By Jonathan Betts
This is often the tale of Rupert T. Gould (1890-1948), the polymath and horologist. A outstanding guy, Lt Cmdr Gould made vital contributions in a rare variety of topic components all through his particularly brief and dramatically afflicted lifestyles. From old clocks to medical mysteries, from typewriters to the 1st systematic research of the Loch Ness Monster, Gould studied and released on all of them. With the name The Stargazer, Gould was once an early broadcaster on
the BBC's kid's Hour while, together with his encyclopaedic wisdom, he turned referred to as the guy Who Knew every thing. now not unusually, he was once additionally a part of that elite workforce on BBC radio who shaped The Brains belief, giving on-the-spot solutions to all demeanour of huge ranging and hard questions. With his
wide studying and photographic reminiscence, Gould awed a countrywide viewers, turning into one of many era's radio celebrities.
During the Twenties Gould restored the advanced and hugely major marine timekeepers built through John Harrison (1693-1776), and wrote the unsurpassed vintage, The Marine Chronometer, its historical past and improvement. this day he's almost unknown, his horological contributions scarcely pointed out in Dava Sobel's bestseller Longitude. the television model of Longitude, during which Jeremy Irons performed Rupert Gould, did at the least introduce Gould's identify to a much wider public.
Gould suffered poor bouts of melancholy, leading to a few frightened breakdowns. those, coupled together with his obsessive and pedantic nature, resulted in a scandalously-reported separation from his spouse and price him his kin, his domestic, his task, and his closest friends.
In this first-ever biography of Rupert Gould, Jonathan Betts, the Royal Observatory Greenwich's Senior Horologist, has given us a compelling account of a skilled yet wrong person. utilizing hitherto unknown own journals, the family's wide number of photos, and the polymath's surviving documents and notes, Betts tells the tale of the way Gould's formative years, his naval occupation, and his big name prestige got here jointly as this gifted Englishman restored a part of Britain's - and the
world's - most crucial technical background: John Harrison's marine timekeepers.
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Extra info for Time Restored: The Harrison Timekeepers and R.T. Gould, the Man Who Knew (Almost) Everything
On 6 February he was re-surveyed at Haslar, presumably still unemployable, as he was surveyed again on 27 February 1909, this time being ‘Found fit’. Depression It is uncertain what this illness was. It is possible it was connected with his recovery from the Mumps in the previous year. However, as will become evident later in the story, there was a darker side to Rupert’s psyche that may be connected with this period of sickness. At regular intervals throughout his life Rupert suffered from bouts of nervous depression and, in spite of his triumphant academic successes at this period, the illness may have been the beginnings of these psychological problems.
One imagines Rupert and the other young ‘hopefuls’ attempting to get places as cadets, were excited at the prospect of serving on these wonders of naval technology. N2O Navy Training 1906 –1913 Once Rupert was 15, William and Dodo began the enrolment for his formal Navy schooling. The ﬁrst step involved obtaining a nomination from the Admiralty, by writing to the Assistant Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty. In deciding on nominations, a boy’s academic performance at school was considered and his general ﬁtness and sporting prowess would have been a signiﬁcant factor too.
These courses were divided into two parts. Part I involved studies at Portsmouth, followed by Part II which took place at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich. Navy Training 1906 –1913 41 These courses were not to be taken for granted however. It was necessary to take examinations to qualify before one could even start Part I. These entrance tests involved two groups of exams. The Group A examinations included separate tests covering the topics of Navigation and Nautical Astronomy; Practical Navigation, Trigonometry and Observations.