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1696 book on Watch and Clock-making on Archive,org

Duncanbootmaker

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G'day All,
I come across yesterday "The Artificial Clock-Maker" by W.D.M.A. from 1696, as a free PDF. You've got to get used to the 'f' style symbol being used for the 's' in the middle of a word, but should be an interesting read.
Link:
The artificial clock-maker : a treatise of watch and clock-work, wherein the art of calculating numbers for most sorts of movements is explained to the capacity of the unlearned : also the history of clock-work, both ancient and modern, with other useful matters never before published : Derham, W. (William), 1657-1735 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
One thing I've already come across is the author's choice, when calculating fusee (spelt 'Fufy') turns etc, of a watch beating 20,196bph! I wasn't aware of watches beating this fast in the 1600's (heard comments of 14,000bph being considered ok).
Been having a bit of fun with the GIMP graphics program, cleaning up a few pages. I'm getting faster as I get the hang of what has the best effect on the image. See below, especially the bottom of the first page (and it's cleaned up partner) for the above reference of BPH.
Oh, and one curious thing; they print the first word of the next page under the text of the previous, thereby, I suppose, to enable you to read more smoothly, especially out loud.
Hope you all are keeping well and safe.
All the best.
Cheers
Duncan

artificialclockm00derh 2.jpg artificialclockmaker test 5a copy.jpg artificialclockm00derh 1.jpg artificialclockmaker test 2 copy.jpg artificialclockmaker test 2c copy.jpg
 
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gmorse

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Hi Duncan,

Good to hear from you, and thanks for posting this.

This book, by William Derham MA, is one of the earliest printed treatises in English on watch and clock making. The 'long s' does take some getting used to, (Rees's 19th century cyclopaedia uses the same convention), and the practice of finishing a page with the first word on the next was a common one in publishing for some time after this was printed. The word 'artificial' in the (rather protracted) title, had a slightly different meaning in the 17th century, and was closer to its root in the concept of 'artifice' or mechanical skill in a craft.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Duncanbootmaker

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G'day Graham,
I was hoping you'd see this, and, no doubt, know something about it. I'm really looking forward to reading it (acclimatising to the 'f' quicker than I thought :) ). The explanation of 'Artificial' makes sense; I was thinking along the lines of "Artificial, that is man made, Clock as opposed to the Celestial 'Clock' of the Heavens". The maths of calculating the drive trains, etc, is something I want to get to grips with, and it's so interesting reading a work the author of which was a near contemporary of some other people I'm interested in; esp. William Oughtred. I have a collection of slide rules dating back to a pear wood Faber Castell made in 1927 (so, not super old). I'm trying to reacquaint myself with trigonometry so I can get a lot more use out of them :D
I took your advice, and made a new brass bush for the Verge I've been restoring, and set a polished, glass hard, music wire 'end stone' within the bush; no alterations to the watch per se. The extra height on the bush (apart from giving the music wire a good seat) makes it easier for rotational alignment.
Stay Safe.
Cheers
Duncan

IMG_4953 copy.JPG IMG_4954 copy.JPG
 

gmorse

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Hi Duncan,

I took your advice, and made a new brass bush for the Verge I've been restoring, and set a polished, glass hard, music wire 'end stone' within the bush; no alterations to the watch per se. The extra height on the bush (apart from giving the music wire a good seat) makes it easier for rotational alignment.
That's a neat solution, and it has the virtue of being reversible if a future owner decides to reverse your good work.

Regards,

Graham
 

Duncanbootmaker

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Glad you like it Graham. I seem to have a small bur of brass down the bottom of the pivot hole (something this method was supposed to eliminate the risk of...), so it doesn't run well dial up. Just got to muster up the drive to carefully tinker with it, with the risk of needing to make a new bush if I muff it up. I think it's called 'experience', and 'task repetition' :)
 

rstl99

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The word 'artificial' in the (rather protracted) title, had a slightly different meaning in the 17th century, and was closer to its root in the concept of 'artifice' or mechanical skill in a craft.
The explanation of 'Artificial' makes sense; I was thinking along the lines of "Artificial, that is man made, Clock as opposed to the Celestial 'Clock' of the Heavens".
Hello Duncan, I'm glad that you referred to The Artificial Clockmaker, a book I've perused slightly in online scanned forms such as the one you pointed to. I've been spending a lot of time lately on a book with a similar title, Henry Sully's "Artificial regulation of time" (Règle artificielle du temps), written in 1714, revised in 1717 and republished in 1737 with significant rewrites and additions by Julien LeRoy.

