Posts Tagged ‘telegraph’

Letter by H C Russell, 6 March 1891

Letter by H C Russell, 6 March 1891

Pages 160-161
March 6 [189]1

My Dear Sir

I have just received yours of 5th instant with vouchers and chronograph tape. I fear you have made a serious mistake in adapting the chronometer time. The chronometer is only intended for use when you do not get clock ticks: The ticks when received are necessary for the clock to make a break 4 seconds ….ng. If you follow the clock ticks and go wrong you have a good excuse but if you discard the…… to you, and follow one or several chronometers, you will probably bring about serious trouble. It is obvious…… the tape that you dropped the ball yesterday 4s fast, and a notice should have been at once inserted in the daily papers to that effect. It is not an uncommon thing for chronometers to make a jump such as you have experienced, and your only safe course is to follow the clock ticks. Suppose for instance our ship took the time Ball time on the 5th and got on shore, and that enquiry were made: and it was ascertained that you had discarded the time sent to you from the Observatory; and dropped the ball by our Chronometer, there would be such a storm about it as you never saw.

Of course it is possible that there might be a fault in the telegraph line; and cause one … ?? to be dropped out of the ticks: but it is impossible for such a thing to to occur 2 or 3 times running and with the evidence before you yesterday of 5 minutes closely marked: the proper course was to follow the instructions; and take your time from the clock ticks sent to you.
Yours truly

H. C. Russell
Govt Astronomer

Letter by H C Russell, 26 November 1890


New South Wales Electric Telegraph.

NOV 26

Received at 1 h. 24 m.
Reference No. 49
No. of Words. 11
Amount Paid 2/2

Addressed to Russell

(You are requested to give no fee or gratuity to the Messenger. Please enter time of delivery and sign Ticket Book.)

Lost your letter to Todd. Kindly send me another by return ~
E. Douglas Archibald
United Serv Hotel
Time 12 h. 25 m.

Pencil notation across telegram – ‘See page 32’. [See next entry for item at page 32.]



The 'Observations' blog is run by the staff of Sydney Observatory which is located at Observatory Hill, The Rocks, in Sydney, Australia.

This site is for discussion purposes only and does not represent the official views of Sydney Observatory. Any views expressed on this website are those of the individual post author only. Sydney Observatory accepts no liability for the content of this site.

Please direct any correspondence about the content of the blog to:
observatory [at]
and about web matters to:
web [at]