Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time - Chapter 12: A Tale of Two Portraits Summary & Analysis

Dava Sobel
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Chapter 12: A Tale of Two Portraits Summary and Analysis

The H-4 was three times more accurate than the Longitude Act required. But the board only offered Harrison half the reward and offered it on the condition that Harrison hand over the plans for the H-4 to the public. If he wanted the full amount, he would have to produce two copies of H-4 to prove that duplication was possible. What was worse, Nathaniel Bliss died and Nevil Maskelyne took his place. Further, in 1765 the British Legislature passed on act that placed new restrictions specifically on Harrison.

Harrison was furious, but he eventually gave in and handed over his drawings. He dismantled the H-4 piece by piece before a board that included Maskelyne. After this, the Board demanded that Harrison hand over the H-4 to be used by the Navy. It...

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