In his preface, Sully refers to Derham's book (less than 20 years old at the time Sully was writing), which he said was aimed more at practitioners of the art of horology, whereas his book (Artificial regulation of time) was aimed at a broader public (which resulted in its considerable appeal, and three editions).

In Sully's book, the term "artificial" refers more to the artificial division of time into equal parts (seconds, minutes, hours, etc.). So although as Graham says, the term "artificial" can have another sense, I believe you are right in that Derham (and Sully) was referring more to the division of time into artificial parts, which are more easily managed, and more readily measured and displayed by mechanical means.

Regards,
--Robert
 
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rstl99

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p.s. another old horological book that may be worth having a peek at (I can't presently locate a scanned copy online, though one must exist somewhere) is John Smith's "Horological Disquisitions" (1694, London). Sully refers to it (in addition to Derham's book) in the preface to his "Règle artificielle du temps". The point he was making is that before his 1714/17 book, there were very few horological writings in English (or French) available. Sully's book was groundbreaking and set the example for many great horological books written in France and elsewhere in the mid 1700's. And in his case, the man who put pen to paper was an accomplished and expertly trained clock/watchmaker who knew what he was writing about.

Horological Disquisitions, Discovering the True Nature of Time. Or, the Reasons Why All Days from Noon to Noon Are Not Alike Twenty-Four Hours Long. ... the Second Edition, Much Corrected, and Many New Particulars Added. by John Smith, ...
 
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D.th.munroe

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When all these were getting scanned I read every old horological book I could find. (Except the Italian and Latin ones, I wish I had learned latin)
The John Smith book used to be online I remember reading it, it is still on some university libraries but seems to be gone from the public ones.
I'm wondering if it was pulled because it was reprinted recently it is now for sale in quite a few places (amazon,walmart)?
Dan
 
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Duncanbootmaker

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G'day Robert,
Thanks for that. So I'm now hoping I'll find an English translation of Sully's book :)
Ah, so much to read, so little time :D
Cheers
Duncan
 

rstl99

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Yes indeed there is much to read in horological history. And then to try to remember it all (wish I had David Smyth Torrens' reputed photographic memory).
I am presently translating some of Sully's writings (French is my mother tongue), for inclusion in a document I am starting to write on his life and times. For an Englishman living in France, he wrote French quite well in my opinion. He had apparently learned French while residing in the Netherlands, to where he moved after he left London, and a few years before he settled in France (Paris in particular) fairly permanently, and where he spent the last dozen years of his life.
Cheers.
--Robert
 

Ralph

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p.s. another old horological book that may be worth having a peek at (I can't presently locate a scanned copy online, though one must exist somewhere) is John Smith's "Horological Disquisitions" (1694, London). Sully refers to it (in addition to Derham's book) in the preface to his "Règle artificielle du temps". The point he was making is that before his 1714/17 book, there were very few horological writings in English (or French) available. Sully's book was groundbreaking and set the example for many great horological books written in France and elsewhere in the mid 1700's. And in his case, the man who put pen to paper was an accomplished and expertly trained clock/watchmaker who knew what he was writing about.

Horological Disquisitions, Discovering the True Nature of Time. Or, the Reasons Why All Days from Noon to Noon Are Not Alike Twenty-Four Hours Long. ... the Second Edition, Much Corrected, and Many New Particulars Added. by John Smith, ...
Robert, an earlier book by John Smith, which I believe is the earliest book (1675) on horology in English is Horologicsl Dialogues. In 1962 they reprinted the trilogy, the two Smith books and the Derham book.

The Smith book (Dialogues) reprint was on ebay this last 6 months. I almost bought it, but I have copies.

Ralph
 

rstl99

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thanks Ralph, I'll keep an eye on ebay for the reprints of those Smith books then, good thing to have in the old personal library...
 

Ralph

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Robert, I have the originals too, the two Smith books and a couple of Derhams, one pre 1700 and one post. I had a chance for a first edition of the Derham book, but failed to pull the trigger, with the intent to follow up later and lost it.

Ralph
 
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rstl99

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Robert, I have the originals too, the two Smith books and a couple of Derhams, one pre 1700 and one post. I had a chance for a first edition of the Derham book, but failed to pull the trigger, with the intent to follow up later and lost it.
Ralph, you have an impressive collection of those early English horological writings, well done!!
--Robert
 

D.th.munroe

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I would love to have physical copies of more old horological books I have alot but not many old ones.
There is one reprinted one I've yet to read or acquire from 1475-1485 Paulus Almanus' "The Almanus Manuscript" by J.H.Leopold. Sounds very interesting.
 
