) On the external box: moving sticker labeled “Dept.”.

Dimensions (cm):

Chronometer: Length = 18.5, Width = 18.5, Height = 19; External Box: Length = 24, Width = 31, Height = 23

Function:

Keeps accurate time while at sea. Aide in navigation and determining longitude.

Condition:

Excellent: The Chronometer itself is in excellent condition, with no signs of corrosion, or wear. It is not known if it runs.

The boxes are also in good condition. The white label on the inner box is worn, and there is diry on the front of this box and wear especially on the corners. The outside box is is slightly worn, and has a large crack across the entire width of the lid.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Kendal & Dent

Date of Manufacture: 1930

Provenance:

University of Toronto Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Historical Notes:

Ordered from Kendal and Dent, London by Clarence Chant, Professor of Astrophysics. It appears Chant considered chronometers from a number of companies, including Mercer, Kulberg, and Arthur Jackson Machine Tool Co. (Toronto) before ordering from Kendal and Dent.

Mercer Chronometer Catalog and enclosed provenance documents