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  • #16
    Originally posted by Enigma View Post
    Were the public clocks illuminated at night? I ask because if they were not, then people would be forced to estimate the time from when the last chime sounded. This is in addition to any inherent inaccuracy of the clock.
    Sounds logical enough, Enigma. Seeing that so many estimated times throughout the case are "about" the quarter of an hour (a quarter to x o'clock, x o'clock, a quarter past x o'clock, half past x o'clock), I'm thinking that people in general were thinking in 'quarters of an hour' (rather than us modern people are thinking in, perhaps, 5 minutes).
    "You can rob me, you can starve me and you can beat me and you can kill me. Just don't bore me."
    Clint Eastwood as Gunny in "Heartbreak Ridge"

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    • #17
      Originally posted by FrankO View Post
      Sounds logical enough, Enigma. Seeing that so many estimated times throughout the case are "about" the quarter of an hour (a quarter to x o'clock, x o'clock, a quarter past x o'clock, half past x o'clock), I'm thinking that people in general were thinking in 'quarters of an hour' (rather than us modern people are thinking in, perhaps, 5 minutes).
      Thanks Frank. I don't want to derail this thread, but the following thoughts occur to me. One suspects that in the gas lit era it was next to impossible to illuminate a clock tower. Therefore after dark people had to rely on the clock chimes to tell the time. Then there is the issue of whether the clock chimed at the quarter or half hour. In the latter case, witnesses estimates of time would become even more approximate.
      Why a four-year-old child could understand this report! Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by FrankO View Post
        Sounds logical enough, Enigma. Seeing that so many estimated times throughout the case are "about" the quarter of an hour (a quarter to x o'clock, x o'clock, a quarter past x o'clock, half past x o'clock), I'm thinking that people in general were thinking in 'quarters of an hour' (rather than us modern people are thinking in, perhaps, 5 minutes).
        That is exactly how we should approach the stated times, as by far most are given at night. Which is why the chimes are intended to be distinguishable. A precision conscious society as we are today can have difficulty understanding another that functioned in a quarter-hour window.
        It's all because of the trains....

        Before the trains connected towns & cities, each one functioned on their own time, the 19th century see's this period drawing to a close as watches became more common. So we're down to 15 minutes in the Victorian age.
        Who needed appointments?, doctors visited their patients, hospitals were 'walk-in', many industries worked around the clock, there was no such thing as being late for work, ....before the trains.
        Regards, Jon S.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

          That is exactly how we should approach the stated times, as by far most are given at night. Which is why the chimes are intended to be distinguishable. A precision conscious society as we are today can have difficulty understanding another that functioned in a quarter-hour window.
          It's all because of the trains....

          Before the trains connected towns & cities, each one functioned on their own time, the 19th century see's this period drawing to a close as watches became more common. So we're down to 15 minutes in the Victorian age.
          Who needed appointments?, doctors visited their patients, hospitals were 'walk-in', many industries worked around the clock, there was no such thing as being late for work, ....before the trains.
          Absolutely Wick. I read a couple of short articles last night on the significance of the railways on timekeeping.
          Regards

          Sir Herlock Sholmes.

          “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Enigma View Post

            Thanks Frank. I don't want to derail this thread, but the following thoughts occur to me. One suspects that in the gas lit era it was next to impossible to illuminate a clock tower. Therefore after dark people had to rely on the clock chimes to tell the time. Then there is the issue of whether the clock chimed at the quarter or half hour. In the latter case, witnesses estimates of time would become even more approximate.
            There was an article on-line, I came across it last year, I thought I'd saved it, but damn if I can't find it.
            It explained how timepieces in London were set from Greenwich, by a man running to each principle clock in the City (Central London, I assume) to set the time, so accuracy between each clock was dependent on how fast this person did their job.
            The established time, being viewed as essential, only came into effect in 1880. so, it was slow to spread across the country, many born & raised before then still had a casual view of how accurate time had to be.
            Rather than what we read here in these cases being viewed as exceptional, it was actually the rule - very common place.
            Regards, Jon S.

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            • #21
              Wick, I knew that Greenwich signalled noon each day by lowering the ball on the observatory roof so ships in port could set their chronometers. I was unaware of the little man running from clock to clock to adjust them. Presumably this was the signal he used. We then have to factor in how frequently the public clocks were regulated when estimating their accuracy
              Why a four-year-old child could understand this report! Run out and find me a four-year-old child, I can't make head or tail of it.

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              • #22
                There were some interesting articles on this thread:

                Although I am fairly new to these pages, I have been a student of all matters relating to JtR for many years. One difficulty I used to have, which many other people experience, is attempting to put important events into a usable time frame, for example the many confusing and conflicting incidents that allegedly took place
                Thems the Vagaries.....