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rstl99

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Thanks for mentioning the Almanus Manuscript, which I had not heard of until now. Indeed, sounds like a very interesting book, on many levels. (note to self: add to book list)

p.s. Just read some tributes to the author of the above, Jan Hendrik (John) Leopold (1935-2010), published in Antiquarian Horology in March 2010. What a fascinating man of multiple interests and passions.
 
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Duncanbootmaker

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I’ve finally managed to get a burr out of the 0.18mm pivot hole in the balance wheel’s bush I made. Turned my spear pointed ‘D' bit (which got a little twisted in use anyway) into a chisel, put a drop of oil on the bush and pumped the drill up and down a few times to help expelling air, then swizzled the bit and pumped again to, hopefully, get the swarf out. Seems to have worked as the late 1700’s watch now works in all positions; it was stopping as soon as you started going dial up. It’s in my waistcoat pocket ticking away happily and keeping close to time :)
 

rstl99

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Robert, an earlier book by John Smith, which I believe is the earliest book (1675) on horology in English is Horologicsl Dialogues. In 1962 they reprinted the trilogy, the two Smith books and the Derham book.
The Smith book (Dialogues) reprint was on ebay this last 6 months. I almost bought it, but I have copies.
Ralph
Hi Ralph,
Doing a bit of research to acquire facsimile reprints. I gather that the 1962 reprints by the "Thames Facsimile Company, Reading" were of the three single volumes (Dialogues, Disquisitions, and A.C). I was hoping they had perhaps published all three together, but have only come across single re-prints of Artificial Clockmaker.

Duncan: I like your idea to improve the look of the PDF copies of these books online. The sample pages you showed (using GIMP) were quite impressive. With such a nice copy one could probably get it printed at a local print shop...

I recently acquired Thiout's two volume treatise on Horology as a quality facsimile reprint in 1972, and for almost 1/10th what one would pay for a genuine original copy, I find these facsimiles so much easier to work with, and read. The original books have collectible value as antique horological books, no doubt, but I'm more interested in the content, for my research and writing projects, and quality facsimiles are the way to go for me (cheaper to acquire, more practical to use).

I just ordered Berthoud's two volume essay on horology, also in a quality facsimile reprint, for the same reasons.

The other thing is, even though most if not all these antique horological books are available online as PDF's (of varying quality and the foldout diagrams suffer the most from lack of completeness), I can't for the life of me learn to enjoy working with the PDF onscreen, nothing replaces the feel of a printed book in my hand.

Regards,
--Robert
 

Duncanbootmaker

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G'day Robert,
I'm with you on not liking reading things on the computer.
Derham's book, based on the typeface size, seems to be a tiny A6 sized book, or smaller, so you can print it out 8 pages per A4 sheet (a regular printer page with 4 per side), then cut the page across it's middle, stack and fold, then you have the 8 page 'signatures' (what each bundle of pages in a book are called) used in the first edition. I'm having a go at book binding, and will trim the pages down further in that process. The photo is of the test run, and, because of the 8 pages per sheet, it only takes 19 sheets for the entire book. I think Off White, or Cream, paper will look better, and be gentler on the eyes, rather than the High White of the regular printer paper, so will get some of that.

Photo on 30-08-2020 at 2.39 24pm4.jpg
Here are the settings I used when printing.
Screen Shot 2020-08-30 at 2.58.37 pm.png

I'm thinking of putting the files up on here soon if people are interested. They're in the order needed for the above printer settings, but I could go through and make another set with all the sequential numbering if needed.
Cheers
Duncan
 

rstl99

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Hi Duncan,
I for one would really appreciate having a copy of your cleaned up version of Derham's book, so I can print off and read at my leisure. I'm not sure if your version or one with sequential numbering would be best for me. With my ageing eyesight, I tend to prefer reading things with somewhat larger than smaller fonts.
Again, thanks for offering to share your very good work!
--Robert
 
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rstl99

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For your interest, a few photos of the Thiout facsimile book I recently acquired, printed in 1972 in Paris by Editions du Palais Royal. Outstanding job by the publisher, all the pages are crisp and blemish-free, as are the numerous foldout pages of diagrams and schematics that make this book so important and useful to those interested in the state of horological practices in the mid 18th century.

As I said, there may be value in acquiring the original published books (Thiout's book was published in 1741) for pride of ownership, and possibly horological investment, but a more recent reprint of the quality of the 1972 Thiout was a much better way to go for me. For example, for what I paid for this complete and excellent reprint, the best deal I could find was a copy of Tome 2 of Thiout's book, with a binding in very poor condition (needing expensive rebinding), most of the pages quite stained, some damaged, etc. Complete and good condition copies of Thiout's 2 volume set fetch quite high prices.

