One O'Clock Gun

History of the Nelson Monument time ball

1772 1772
Captain Cook circumnavigates the world using a chronometer based on John Harrison's design.
Drawing of HMS Resolution
1818 1809
The world famous clockmaking firm Messrs. James Ritchie opens for business in Leith.
1818 1818
The observatory on the Calton Hill opens officially.
1829 1829
Portsmouth experimental time ball set up.
Drawing of Portsmouth experimental time.
1833 1833
Time ball set up at Greenwich Observatory. The East India Company decides to set up time balls along its trade routes.
History 1840
Alexander Bain invents the electric clock.
1846 1846
Edinburgh banker John Hewat sees a miniature time gun being fired during a business trip to Paris.
1852 1852
Time ball set up on the Nelson Monument, Edinburgh. Ritchies design and supply the electric clock.

History of the One o'clock Gun

History 1861
One o'clock Gun set up at Edinburgh Castle.
Colour drawings - Riggers setting up cable - Firing procedure - The Half Moon Battery
Edinburgh Castle 1882
History 1863
Time guns set up at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Shields and South Shields.
History 1872
Dundee time gun set up.
History 1896
Royal Observatory opens on Blackford Hill.
Time Circuit, One o'clock Gun
History 1913
32 pounder installed as One o'clock Gun

History 1923
18 pounder field gun replaces 32 pounder in July
History 1941
18 pounder field gun sent to Bute to be used as an anti-tank weapon. Found to be impractical the gun is soon withdrawn from service. The One o'clock Gun resumed firing four years later.
History 1952
25 pounder replaces 18 pounder field gun in May. Time gun moved to Mills Mount Battery in 1971 and the clock withdrawn from service.
History 2001
105mm Light Gun replaces 25 pounder in November.
World History

You can also view a selection of images from around the globe in our World History of Time Guns & Time Balls section.

Illustrated in part by JohnThomson and photographs supplied from around the globe.