The 2013 NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium and Special Exhibition of Spectacular Clocks, Watches, and Sundials
by The Pre-Eminent Master
Thomas Tompion (1639–1713)

California Institute of Technology Pasadena, California

7-9 November 2013

Anthony Turner

Author and Historian of Scientific Instruments (France)

From Sun and Water to Weights: Public Time Devices from Antiquity
to c. 1650

  • Biography
  • Presentation
  • Further Information
  • An independent historian, Anthony Turner works on the social history of ideas during the Ancien Régime (in which field he has recently published, with Sylvie Taussig, Mémoire de Gassendi: vies et célébrations écrites avant 1700 [2008]) and on the history of scientific instruments, clocks, watches, and sun-dials. He is currently working on a bio-bibliography of French scientific instrument-makers, a catalogue of the instruments contained in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and a study of practical mathematics and natural philosophy in the provincial culture of early modern France and Britain.
    Public time is expressed by different means in different periods. Anthony Turner offers a rapid survey of the concepts, men, and machines involved in publicly indicating the divisions of day and night from late antiquity to the mid-17th century. The technical development of the time-instruments used will be discussed, as will the role of the men who looked after them and the variety of methods involved.