Monday, 18 August 2008

Merryweather clock - was it at the Royal Observatory

Neil Bennet writes:

My recent Merryweather & Sons interest is in the Electric Clock claimed to have been built by, or associated with the company, before 1901. another blog (NAWCC_Message_Board@nawcc-mb.com) suggested this could be one of a network of 'master' and 'slave' electric clocks made by Charles Shepherd of 53 Leadenhall Street for the Royal Greenwich Observatory and elsewhere, or could even be the Gate Clock fixed outside the gate of the nearby Royal Observatory in 1852, in which case it is a very important clock indeed. In today's world a company manufacturing an electric clock does not exactly raise an eyebrow, but it was changing the world then!
I have written to the Royal Observatory but I'd be grateful to anyone who can confirm a link between Merryweather and Shepherd, the Greenwich Observatory or the then Astronomer Royal, George Airy, or indeed what the Merryweather electric clock really was.
I'm making progress finding out about such obscure Merryweather products as the Dulier smoke absorption system and John Gordon's electric tram system, but 'Tanks for camel transport' still draws a blank!
Anyone interested in the firm's history can find some excellent information on a Greenwich-made steam fire engine exported to Australia, and on the company, at www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/index.php
....Industrial history is the new rock 'n' roll...(?)
Neil.

1 comment:

Mary said...

We have a note from the Senior Archivist for business archives at the London Metropolitan Archives. You may be interested to know that I am currently producing a catalogue list for 2 volumes of the above company which were gifted to us in 2006. Please find our accession description below:
Accession: B06/061
Records of MERRYWEATHER AND SONS [FIRE ENGINE AND FIRE-FIGHTING EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS]:
Day Account book giving detailed information on supplies to clients in London (1830 - 1835) with draft letters (1842 - 1844)
photograph album of fire equipment annotated with the client they were supplied to (1920 – 1921). [2 volumes]
These volumes were saved from a skip at a factory store, Aber Vale, Wales owned by Siebe Gorman, firm which had absorbed Merryweather. They are available by prior appointment until the listing is completed.
Richard Wiltshire
Senior Archivist - Business Archives