From Celestial to Terrestrial Timekeeping - Clockmaking in the Bond Family
Author: Donald Saff

424 pages, 450 illustrations.

Years in the research and writing, this magnificent new publication traces the achievements of the remarkable Bond family, who excelled in practical and theoretical work in astronomy, clock design, time distribution, and celestial photography-assisting astronomers to map the sky, sailors to determine longitude at sea, and the New England Railroads to run to time.

At the 1851 Great Exhibition, the Bonds introduced the drum chronograph to the scientific community, combating the human inaccuracies inherent in observing star transits. The system was greatly admired and universally employed. The Astronomer Royal, Sir George Airy, even coined a term for it: the 'American Method'.

The book has extensive endnotes, a detailed index and bibliography, and is profusely illustrated with 450 images, mainly in colour (featuring Bond family members, astronomer colleagues, shop drawings, and clocks and chronographs with details) as well as measured drawings of selected Bond clocks. The Appendices list clocks with historical details, advertisements, correspondence, publications, sales notes, servicing records, and a genealogy.

The book is of 440 pages, casebound, 270mm x 210mm, in a buckram cloth cover and on 150gsm art silk paper, with head and tail bands and silk ribbon, and a printed dust jacket.

1Commodification of Time1
2An Extraordinary Family12
3The Family Business29
4From Chronometric Expeditions to the Transatlantic Cable53
5Time for New Englands Railroads68
7Time Service, Electricity, and the Role of Harvard College Observatory90
8The Chronograph, The Spring Governor, and the Conical Pendulum111
9Failed Experiments: Isodynamic Escapement and Multiple Pendulums153
10Bonds Variation on Denisons Escapement168
11The Trio: Bond nos. 394, 395 and 396187
Bibliograpy 254
Appendices 275
 AEntries from Bond & Son daybooks relating to time distribution276
 B"Standard of Time" excerpt from Reports and Other Papers of the New England Association of Railroad Superintendents277
 CExcerpt from Twenty-Eighth Annual Report of the Railroad Commissioners of the State of Connecticut279
 DHarvard College Observatory and Bond & Son firm general information285
 EBond family selected genealogy297
 FLetter from John Farrer to William Crouch Bond, 23 June 1815302
 GSears C. Walker, "Appendix No. 26." Annual Report of Superintendent of the Coast Survey... 1851303
 HSelected William Bond & Son clock listing305
 IVarious excerpts from the daybooks and ledgers describing the servicing of clock no. 400311
 JVarious Bond & Son chronometer advertisements313
 KOriginal chronometer instructions, dating between 1896 and 1903321
 LVarious excerpts from the daybooks and ledgers describing the servicing of the "Boston Clock" (number unknown)324
 MBond & Son shop original drawings for second and third chronographs327
 NMotion work and train count charts337
 ORichard F. Bond's patent no. 37,684 " Construction of Clock Weights" (1860)339
 PWilliam Bond & Son casting patterns341
 QPacking list for Paris Exposition from Bond & Son daybooks, 21 February 1867352
 RBond & Son original notes on Bond nos. 394, 395, and 396354
 S"Copy of Instructions sent to Director of Observatory Liverpool England with Clock No. 395", 5 November 1867355
 TDrawings and diagram of clocks nos. 137, 152, and 396, by Richard Ketchen358
 UBond & Son original notes on no. 395398
 VBond & Son original notes on no. 394399
 WHistory of known clock cases400
 XExcerpts from Bond & Son daybooks and ledgers describing servicing of no. 396403
 YDiagrams by E. B. Gent, October 1978405
 Z"A Peep into the Observatory" in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal Vol. XVI (1852), 131 - 134409
Index 413