John Harrison
(1693-1776)

Died aged c. 83

John Harrison (3 April [O.S. 24 March] 1693 – 24 March 1776) was a self-educated English carpenter and clockmaker who invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought-after device for solving the problem of calculating longitude while at sea. Harrison's solution revolutionized navigation and greatly increased the safety of long-distance sea travel. The problem he solved was considered so important following the Scilly naval disaster of 1707 that the British Parliament offered financial rewards of up to £20,000 (equivalent to £3.17 million in 2020) under the 1714 Longitude Act. In 1730, Harrison presented his first design, and worked over many years on improved designs, making several advances in time-keeping technology, finally turning to what were called sea watches. Harrison gained support from the Longitude Board in building and testing his designs. Toward the end of his life, he received recognition and a reward from Parliament. Harrison came 39th in the BBC's 2002 public poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Nick Harrison on Flickr
Mike Kirby on Geograph

John Harrison 1693-1776 inventor of the Marine Chronometer lived and died in a house on this site

Summit House, Red Lion Square, Camden, WC1, London, United Kingdom where they lived and died (1776)

John Harrison the inventor of the marine chronometer which first allowed the location of longitude at sea by mechanical means, was baptised in Wragby parish in 1693 and spent his childhood here in Foulby. He died in 1776.

Doncaster Road, Foulby, United Kingdom where they spent his childhood