April 3 (UPI) — Google is celebrating what would have been the 325th birthday of British horologist John Harrison with a new Doodle.
Harrison, who was born in 1693, was a self-educated clockmaker and carpenter who invented the first marine chronometer to help sailors calculate longitude at sea.
Harrison made his invention after the British government created the Board of Longitude in 1714 and offered £20,000 to anyone who could create a device that could find the longitude within 30 miles of a sea voyage.
“Harrison took on the challenge. He set to work on his chronometer in 1728 and completed it in 1735, following up this feat with three watches that were even smaller and more on the money than his first,” Google said. “Harrison’s extraordinary invention brought him much acclaim. Thanks to him, seamen could determine not only gauge latitude but longitude, making their excursions far safer.”
Google’s homepage features artwork of Harrison working at his desk with a screwdriver surrounded by clocks.