Having said that, I do own a copy of Sully's Règle artificielle du temps, 1737 edition, and really enjoy owning it (it features a very nice ex libris by a French horloger in the frontispiece). But I obtained greater value from its (textual) content, when I acquired the Kessinger Library Reprint from Amazon for $20 or so. The reprint does not have the foldout diagrams, but the text is very clear, and allowed me to read more easily, make notes in the margins, cross-reference different chapters of the book more easily, etc. It's also much easier, of course, to flip through a recent reprint than the dried and fragile pages and binding of an almost 300 year old book.

Robert

IMG_6482.jpg IMG_6483.jpg IMG_6484.jpg IMG_6485.jpg IMG_6486.jpg IMG_6487.jpg IMG_6488.jpg
 
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Duncanbootmaker

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Very nice Robert :)
OK, I'll make a re-numbered set so that you can do 2 page per side, double sided, booklet printing, making it twice the size of mine. Stay Tuned!
 

gmorse

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Hi Duncan,

You've done us, (and William Derham), a great service with your work to digitise this book. I'll certainly be very interested to see your re-numbered set. As an aside, I don't know whether the signatures in the printed source volume were originally adjusted to compensate for the thickness of the paper so that the page images all aligned properly when the signature was stitched together, (known as 'creep'). This involved the outer sheets having a slightly wider central gutter that got progressively narrower towards the inner sheet.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Duncanbootmaker

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G'day Graham,
I was going to ask you if you wanted a set :) I can provide the set up as shown in my earlier post, in little sets of 8, or all sequentially numbered, so they can be done as the larger bi-fold printer page. I'm happy to send both.
I've realised that the Forum format won't allow the size of download for the book, so if you drop me an email at duncanbootmaker@gmail.com I'll send through the jpegs in blocks of 8 or so (10megs worth each, though I think gmail can handle around 20meg per email. If so, 16 pages).

If you're printing the ones numbered sequentially, in Print, select 'Booklet', with two pages on the front and back of each sheet, in blocks of say 20 pages (5 sheets) they should organise properly. I've got a few blank pages at the front and back, because of the 8 pages per sheet I was originally printing, so you can either keep or discard them: they would protect the contents, and give some note taking space. If you discard them, just make sure that it's an odd numbered page that the print starts with, otherwise the page numbers will be in towards the spine, not the outer edge.

The interesting thing about this first edition is that each signature is only two folded sheets: eg. there will be a page marked, say, 'D' and two pages later 'D2', followed by five unmarked pages, then 'E, and so on'. So 'creep' isn't an issue. There are 19 signatures in total, which should give it a fine, flexible spine when doing a Loom Sewn book binding. Here's a picture of my test print, both squashed to actual thickness, and fanned to show the individual sets.
Photo on 31-08-2020 at 9.32 13pm1.jpg
The Google scanned version you put me onto (thank you very much; it was very useful for catching a few odd words/letters) , which is a 'Third Edition', by checking the above marking of the signatures, shows that they used six folded sheets per. with the centre most sheet unmarked! ( each letter counts 1 - 5, +1 unmarked, in order to get 6 leaves before the next letter).

I started the hand clean up of the book back in April, when I downloaded it from archive.org, and it took between 1/2 - 2 hours per page, depending on the quality of said page :) Also I worked out tricks as time went on, the best one (realised only 50 or so pages before the end) was to open each image in Preview, de-saturate to make it B&W, then bump up the exposure to reduce the smudges and bleed through from the other side, *then* import it to GIMP to remove ink dots and the darker bleed through, re-darken faint letters, rebuild/clone damaged or missing letters,and remove the final faint shading of the page. That brought the page times down to the 1/2 hour or so.
I've benefited immensely from free copies of various antique books on line, including Richard Watkins excellent contributions, so I'm very happy to be able to freely offer this to people who are interested.
It will take a few emails though :)
Cheers
Duncan
 
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rstl99

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Hi Duncan, thanks so much for the offer!

I replied to your PM, indicating that a much simpler way to send large files like that, is use the FREE site wetransfer.com. Very simple to use and very effective. I use it with the editors of the NAWCC Bulletin for articles I've submitted to them, with pictures.

Regards,
--Robert
 

gmorse

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Hi Duncan,

I use both Google Drive and Dropbox for very large files, all have similar functionality.

Regards,

Graham
 

Duncanbootmaker

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OK Guys, I'll use your suggestions, and get back here in a day or so when things are ready.
Cheers
Duncan
 

Duncanbootmaker

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G'day gmorse and rstl99 ,
Hope the new year will go better for you.
We've had a lot happening here and as a consequence I've not done all the work I wish to do on the book yet. Hopefully in a couple of months I'll be able to take it up again and will let you know once I'm happy with it.
Cheers
Duncan