waywiser

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by novicetimekeeper, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,974
    426
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I was collecting scientific instruments long before I ended up with a growing collection of clocks and watches. There is a crossover as clock and watchmakers were often involved in scientific instruments and famous physicists advanced the accuracy of clocks.

    This is one such crossover. Thos Wright was the man who originally proposed that our galaxy was a flat disc in shape, and also that those smudges he could see with early telescopes were other distant galaxies. Kepler wrongly gets the credit even though he said he got the original idea from a paper by Wright.

    Thomas Wright originally trained as a clockmaker, and as well as being a Physicist was a landscape gardener (landscape in the literal sense, think capability brown)

    This is the main workings of a waywiser that he made, the sort of instrument that would have been used setting out and mapping the large estates he designed. thos wright 2.jpg thos wright 1.jpg
     
  2. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    1,027
    88
    48
    Telecom Engineer
    Williamson County, Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That's pretty cool! I admit I had to look up a "waywiser" - I didn't know that's another word for those gizmos. It's also cool that it measures in chains. Thanks for sharing!

    Glen
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,974
    426
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    We have them at school and call them trundle wheels. Ours just count in metres. This counts in furlongs chains and links. It's with my clock repairer at the moment, I decided it was really a museum piece so it went to somebody with great skill as a conservator. He has cleaned it and stopped the rust, also looking for a suitable "minute" hand from a bracket clock to make sense of the dial reading.

    The guys I bought it from found it in the bottom of an old RAF fitters toolbox. Inside the lid of the toolbox was a list of every spitfire the chap had worked on. Also history but of a completely different kind.
     
  4. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,974
    426
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The waywiser is back now from the clock repairer. It does not look much different apart from being cleaner and having a new hand. This is a conservation job rather than a restoration as ity ought to be in a museum, but the good news is it now works.

    Turning the shaft moves the "seconds" hand and you can see the "minute" advance but the movement of the hour is tiny. 2015-10-23 19.06.54.jpg
     
  5. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    1,027
    88
    48
    Telecom Engineer
    Williamson County, Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It looks like you have a real keepsake there! He did a nice job of finding a furlong hand that goes well. Is the chain indicator marked in 100 links? Given that it says "links", I presume so. At 8-ish inches per link (if I remember correctly), the relative movements of the hands would be different enough from a clock that it would be a lot of fun to mess with. Thanks again for sharing again!

    Glen
     
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,663
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    Do you only have the movement?

    Ralph
     
  7. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,974
    426
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #7 novicetimekeeper, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Yes, I only have the movement. A complete waywiser of this age would be worth several thousand pounds as far as I can work out. I've seen similar for £6000 complete but not by such a famous maker.

    The links dial is 100 links to a full rotation. Phil, the chap who worked on it, said that he wanted to take pictures of it and to do so wanted it set to 10 to 2, he started turning it by hand and ended up putting his electric drill on the shaft to get it to turn as it was taking so long.

    The furlong hand is a laser cut blank, it has been hand finished and blued. We decided this was the best route as it is a conservation job and the non original part dhould be in keeping but new.

    The chap who supplied it has a whole range of laser cut hands.
     
  8. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
    8,974
    426
    83
    Male
    retired and on my second career
    Dorset
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Not quite like London buses, but I have just bought another one. Just the movement and dial plate again, this time no hands at all so a bit of guess work needed.

    This one is later, perhaps 1780s. It is in much better condition and will not need so much work.
     

Share This Page