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Box Chronometer - click to enlarge

Box Chronometer - click to enlarge

Click image to enlarge.

Box Chronometer

Catalogue number:

"W.C. Bond (/) Boston (/) 1812" and "W C. Bond made this Anno 1812-15 finished"

15.37 inches cube

This instrument, made by William Cranch Bond in 1812-1815, is the first chronometer made in America that went to sea. It is a 1 day instrument with an early modified Earnshaw spring detent escapement, and indications for hours, minutes and seconds. It is weight driven because of the British embargo on mainspring steel was in effect during the War of 1812. It sailed only once, on a journey to Sumatra aboard the U.S. Navy ship Cyrus in 1818. At that time, chronometers were not in common use aboard American ships and the captain was uncertain that he would be able to use it without error. Wm. Bond & Son donated this chronometer to the Smithsonian in 1961.

Ref: Otto Mayr and Carlene Stephens, American Clocks (Smithsonian, 1990), p. 11.

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