John White­hurst FR S: In­no­va­tor, Sci­en­tist, Ge­ol­o­gist and Clock­maker

By Maxwell Craven (Fonthill Me­dia)

Plaza Watch International - - Books -

A thinker for whom the term ‘re­nais­sance man’ seems en­tirely apt, John White­hurst was born in Cheshire, UK, in 1713 and went on to de­vise a pre­cur­sor to the hy­draulic ram, make the clock for Derby’s town hall, be­come stam­per of money-weights at the Royal Mint, de­vise a hos­pi­tal ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem and use pen­du­lums to study the shape of the Earth by mea­sur­ing dif­fer­ences in grav­i­ta­tion – work which sub­se­quently led to a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of pen­du­lums. As is of­ten the case, early clock­mak­ers were rarely re­stricted in their me­chan­i­cal in­ge­nu­ity to just telling the time. This is the story of one of the more fas­ci­nat­ing. £35

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