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John Harrison Google doodle honors man who invented marine chronometer 283 years ago

Today’s Google doodle marks the 325th birthday of British horologist John Harrison. In 1735, the self-taught clockmaker completed his design of the first marine chronometer.

According to Google, the British government had offered a reward of £20,000 to anyone who could create a navigational instrument that determined a ship’s longitude within 30 miles. Harrison spent seven years working on the ground-breaking invention that would aid British naval forces.

“Harrison’s extraordinary invention brought him much acclaim. Thanks to him, seamen could not only gauge latitude but longitude, making their excursions far safer,” says Google on its Google Doodle blog.

The doodle leads to a search for “John Harrison” and is being displayed on Google’s US and UK home pages, along with a small collection of other international pages, including Ireland, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, Peru and Chile.

Harrison would go on to create more watches that were smaller and more accurate than his original designs: “Our colorful Doodle shows the inventor hard at work, surrounded by the tools of his trade. Today, time is on his side.”

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.