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Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator – the timepiece to beat in the early 20th Century

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October 27, 2009

Michael Bennet-Levy discusses the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator

Michael Bennet-Levy discusses the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator

The second in our series of interviews with Michael Bennet-Levy looks at the Steuart’s Patent vacuum tank regulator – a clock produced in 1923 that its makers, J & D Meek, claimed was accurate to “better than a second a year.” If true this would have made it the most accurate timekeeper in the world prior to the invention of Caesium clocks in the mid 1950s. The essence of the Steuart regulator is that the electric motor drives the clock and the pendulum governs and corrects the speed of the motor. Neither is connected. Ideal for telescopes (because it doesn't tick), the clock was used as a stand-in for Big Ben during WWII and in the opinion of the Scientific American it marked “the most important development in clock-making which has taken place in modern times.”

Check out the video to see why this clock is so special or catch up with out first interview with Michael Bennet-Levy as he discusses the world's first HDTV.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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1 Comment

It's kind of great and kind of sad - all these really amazing things - created by all the really amazing people - from the mundane to the magnificent - and then they all fade into the mists of eternity.

I am glad the people do care enough to save things like this.....

But what do you do when the warehouse is larger than the planet it was built upon?

Mr Stiffy
24th June, 2011 @ 12:23 am PDT
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