300 years ago, amidst growing frustration from the naval community and pressure from the increasing importance of international trade, the British government passed the 1714 Longitude Act. It was an attempt to solve one of the most pressing problems of the age: how to determine a ship’s longitude (east-west position) at sea. With life-changing rewards on offer, the challenge captured the imaginations and talents of astronomers, skilled craftsmen, politicians, seamen and satirists.
This beautifully illustrated book is a detailed account of these stories, and how the longitude problem was solved.
Highlights of the book include:
• Foreword by the fifteenth Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees.
• Specially commissioned photographs from the National Maritime Museum’s archive.
• A new description of the collaborations and conflicts in a tale of technical creativity, scientific innovation and hard commercialism.
From the same publisher as Dava Sobel’s Longitude, Finding Longitude tells a new story of one of the great achievements of the Georgian age, and how it changed our understanding of the world.