Skip to main content

Correspondence on chronometers, 1895 - 1923

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 7/96

Scope and Contents

Miscellaneous correspondence concerning chronometers:

Letter from Yarrow and Co. Ltd requesting that Lieutenant J. Znierkonski be granted permission to compare the rates of chronometers belonging to two Austrian torpedo boats, 'Huzar' and 'Kaiman', at the Royal Observatory, 1905.

Telegram from the Navigating Officer of HMS 'Victoria and Albert' requesting information on chronometer error and Greenwich Mean Time, 1905.

Correspondence with the Naval Store Officer concerning the method of transport to be used to deliver chronometers to be shipped on HMS 'Goldfinch', 1905.

Correspondence with Duncan Milligan, 1907, concerning the history of the chronometer Parkinson and Frodsham 2709.

Correspondence with H.M. Gaydon of Birch Gaydon, horologists, concerning his request to inspect the chronometer ovens at the Royal Observatory, 1907.

Correspondence with Miss R. Belleville concerning certain reports in newspapers about her business and its connection with the Royal Observatory, 1908, including the following press cuttings:

1. 'The Times', 7 March 1908: 'Lady who conveys the time' and 'Lying Clocks'.

2. 'The Daily Express', 10 March 1908: 'Selling the Time'.

3. 'The Daily Graphic', 9 March 1908: 'The Lady Time-teller', 'Strange profession of the Belleville family', 'Lady of the Clock' and 'Business that dates back for 70 years'.

Correspondence with the secretary of the British Horological Institute requesting a list of observatories which test chronometers, 1908.

Correspondence with L.F. Forestier, chronometer adjuster, concerning his application to join the Royal Observatory staff as a chronometer repairer, 1908 (the application was rejected).

Correspondence with John Bull and Co. concerning a request for a private chronometer trial, 1909.

General correspondence with horologists and institutions concerning chronometers, 1909-1911, including the British Watch and Clockmakers' Guild, H.T. Phipps, the New York Nautical School and Edwin Langford and Son.

Correspondence with Captain H.W. Grant concerning his request for a member of the Royal Observatory chronometer department to proof-read his translation from the 'German Official Book on Navigation', 1911.

Printed pamphlets from Robert Thompson advertising chronometers, 1911.

Letter from Haigh Brewery requesting a list of the names of firms selling chronometers, 1911.

General correspondence concerning chronometers, trials and purchases, 1911-1917.

Correspondence with B. Multanowsky of the Nickolas General Physical Observatory concerning a request for the names of firms of horologists, 1917.

Miscellaneous correspondence and internal memoranda concerning chronometers, 1895-1898.

Correspondence with B. Bonniksen and J.H. Poole, horologists, concerning Bonniksen's adaptation of the Breguet Tourbillon Carriage and questioning his right to name his adaptation differently and claim the invention as his own, 1898. The correspondence is accompanied by several cuttings from horological magazines, the titles of which are unknown.

Business card sent by J. Barnsdale and Son, horologists, importers of Swiss watches, 1898.

Correspondence with Captain Jackson of Her Majesty's Dockyard, Portsmouth, concerning the receipt of twelve deck watches, 1898.

Letter from Viscount Cross requesting the names of some reputable chronometer-manufacturers, 1898.

Advertising literature from L. Leroy and Cie, horologists [1898].

Letter from [A.R. Tappe] informing the Royal Observatory of the death of Mr Uhrig, horologist, 1899.

Letters from Captain Jackson of Her Majesty's Dockyard requesting the delivery of chronometer hampers, 1899.

Printed complete specification for improvements in Tourbillon watches by A. Taylor, horologist, 1896.

Correspondence with E. Schneittev and Co., Swiss horologists, requesting information concerning the testing of chronometers, 1899.

Letter from Sir William Huggins requesting the name of a reputable watchmaker to repair a pocket chronometer, 1900.

Correspondence with T. Mercer, horologist, concerning the death of T. Mercer Senior and the responsibility of his inheritors for the repair and return of government chronometers in his care, 1900.

Internal memorandum concerning the replacement of the pulleys in the chronometer oven, 1900.

Letter from Max Kuner, horologist, 1901, requesting a copy of the 'Results of the Annual Trial of Chronometers and Deck Watches 1899-1900' and information on polarity tests in chronometers.

Postcard from Lieut. Col. Boileau requesting a private chronometer trial, 1901.

Correspondence concerning the establishment of an Italian Hydrographer's Office, 1898.

Correspondence with Senor Winroth of the Chilian Navy Chronometer Department concerning his request for information on the maintenance, comparison and classification of chronometers and asking for a recommendation for gas governors for chronometer ovens, 1901.

Letters from J.F. Coombes of the Observatory, Devonport, requesting a delivery of chronometer hampers, 1902.

Letter from Captain Jackson of His Majesty's Dockyard, Portsmouth, requesting a delivery of chronometer hampers, 1902.

Two letters from the Chronometer Depot, Plymouth, concerning the transportation of chronometers, 1902.

Correspondence with E.G. Harmer, horologist, concerning his request for the information about the relation of the Royal Observatory's Chronometer Department and annual trials to the chronometer industry as a whole, 1902.

Letter from Henry Richardson, Steam Printing Works, giving an estimated cost of a printing order, 1902.

Correspondence with William Matthews, horologist, concerning his request to be given chronometers to repair and that he be appointed 'Maker to the Admiralty', 1902.

Letter from B. Bonniksen, horologist, requesting details of the number of 'Karrusel' watches made by him which have been tried at the Royal Observatory and of the number purchased by the Admiralty, 1902.

Letter from J. Poole, horologist, 1903, enclosing a newspaper cutting titled 'The World's best Watch'.

Rough list of tools and instruments required for the chronometer room, 1903.

Undated rough typed copy of the foreword to Commander Gould's book 'Harrison's Chronometers', with corrections.

Typed copy of a letter from John Travers, horologist, concerning the depression in the chronometer trade and a copy of the Astronomer Royal's reply, 1923.

Typed copy of a letter from E. Tills, chronometer finisher, concerning the depression in the chronometer trade and a copy of the Astronomer Royal's reply, 1923.

Correspondence with the Agent General for Western Australia concerning the purchase of a new main spring for a Kullberg chronometer, 1916.


  • Creation: 1895 - 1923


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 bundle(s) (1 bundle)

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Finding aid date

2006-03-30 10:42:34+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom