A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Chinese watch Museum and travels to China
Post Reply
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
Posts: 4288
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Contact:

A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by AlbertaTime » May 3rd 2022, 11:19am

Over two years ago, I was approached by Anthony Turner, one of three historians compiling A General History of Horology, released April 21st/2022, and published by Oxford University Press. Mr. Turner asked me to undertake the section on Modern China.

I could not possibly have done the job myself and so, with permission from the editors, I asked one of my closest friends in the Vintage Chinese Watch world, Jon Ward, known as saskwatch at Watchuseek, to join me on the project. Jon owns MyVCMs.com.

Jon is a stellar collector (his collection is larger than mine, now) and more importantly, a much better researcher. As Jon's contribution to the project is, in my view, far superior to mine, I asked Jon to please take the lead in announcing our part of the project formally to the watch world.

He posted this, yesterday, at Watchuseek:
More than two years ago, AlbertaTime (Ron) contacted me with an exciting opportunity to co-author a section on modern Chinese clock and watchmaking in a new book. Titled A General History of Horology, it’s “a fully world-wide survey” describing “instruments used for the finding and measurement of time from Antiquity to the 21st century”. It’s admirable that the book’s editors decided to include the modern Chinese industry when many others might have snobbishly dismissed the idea out of hand.

The idea of writing about Chinese horology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in such an apparently prestigious publication was daunting at first: I’m an amateur collector, not an expert. Nevertheless, I overcame my reservations and agreed to participate. The process of writing began.

For my part, I drew heavily on the wealth of knowledge accumulated over the years from countless contributors to this wonderful forum. I encountered a challenge, however: properly referencing the information. Much came from posters who are no longer active. Websites where I have gathered information in the past are now dead links. After some searching, I eventually found some new, usable sources. I’ll let Ron talk about his excellent contributions, should he choose to.

While we know a considerable amount about the history of Chinese watchmaking, some substantial gaps needed to be filled, most notably the modern history of Chinese clockmaking. Thankfully, Ron’s previous and ongoing efforts to establish contacts in China really paid off, and he was able to acquire valuable information. I appreciate the many additional things I learned in the process. For example:

--Yantai was not the first mass producer of clocks in China
--What happened to Huacheng Watch Case Factory
--Reasons for and details about the demise of the state-owned tongji system

Working with Ron was an absolute pleasure. Of course I expected that: our interactions over the years have been nothing but friendly, and my visit to the extraordinary Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in beautiful Peace River was unforgettable. I believe we accomplished something of which we and this forum can be proud. While, because of length limitations, it isn’t as detailed as I would like, I have no doubt that it is much better than anything either of us could have written alone.

It wasn’t until recently that we received news of the book’s publication. The description at the publisher’s website looks very promising: it’s a collection of pieces by authors with specialized knowledge about different aspects of the entire world history of horology. I consider it a great honour to be included in such a distinguished project, and I look forward to receiving my copy.

Gratitude is owed to many people:

--To Anthony Turner, one of the book’s editors with whom we worked
--To collectors and lovers of Chinese timepieces, from whom I’ve learned such an incredible amount
--To the many people who have posted at F72, making it the premier English language source of information on the topic
--Most of all to Ron, who not only was the driving force behind all of this, but who asked me to be involved

Many thanks 非常感谢
It's not correct that I was "the driving force". That appellation certainly belongs to Messrs. Anthony Turner, James Nye, Jonathan Betts, the primary authors and editors of the publication.

A few of my photos also appear in the book.

I'll also note that the chapter on Chinese horological history from centuries ago to 1900 was done by Mr. David Chang, who I suggested for the project when Mr. Turner asked if I knew someone competent to do that period. David and I have become good friends over my visits to China. He is a highly regarded horological scholar in China and, among other things, one of the judges for the GPHG/Fondation du Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. I'm hugely pleased he agreed, and his work in the book is detailed and valuable.

Image

Here's the Table of Contents:
Introduction
Horology: The word
Hour Systems
1. Time measurement in Antiquity, Jérôme Bonnin
2. India and the Far East: dials, water-clocks, fire-clocks
India, S. R. Sarma
China to 1900, David Chang
Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward
Japan, Katsuhiro Sasaki
3. Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Sun-dials and water-clocks in Byzantium and Islam, Anthony Turner
Time-reckoning in the Medieval Latin world, Mario Arnaldi
Water-clocks and the earliest escapements, Sebastian Whitestone
Sand-clocks, sand-glasses, and fire-clocks, Anthony Turner
4. Public clocks: fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, Marisa Addomine
5. The domestic clock in Europe
From the fifteenth century to the mid-seventeenth century, Dietrich Matthes
From Huygens to the end of the eighteenth century., Wim van Klaveren
6. Watches in Europe 1600 - 1800, David Thompson
7. The Structures of horological manufacture and trade: sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, Anthony Turner
8. The development of the sundial fourteenth to twentieth centuries, Denis Savoie
9. Clocks as astronomical models
Planetary clocks to the end of the eighteenth century, Karsten Gaulk, Michael Korey, Samuel Gessner
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries., Denis Roegel
10. Musical and automaton clocks and watches: sound and motion in time-telling devices, Sharon Kerman
11. The quest for precision in astronomy and navigation, Jonathan Betts
12. Decimal Time, Anthony Turner
13. Industrial manufacture: clock and watch-making in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
The mixed fortunes of Britain, James Nye
American horology and its global reach, Michael Edidin
The horological endeavour in France, Joëlle Mauerhan
The challenge of the Swiss and their competitors, Johann Boilat
Developing the German industry, Sibylle Gluch
A case-study in standardisation: la pendule de Paris, Françoise Collanges
14. Precision attained: chronometers and regulators in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Jonathan Betts
15. Responding to customer demand: the decoration of clocks and watches from the Renaissance to recent times, Catherine Cardinal
16. Eighteenth-century clock exports from Britain to the East Indies, Roger Smith
17. Public clocks in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Marisa Addomine
18. Wrist-watches from their origins to the twenty-first century, David Boettcher
19. Electricity, horology, and networked time, James Nye, David Rooney
20. Women in horology, Joëlle Mauerhan
21. The keeping of clocks and watches: maintenance, repair and restoration, Jonathan Betts
22. Accessories in horology, Estelle Fallet
23. Applications of clockwork
Orreries and planetaria, Jim Bennett, Anthony Turner
Timers and telescope drives, Paolo Brenni
Metronomes, Anthony Turner
Car clocks, James Nye
Watchmans' clocks, Jonathan Betts
Roasting jacks, Anthony Turner
24. Horology verbalised; horology visualised, Christina Faraday
25. The Literature of horology, Bernhard Huber
26. Collecting and writing the history of horology, Anthony Turner
27. Glossary
28. Bibliography
That's my news. I'm very excited, words can't describe how grateful I am to Jon Ward, and I'm very proud of what we all accomplished together.

I look forward to the arrival of my copy, too :-)
Last edited by AlbertaTime on May 3rd 2022, 7:12pm, edited 2 times in total.
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
User avatar
koimaster
Founder
Posts: 46084
Joined: December 16th 2009, 11:00pm
Location: Oregon, Thanks for visiting! Now go back home!
Contact:

Re: A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by koimaster » May 3rd 2022, 12:37pm

Image

1946-2006

“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
Posts: 4288
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Contact:

Re: A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by AlbertaTime » May 3rd 2022, 1:48pm

Thanks to you all, back atcha.

I'll share that I fully understand a chance like this doesn't come to everyone.

I'd put the odds of someone with a Grade 12 and a Certificate being asked to join an Oxford University Press project like this is about the same as for the big lottery tickets Image, and it's not the kinda thing I would have ever expected in my life.

This next is also the truth. The best way to understand the contributions Jon made is to see this photo of him and me, mowing the lawn. I'm in stripes.

Image
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
Posts: 4288
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Contact:

Re: A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by AlbertaTime » May 4th 2022, 6:05am

Thanks again, friends!

I'll admit, one of the hardest things about it was keeping my flapping mouth from talking lots about if for two years Image
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
Posts: 4288
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Contact:

Re: A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by AlbertaTime » May 4th 2022, 7:45pm

The book looks massive, and I admit I was astonished when I saw the credentials of the other writers.

I really deeply care for the people I know in China, including those in the Chinese industry, and I hope our efforts lived up to their standards. They're my teachers.
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
Posts: 4288
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Contact:

Re: A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by AlbertaTime » July 11th 2022, 5:44pm

My copy arrived today!!

Image

Image

The book is heavy and huge :-) 13" x 10" x 2"
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
User avatar
AlbertaTime
Master of Time
Posts: 4288
Joined: October 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Facebook ID: 0
Location: Peace River, Alberta
Contact:

Re: A General History of Horology (incl: Modern China, Ron Good, Jon Ward)

Post by AlbertaTime » July 12th 2022, 8:48pm

I really appreciate all your kind words, each and every one of you.

I really don't have words to tell y'all how I feel about this, All I can say with certainty is that following curiousity can lead to some fascinating consequences. And the journey ain't over :-)
Curator: Alberta Museum of Chinese Horology in Peace River

"That stone buddha deserves all the birdshit it gets. I wave my skinny arms like a tall flower in the wind." Ikkyu
Post Reply

Return to “AlbertaTime Museum and Travels”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest