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

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Duncanbootmaker, Apr 21, 2020.

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  1. Duncanbootmaker

    Duncanbootmaker Registered User

    Nov 20, 2018
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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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  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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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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  3. Duncanbootmaker

    Duncanbootmaker Registered User

    Nov 20, 2018
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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
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Duncan,

    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
     
  5. Duncanbootmaker

    Duncanbootmaker Registered User

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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' :)
     
  6. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    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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  7. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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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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  8. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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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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  9. Duncanbootmaker

    Duncanbootmaker Registered User

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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
     
  10. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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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
     
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  11. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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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
     
  12. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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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...
     
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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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
     
  14. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Ralph, you have an impressive collection of those early English horological writings, well done!!
    --Robert
     
  15. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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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.
     
  16. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    #16 rstl99, Jul 5, 2020 at 1:41 PM
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020 at 2:17 PM
    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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