Blog Editor’s Note:  Today Google celebrated the 325th birthday of John Harrison, inventor of the first practical chronometer with a doodle. Harrison’s was the first of many continuing steps to provide trusted time in support of navigation and thousands of synchronized systems from railroad schedules to high volume financial trading. 

Harrison’s chronometer immediately began saving the lives of British sailors. His efforts have cascaded down the generations to be the foundation of all modern navigation systems and wireless networks.

Here is the Google Doodle blog for today about John Harrison.

What the blog doesn’t tell you is that Google relies on precise time, especially wireless precise time, for synchronizing its wired and wireless networks, and for time stamping the billions of daily entries in its distributed worldwide data storage. 

Harrison’s is a gripping story and we highly recommend Dava Sobel’s book “Longitude – The story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time.” It’s slim volume about Harrison’s life and struggles. Well worth the read.