An eight-day wall-mounted astronomical regulator by Dent, number 2016

This astronomical regulator was originally made for use in observing the Transit of Venus in 1874. In 1923 it was adapted as the primary standard for the new six-pip time signal. The clock sent electrical impulses down a telephone wire to the BBC for conversion into audio pips for radio broadcasts. It has a zinc tube temperature-compensated pendulum and was corrected from 1929 by the Shortt master clock number 16. The three sets of contacts for closing the six-pip circuit every quarter of an hour can be seen in two of the holes within the seconds dial, and halfway down the pendulum, operated by a roller.

This clock was in service for the BBC signal at the Observatory from 1924 to 1949, when it was superseded by a quartz clock.

Object Details

ID: ZAA1293
Collection: Timekeeping
Type: Astronomical regulator
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Edward John Dent & Co.
Date made: 1874
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 1450 x 435 x 215 mm
Parts: An eight-day wall-mounted astronomical regulator by Dent, number 2016

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