Join HSNY on Monday, May 6, 2019 for a lecture on The Ups and Downs of the Greenwich Time Ball - An Overview of Its History, Mechanics and Upkeep, by Anna Rolls, Curator of the Clockmakers Museum, London.
The time ball at the Royal Observatory Greenwich in London marks 1:00pm daily when it drops from the top of its mast. Installed in 1833, the ball was one of the earliest public time signals, offering an improved service for mariners who could rate their chronometers directly on-board ship in the adjacent reaches of the River Thames. It is now one of the many accessioned objects in the collections of the Royal Museums Greenwich. It is integral to the fabric of Flamsteed House, a scheduled ancient monument, and is powered by 20th century engineering and timed by 21st century electronics. As such it is one of the more complex objects to look after within a museum environment. At the May, 2019, meeting of the Horological Society of New York, Anna Rolls will discuss the history of the time ball, the evolution of its mechanical operation and the challenges it has faced in its transition from an observatory instrument to a working museum attraction.