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Royal Observatory Greenwich Drawings and Paintings : Sketch of the Time Signal Ball, as fallen into the Front Court, in consequence of the breaking of the mast

Royal Observatory Greenwich Drawings and Paintings

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Pencil sketch on paper. While the artist is not specified, this appears to be the work of Hubert Airy (1838-1903), son of George and Richarda Airy. A finished watercolour [<a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''><img title="Link to RMG" alt='RMG icon' class='nmm_icon' src='/images/general/nmm_small.png'/></a>] by Hubert Airy of the same subject matter is held in the collections of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. This artwork appears to be the preparatory sketch for that painting. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The time ball, dropped at 1pm every day, was mounted in 1833 as a time signal for mariners within sight on the Thames. On 6 December 1855, it fell dramatically from the roof of Flamsteed House into the courtyard below, where it was drawn on spot by Hubert Airy. The ball and attached weather vane were damaged and required repair before being re-erected.</p>

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