Charles Piazzi Smyth



The Time Ball and the One O'Clock Gun

At one o'clock each afternoon, a disk known as a Time Ball, mounted at the top of the Nelson Monument on Calton Hill is lowered.  This was a signal intended to be seen by the shipping at Leith and in the Firth of Forth, about three miles to the North.

Charles Piazzi Smyth was responsible for installing this time ball.

In 1861, this time ball was augmented by the One 'Clock Gun, a cannon is fired from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, to signal the time to the citizens of Edinburgh.  

For many years a signal was sent by electronic wire, stretching to Edinburgh Castle, and this automatically fired the cannon.  Charles Piazzi Smyth and Master Gunner Findlay, together, installed the One o’Clock gun.  

Today both the time ball and the One o'Clock Gun still operate, but the two are not linked.  The gun is fired daily, except Sundays.



Charles Piazzi Smyth  -  More Pages

BACKGROUND:       Photographer        Family         Pyramids        Astronomy   

                               Time ball         Cloud Photography      1876 EPS Exhibition

PYRAMIDS LECTURE:    page 1    page 2    page 3    page 4