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Enigma View Post

                  Thanks Frank. I don't want to derail this thread, but the following thoughts occur to me. One suspects that in the gas lit era it was next to impossible to illuminate a clock tower. Therefore after dark people had to rely on the clock chimes to tell the time. Then there is the issue of whether the clock chimed at the quarter or half hour. In the latter case, witnesses estimates of time would become even more approximate.
                  Hi Enigma,

                  It's not derailing, it's the key point. Most stated times are recollections after the fact, roughly worked back to a starting point at which the observer had no need to note the time anyway, so like you say, the estimates become even more approximate.
                  Thems the Vagaries.....

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
                    There were some interesting articles on this thread:

                    https://forum.casebook.org/forum/rip...estion-of-time
                    Very interesting to see the man (Michael) who is most rigidly against taking into account potential inaccuracies in times and poor synchronicity saying this:

                    “Any witness who insists that he was correct in his timing, with the obvious unknown variations in virtually every timepiece in London at the time​“
                    Regards

                    Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                    “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Enigma View Post
                      Wick, I knew that Greenwich signalled noon each day by lowering the ball on the observatory roof so ships in port could set their chronometers.
                      Hi Enigma,

                      The observatory near Sydney harbour has the same lowering of the ball at noon, as I suspect do most ports in the world. As you are probably aware, ships determine their longitude from the difference between their chronometer time and GMT. The latitudes are determined by observing the transit of the sun in the zenith. The chronometer at an observatory would be set by telegraph rather than a running man.

                      Cheers, George
                      Last edited by GBinOz; 09-14-2023, 01:44 PM.
                      They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
                      Out of a misty dream
                      Our path emerges for a while, then closes
                      Within a dream.
                      Ernest Dowson - Vitae Summa Brevis​

                      ​Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

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                      • #26
                        I read the premise but didnt vote, I believe Ive put my own perspectives on this timing issue on other threads today. I will only add that the timings given constitute the submitted evidence such as it is. The "allowances for error" can only be considered as subjectively applied, they cannot be considered as corrections to the times given by the witnesses. No-one knows who was accurate, what the source was for each witness time given compared with sources of other times given, and what kind of "allowances" are warranted or measurable.

                        What we do have is an ability to assess each source for the probability of them providing neutral and wholly objective times as they were able to provide. Connectivity to victim, or the location, or other witnesses is one method of assessing this.
                        Michael Richards

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                          Very interesting to see the man (Michael) who is most rigidly against taking into account potential inaccuracies in times and poor synchronicity saying this:

                          “Any witness who insists that he was correct in his timing, with the obvious unknown variations in virtually every timepiece in London at the time​“
                          As the rest of that post indicates, what is of primary importance here is that all the timings provided are considered the evidence, and not subject to some subjective "allowances" by anyone. What is allowed is to question the source for potential biases or possible reasons for the discrepancies. Its the actual reason for all these arguments. I never expected any synchonized timings, though Ive often being accused of it. I do however see potential biases and "reasons" for why some timings vary by such large margins. Others, like you, do not.
                          Michael Richards

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                          • #28
                            There is one thing that hasnt changed in all this time, the individuals ability to roughly gauge how much time has transpired since they referred to a time source. I know from my own experience, that if I see a clock that states 12:00pm I will be fairly accurate when guessing when it will then read 12:10, or 12:20. People can roughly gauge the time elapsed, if relatively brief, between a previously established time and the current one.
                            Michael Richards

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post

                              As the rest of that post indicates, what is of primary importance here is that all the timings provided are considered the evidence, and not subject to some subjective "allowances" by anyone. What is allowed is to question the source for potential biases or possible reasons for the discrepancies. Its the actual reason for all these arguments. I never expected any synchonized timings, though Ive often being accused of it. I do however see potential biases and "reasons" for why some timings vary by such large margins. Others, like you, do not.
                              Nonsense. You spend all of your time on here supporting exact times.
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                              “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Michael W Richards View Post
                                There is one thing that hasnt changed in all this time, the individuals ability to roughly gauge how much time has transpired since they referred to a time source. I know from my own experience, that if I see a clock that states 12:00pm I will be fairly accurate when guessing when it will then read 12:10, or 12:20. People can roughly gauge the time elapsed, if relatively brief, between a previously established time and the current one.
                                More nonsense. Ask anyone on here how many times they estimated the time based on when they last saw a clock and have been surprised to see how far out they are. Your blatantly trying to tailor reality to suit your theory. You’ll try absolutely anything.
                                Regards

                                Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                                “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

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