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Kendall's Longitude-bookcover

By: John Bendall

Kendall's Longitude

Pages: 234 Ratings: 5.0
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Lost at sea: every mariner’s fear.Maritime navigational tools could find latitude, but finding longitude remained elusive until Harrison developed the reliable sea clock, H4. Building on H4’s success, Kendall made a series of nautical timekeepers, K1, K2 and K3. This is the story of the K2 timekeeper; its adventurous voyages, the people it touched, and its place in history. K2’s first voyage, accompanied by the young Nelson, was nearly its last in the crushing Arctic ice. The next two expeditions saw it survive kidnappings, nautical intrigue, and gunpowder plots of the American revolutionary wars. The slave coasts of Africa followed.Bligh took K2 on the Bounty, but lost it in a fight with the mutineers in 1789. It was recovered by an American Quaker from Nantucket, only to be stolen by the Spanish. It rode on mules along the Andes before sailing into the Opium Wars. K2 finally returned to Greenwich in 1963.DRAMATIC, THREE NATION 'STORY OF TIME'

John Bendall. A background in economic history, political science and marketing and is now an independent researcher living in Greenwich. John has a long-standing love of the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, including the Caird Library. He is a member of the Society for Nautical Research and Nantucket Historical Association, which have both provided interesting material, as has the National Archives in West London. This book was inspired by American author Dava Sobel’s renowned ‘Longitude’, covering Harrison’s timepieces in revolutionising maritime navigation. John has researched a fascinating follow-up story of Larcum Kendall and the K2 timekeeper. John is also a director of an English language school in Canterbury and a document management services company. His supportive wife, Jane, worked at the NMM for many years and is founder of the Flamsteed Astronomy Society.

Mike Dryland. Mike retired from a career in industry in 2001 and has since been spending time as a voluntary curatorial assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where he specialises in tours and talks about the Harrison marine timekeepers (sea clocks) and the history of the Observatory. He studied physics and has a long-time interest in astronomy, horology and naval history. Mike contributed two chapters and the appendix for this book, and helped generally with navigation and horology issues.

Customer Reviews
9 reviews
9 reviews
  • Ms S.

    It's always great to both enjoy reading a book and learn some history at the same time. The story of K2's journey around the globe in different people's possession is extraordinary. It was also interesting to learn what actually happened with 'the Mutiny on the Bounty and the real meaning of 'Pandora's Box'! Now, I must visit the Maritime Museum in Greenwich to see K2 for myself. I thoroughly recommend this book!

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