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Correspondence regarding time signals, 1879 - 1893

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 7/253

Scope and Contents

Miscellaneous correspondence regarding the following subjects:

Telegraphs announcing errors and failures in the time signal, 1879-1880.

Complaints about the time signal sent to Glasgow, the General Post Office and Portsmouth, 1880-1881.

T. Lewis and W.H.M. Christie on the correction of the mean solar clock and errors in the 10 o'clock signal, 1884.

Explanation by W.H. Preece to H.H. Turner that the failure of the time signal is due to poor batteries, 1887.

Errors for the 10 am signal, 1888.

Complaint to Christie from H.G. Swainson about the failure of the time signal to Portsmouth, 1884.

Failure of the time signal as observed by C. Frodsham and Co., Reid and Sons and E.T. Loseby, 1889, with comparisons of the time signal from Greenwich with the Coventry Market Hall clock and a reply from H.H. Turner.

An error of the 10 am time signal noted by G.M. Whipple, 1889.

Cuttings from the 'Coventry Herald' regarding the weekly error of the Market Hall Clock, sent by E.T. Loseby, 1889-1890.

Errors in the 1 pm signal noted by Christie, 1890.

Enquiries from P. Bates and G.M. Whipple concerning the correct time of the Greenwich time ball, 1890.

A breakdown in the current to the General Post Office noted by W.H. Preece, 1890.

Failure of the return signal from Devonport, registered by G. Moniston, 1890.

Requests from G.M. Whipple for details of the error of the time signal, 1890-1891.

Request from E.T. Loseby for details of the error of the time signal, 1891.

Enquiry by H.G. Swainson regarding a double signal, 1891.

Errors of the 1 pm signal during the period 1 July 1889 to 31 December 1889.

Correspondence on the testing of wires from the Observatory to Greenwich railway station, 1879. The correspondents include G.S. Criswick, H. Eaton and C. Fleetwood.

Request from Barrard and Lund for a time signal, 1879.

Enquiry from W.W. Nicholson regarding the accuracy of the Manchester time signal, 1879.

Correspondence with B.S. Booth regarding confusion over Greenwich Mean Time and local time at Sheffield, 1880.

Enquiry from J.M. Fidler regarding hourly time signals, 1880.

Suggestion by J.L. Clark for a 9 pm signal for the Westminster Clock, 1881.

Discussion by L. Langford of the best means of controlling clocks, 1881.

Letter from C.V. Walker regarding the maintenance of the Royal Observatory wires, 1879.

Extract from a letter by E. Groves regarding the maintenance of Royal Observatory wires, 1879.

E. Groves to C.V. Walker regarding the interpretation of the agreement to maintain the Royal Observatory wires, 1879.

Dispute between C.V. Walker and E. Groves over the agreement regarding the maintenance of the Royal Observatory wires, with Sir George Airy's interpretation of the problem, 1879.

Correspondence with C.V. Walker expressing concern about the connection of De La Rue's [clock] to the Horological Institute by W. Leonard, 1879.

Topological map of the telegraph wires, 1879.

Proposals by C.V. Walker to resolve the dispute over maintenance and ownership, 1879.

Sir George Airy's comments on the proposals, 1879.

Correspondence with C.V. Walker in which he expresses concern that the Horological Institute has no time signal, 1879.

Notice by J. Shaw regarding the South Eastern Railway's termination of the telegraph wire agreements with the Royal Observatory, with Sir George Airy's reply, 1879.

Conditions for an agreement to the telegraph wire problems, sent by C.V. Walker, 1880.

Proposals by the General Post Office related to C.V. Walker by Sir George Airy, 1880.

C.V. Walker's interpretation and understanding of the General Post Office proposals, 1880.

Correspondence with C.V. Walker regarding the date for terminating the time wire agreement and arrangements for settlements, 1880.

New agreement proposed by Sir George Airy and discussions on the proposals by C.V. Walker and E. Groves, 1880.

Resumés by Sir George Airy of past time wire agreements and the current problems, 1880.

Letter from R.S. Bell stating that the Admiralty approves of the new time wire agreement, 1880.

General agreement between C.V. Walker, C.A.B. Patey and Sir George Airy on the new arrangements for transmitting the time signal, 1880.

Offer from C.V. Walker to buy the old Royal Observatory telegraph wires, 1880.

Request by Sir George Airy to sell the wires and a sanction to do so from R.S. Ball, 1880.

