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Shortt master and slave clock system No 16


Object connections:

Collection Timekeeping
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleProvenance: Royal Greenwich Observatory
Publication(s)Treasures of the National Maritime Museum
Gloria Clifton and Nigel Rigby
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Object details:

Object ID ZAA0544
Description First conceived by R.J.Rudd in the late nineteenth century, the idea of a 'free pendulum' was developed by William Hamilton Shortt in the early 1920s. In all clocks, the natural period of the pendulum is disturbed by the impulse needed to keep it swinging. With this system, the pendulum swings almost entirely without outside influence, sustained by a single impulse given every thirty seconds from a pair of remote 'slave' clocks. By suspending the pendulum in a partial vacuum, the usual effects caused by changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature are greatly reduced. The Shortt system was capable of keeping time to within a few seconds a year.
Date made circa 1926

Artist/Maker Synchronome Co Ltd
Place made London, England
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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