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H9926 Box chronometer, No. 3856, wood / metal / glass, manufactured by John Poole, London, England, 1865-1867, used at Sydney Observatory, Observatory Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Click to enlarge.

Marine chronometer made by John Poole

Made
This chronometer was made by of John Poole of 57 Fenchurch Street, London but was sold by the Sydney instrument maker Angelo Tornaghi. This was not an uncommon occurrence as many of the better known manufacturers supplied chronometers to nautical opticians like Tornaghi and F. Allerding (H9922) who adjusted and tested the chronometers before putting their own names on the instrument.

The case of this particular instrument has Tornaghi's label pasted into the lid on which states he is a 'Chronometer Maker' and his address is 312 George Street, Sydney. However the instrument number 3856 and the name of John Poole engraved on the dial suggests this was one of the last chronometers made by Poole before he committed suicide in 1867.

John Poole was one of London's best known chronometer makers and he had won prize medals at the 1855 Paris and 1862 London International Exhibitions. He also won a gold medal at the 1867 Paris International Exhibition.

Tony Mercer in his book 'Chronometer Makers of the World' suggests the last known number of a chronometer produced by John Poole was number 3970. After his suicide his company was taken over by his brother James who continued to produce chronometers engraved with his brother's name.

The early date of this instrument, coupled with the rarity of chronometers made by John Poole, increases the significance of this chronometer. Its relationship to Sydney's early instrument makers and astronomers also enhances its significance.

Geoff barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management Project, March 2008

References
Mercer, Tony, 'Chronometer Makers of the World', N.A.G. Press and Tony Mercer, 1991
Davies, Alun, 'The Rise and decline of Chronometer Manufacturing', Antiquarian Horology, Number 3, Volume 12, 1980

Summary

Object No.

H9926

Object Statement

Box chronometer, No. 3856, wood / metal / glass, manufactured by John Poole, London, England, 1865-1867, used at Sydney Observatory, Observatory Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Physical Description

Box chronometer, No. 3856, wood / metal / glass, manufactured by John Poole, London, England, 1865-1867, used at Sydney Observatory, Observatory Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A marine chronometer in a polished wooden box with a double hinged lid. The top section of the lid opens using a push button to reveal another lid with a glass panel in the top. The chronometer can be viewed through the glass panel. The chronometer sits in a metal ring that is fixed inside the box with two screws. The chronometers mechanism is encased in a circular brass surround. The dial or face of the chronometer is white with black Roman numerals from 'I' to 'XII' marked around the edge. There are two smaller dials towards the middle of the main dial. The upper dial is marked from '0' to '54' while the lower dial is marked from '10' to '60'. A circular glass cover sits over the face of the chronometer. On either side of the box is a metal handle and there is a metal key hole in the centre front of the box. The box has a decorative metal shield on the top of the lid and inlaid metal corners. A [ivory] plaque is attached to the centre front of the lid. Behind the chronometer at the back of the box is a small compartment in which a brass winder key with a cylindrical shaft is stored. A paper label has been adhered inside the upper lid of the box.

Observatory stock number 82

Marks

Text on the [ivory] plaque reads 'JOHN POOLE / 57 Fenchurch Street / London / No 3856'.
Printed text on label adhered to inside lid reads 'OPTICAL & MATHEMATICAL INSTRUMENT MAKERS / TO THE SURVEYOR GENERAL DEPARTMENT OBSERVATORY &C / A TORNAGHI & Co / Chronometer Makers / 312 GEORGE STREET / SYDNEY / Every description of Nautical & Surveying / Instruments repaired & made to order on the premises'.
Text on the face of the chronometer reads 'John Poole / MAKER TO THE ADMIRALTY / 57 Fenchurch St London 3856'.

Dimensions

Height

190 mm

Width

185 mm

Depth

180 mm

Production

Notes

The chronometer was made by John Poole of 57 Fenchurch St, London, England between 1870 and 1880.

Source

Credit Line

Sydney Observatory Collection, 1983

Acquisition Date

8 July 1983

Cite this Object

Harvard

Marine chronometer made by John Poole 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 October 2020, <https://ma.as/259047>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/259047 |title=Marine chronometer made by John Poole |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 October 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.