Inventory of the wires and an agreement between C.V. Walker and Sir George Airy on the sale of the wires, with a covering letter from T.A. Chubb for a cheque for £31 17s 4d, 1880.

Correspondence, chiefly by telegrams, between the Commander-in Chief of HMS 'Wye', W.B. Risk and H.H. Turner concerning the transmission of time signals to commanding officers of the 'Wye' at Sheerness, 1884-1885.

Request by T. Borcell and F.R. Caushey for time signals, answered by E. Dunkin and H.H. Turner, 1883-1885.

Correspondence regarding the transmission of Greenwich Mean Time signals to W. Archdeacon at Barnstaple, 1880. The correspondents include F.J.O. Evans, Christie, H. Eaton and W. Archdeacon.

Enquiries from F.W. Reynolds, E.W. Knocker and W. Taylor regarding the transmission of time signals, answered by H.H. Turner and Christie, 1886.

Enquiry from the editor of the 'Railway News' regarding the commencement of the time service, answered by H.H. Turner, 1887.

Complaint by Mr Friedlander, conveyed by W.H. Preece, regarding the inaccuracy of the time signals, answered by Christie, 1887.

Inventory and conditions for the transfer of telegraph wires to the General Post Office, 1887-1888. The correspondents include H.H. Turner, E. Groves and Christie.

Correspondence between C.J. Fleetwood, W.H. Preece, H. Eaton and G.C. Criswick regarding the maintenance of the telegraph wires, 1888-1891.

Enquiry from T.E. Taylor regarding variations in the length of the day, answered by H.H. Turner, 1887.

Enquiry from J. Janssen regarding the compulsory use of Greenwich Mean Time, answered by Christie, 1888.

Telegram requesting a time signal for H. Soomer, 1888.

Cost of a time signal for J.G. Webster, 1887.

Parliamentary question relating to the time service wanted by Christie, 1888.

Correspondence with C.F. Preston regarding a possible time service for Barrow Town Hall, 1888.

Correspondence between Christie and R. Hill regarding a time signal for Coventry, 1889.

Account from the 'Coventry Herald' of the Coventry Market Hall Clock, 1889.

Account from the 'Coventry Herald' and Free Press regarding a Greenwich time signal for Coventry, 1889.

Enquiry from A.E. Friedlander's regarding the accuracy of the time signal, answered by Christie, 1889.

Article from the 'Horological Journal' regarding the performance of 31 watches, 1889.

Discussion in the 'Coventry Herald' on the hour chosen for the time signal, 1889.

Cutting from a letter by A.E. Friedlander expressing his satisfaction with the time service, 1889.

Enquiry from H. Marshall regarding the cost of a public clock regulated by a time signal, 1889.

Enquiry by J. White regarding the accuracy of the 10 am signal, 1889.

Telegrams requesting a time signal for HMS 'Research', 1889.

Requests from Messrs Smith and Sons, J. Borwise, T. Preston and Co., J. Paine and E. Hayden for information about receiving the Greenwich time signals, 1890-1891, answered by W.J. Wickison and H.H. Turner.

Questions from G.H. Lewis regarding the Greenwich time service, answered by H.H. Turner, 1891.

Correspondence with T.W. Backhouse regarding errors in the signals, as demonstrated in the tables, with explanations offered chiefly by H.H. Turner, but also by T. Lewis, G.M. Cass and Christie, 1889-1892.

Official correspondence with the Post Office concerning failures and errors in the time signal, 1891-1892, with notes from H. Hollis, H.H. Turner, E. Groves, G.S. Criswick, W. Eaton and W.W. Bryant.

Telegrams from Captain H.G. Swainson regarding a late 10 am signal, 1891.

Doubts expressed by J.J. Farmer with regard to the accuracy of the 1 pm signal, with a reply from T. Lewis, 1891.

Correspondence concerning the absence of a signal from the Westminster Clock, 1892.

Correspondence between H.H. Turner, G.M. Whipple and T. Lewis regarding errors of signals transmitted to the Kew Observatory, 1891-1892.

Request for Miss Belleville to have her watch synchronised by Greenwich Mean Time, as featured in the 'Daily Graphic', 1892.

Preparations and arrangements between H.H. Turner, W.H. Preece, G.N. Bainbridge and J. Wilnot of the Commercial Cable Co. for sending a time signal to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 26 February to correct the chronometers on the telegraph ship in the harbour, 1893.


  • Creation: 1879 - 1893


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