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THE HEART OF LONDON AT NIGHT. British Houses of Parliament, Clock Tower, and Bridge.-Towers of Westminster Abbey loom up in background.
TIME BALL ON BUILDING OF THE STATE, NAVY, AND WAR DEPARTMENTS,
WASHINGTON, D. C.
when his predecessor came to an un- land of the clock. There is great noise timely end. Big Ben's hammer now in the workroom when the chimes are weighs 4 cwt. ; it used to weigh twice as going to ring, and worse when Big Ben much, but was reduced when it was dis- is going to strike—for wheels with fancovered that Big Ben was cracked. Only like arms whirl around to give notice of twice in his career, has Big Ben stopped what is coming, so that men engaged in to rest; and one of those times, it was winding the clock may stop till the striknot his fault. In 1880 there was a stop- ing is done. page of three weeks for cleaning, and the other occasion was when a heavy fall of
Standard Time in America snow clogged and stopped the minute Chicago and all points in the United
States east of the Rocky Mountains, take the time every day from the U. S. Naval Observatory at Washington. The territory west of the Rockies gets the time from the Observatory at lare Island Navy Yard, near San Francisco. The signals are sent out when it is noon at Washington, and, three hours later, when it is noon
at San Francisco. ChiAUTOMATIC SIGNAL CLOCKS AT U. S. Naval OBSERVATORY.
cago gets its time These make the time-ball on the building of the State, Navy, and War Departments when it is noon at fall at 12 o'clock, noon; and send time signals to all of the United States east of the Rockies, over lines of Western Union Telegraph Company.
Washington. The sig
nal begins at exactly five minutes before the hour. Then the sounders in the telegraph offices connected with Washington begin to tick off the seconds, with breaks of five seconds at the end of each minute, and a break of ten seconds before the end of the fifth and final minute; and then comes the noon signal.
The time thus sent out is very accurate. The transmitting clock that gives the signals is corrected shortly before noon every day from the mean of three standard clocks which are rated with star sights, with a meridian transit instrument. The noon signal rarely errs more than two-tenths of a second, although, according to the government bulletin, an additional error of a tenth of a second may be caused by the relays in use on long telegraph lines. Electric transmission over a continuous wire is practically instantaneous. The time signal has been sent from Washington to the Lick Observatory, California, in 5
CLOCK OF THE “New York HERALD." The men swing their big hammers and strike the hour.
100 of a second ; to the National Obseryatory in the City of Mexico in 1-19 second; to Greenwich, England, in 1.33 seconds; to Sydney, Australia, in 3.5 seconds; and to Wellington, New Zealand, in 4 seconds.
Before 1883, or until about twenty-two years ago, the railroads, throughout large sections of their territory, used the local time of one of the principal cities through which they passed; but great confusion followed, and as many as five different kinds of time were to be had in a single town. In 1882 the Prime Meridian Conference met in Washington, and recommended the use of Greenwich, England, civil time, as an international standard ; and this standard is generally used throughout the world to-day. The United States and Canada selected a series of standard meridians differing in longitude from Greenwich, by multiples of fifteen degrees, or one hour each. The new standard took effect all over this continent November 18, 1883.
TIME BALL ON TOP OF WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH
BUILDING, NEW YORK CITY.
“New York Herald" Clock
ism which moves these big hammers at The two heroic bronze figures on the precisely the proper moment, is delicate, roof of the Herald Building, New York wonderful, and complicated. A variation City, strike the hours of 12, 1, 4, and 6 of so much as I-io of a second, in the o'clock every day and night, on the great striking of either, would create a disbell below the statue of Minerva. The cord; but the adjustment is so perfect picturesque group that tops the facade of that no error can occur, and nothing the Herald Building, and adds so much short of an earthquake could disarrange to the appearance of Herald Square, is it. original; and the striking of the hours It is noon, and every day a deep,
sonorous, musical voice booms out the hour. With grace, with the knowl
edge of strength, as SUB
though a thing of life, that great right-hand figure swings its ponderous hammer, yet the iron mallet scarcely seems to touch the edge of the bell. With the same ease, and with the
same athletic consciousWM, BARTAMAN
ness, the left-hand artisan swings his heavy hammer. He strikes the bell higher up, and a contrasting tenor rings out into the air. A dozen times the bass note peals, and a dozen times echoes the tenor note; and back and forth twelve times, alternately, swing those great pieces of metal. With an amazing smoothness, with a perfection of time that is astonishing and marvelous, the hours
are rolled out, while an adCLOCK IN SIDEWALK AT CORNER OF BroadwAY AND
miring crowd gazes upFully 150,000 persons pass over it daily without noticing it.
ward in wonderment. by electricity is unique in this country.
A Sidewalk Timepiece After dark the group is lighted by elec- Perhaps the most novel device in timetricity a few minutes before the striking recording instruments, is the sidewalk of the hours, and until the last stroke has clock displayed in front of the store of been sounded. The blows are double- William Barthman, at the corner of by that being meant that each of the fig- Broadway and Maiden Lane, New York. ures strikes four times at 4 o'clock, six The works are under the pavement, and, times at 6 o'clock, twelve times at 12 instead of the time being indicated by a o'clock, and so on.
dial and hands, as in the ordinary clock, In the picture, the two bronze artisans the hour and minute numerals revolve as are in the act of striking ; the man to the in a panorama before an opening in the east swings a 20-pound hammer a dis- sidewalk, which is protected by a heavy tance of two feet, while his neighbor, the glass cover, only the hour and minute beone to the West, makes a four-foot sweeping visible. As nothing appears but the with a 40-pound hammer. The mechan- plain Arabic figures—as 9-42, 4-27, and