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Clocks and Scientific Instruments


Key data

Thomas Mudge, London, 1755

Mechanism: polished brass

dial: silver plated and engraved

hands: blued steel

winding time: ten days

height 15.2 cm, width 15.2 cm, depth 10.4 cm

Inv. 1960.20.


This earliest known clock with a 'constant force escapement' was made by the London clockmaker Thomas Mudge (1715-1792) between 9 June and 31 October 1755. He followed the instructions and design of the Basle mathematician and astronomer Johann Jakob Huber (1733-1798), a pupil of Johann II and Daniel Bernoulli, who was in London during the summer of 1755. Huber had acquainted the renowned astronomer James Bradley with his proposals and following his recommendation had commissioned Mudge to build the clockwork. Huber brought the chronometer back with him to Basle. It was left to the scientific 'cabinet' of the University in 1829 by his son, the mathematician Daniel Huber.

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Basel Historical Museum
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Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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