“Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude” is on temporary loan from the National Maritime Museum, London.
To mark the 300th anniversary of the passing of the Longitude Act in July 1714, this landmark exhibition tells the extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude (east-west position) at sea, helping to solve the problem of navigation and saving seafarers from terrible fates including shipwreck and starvation.
Highlights from the exhibition’s 148 artifacts and art objects include three working replicas of John Harrison’s H1, H2, and H3 timekeepers, and the original case of the successful H4. Also featured is the original Longitude Act of 1714; an intricate 1747 model of the Centurion, the ship which carried out the first proper sea trial of Harrison’s H1, and the elegant, padded silk ‘observing suit’ worn by Nevil Maskelyne at the Royal Observatory during the 1760s.
December 26-January 1: Open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
January 1-March 25: Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.