Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel

longitudeIn 1714, the English Parliament announced a staggering reward to anyone who could present a successful method of measuring longitude at sea — and therefore prevent thousands of deaths from shipwreck and disease.  Most applicants for the reward looked to astronomy, so the committee charged with ascertaining a winner was surprised to receive John Harrison’s solution.  Harrison, an unknown clock-maker, claimed to have invented a maritime clock that would function better than the fickle clocks of the age, which often lost whole hours in short spans of time.

Quote:
“Time is to clock as mind is to brain. The clock or watch somehow contains the time. And yet time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed in a lamp.”

Author:
Dava Sobel is the author of non-fiction books including Longitude, Galileo’s Daughter, and The Planets.  She has also worked as a science journalist, and has been published by Harvard Magazine, Audobon, and Science Digest.

Published:  1995
Length:  175 pages
Set in:  England

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