Marine Timekeeper made by William Cranch Bond, 1812-1818

Tradition says this was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea. William Cranch Bond, a 23-year-old Boston clockmaker, crafted it during the War of 1812. It went to sea only once, on a voyage to Sumatra (now Indonesia) aboard the U.S. Navy vessel Cyrus in 1818. Chronometers would not be common aboard American ships until about 1830.

Bond’s chronometer differed from spring-powered English models. Unable to buy British spring steel in wartime, Bond used a French design powered by a falling weight.

Caption:
Tradition says this was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea.
Type: Artifact
Image Date: 2013
Credit: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Origin: National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Creator: Mark Avino
NASM2013-00570
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Tradition says this was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea.
Tradition says this was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea.
Tradition says this was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea.
Tradition says this was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea.