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A history of one of the greatest nautical discoveries of all time
Three hundred years ago, amidst growing frustration from the naval community and pressure linked with 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, scientists, skilled craftsmen, politicians, seamen, and satirists.
Ships, Clocks, and Stars is an illustrated, lively chronicle of the heated competition to find a solution to the longitude problem. Featuring more than 150 photographs specially commissioned from Britain's National Maritime Museum, it is a tale of eighteenth-century invention and competition, commerce and conflict. It illuminates the various solutions that were proposed and tested, explores the invention that revolutionized human history, and brings this age of excitement and enlightenment to life.
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