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UK Architectural Antiques. Suppliers of cast iron radiators and interiors



Pilkington Gibbs Heliochronometer

Universal Equinoctial Mean Time Heliochronometer or Helio chronometer.

In 1906 Gibbs applied for a patent for a type of sundial he had de-signed—the Universal Equinoctial Mean Time Heliochronometer or Gibbs Heliochronometer for short—which was able to accurately determine GMT to within a minute at any time of the year and at any latitude.

Antique Original Pilkington Gibbs Sundial fully refurbished and ready for use

The invention filled a gap in the market created by the standardization of time in the 1880s which was only truly alleviated with the broadcast of the BBC pips in the 1920s. Unable to fund the business venture himself he found a willing partner in his then employer, William Renard Pilkington, and together they formed Messrs. Pilkington & Gibbs Ltd. in 1906. The price ranged from £7 10s to £15 15s and promotional material indicates they were supplied to a number of important patrons around the world including HM The King.

They were marketed simultaneously as accurate time-keepers and garden ornaments and were supplied to owners of large, country estates. As an ornament, they fitted into the early twentieth century trends in landscape architecture and were used in gar-den designs by Mawson and Lutyens.

Original Antique Reclaimed Fully Refurbished Pilkington Gibbs Heliochronometer On A Stone Pedestal available from our shop In Staffordshire

The lucrative possibilities of the Heliochronometer did not escape the attention of Gibbs? partner who applied for a patent for his own „Sol Horometer in 1911 and another two years later. Gibbs obtained a copy of the patents and noted on both: “First [and second] attempt to find a way to escape paying royalties to GJG”. Production of sundials by the company ceased with the out-break of the First World War in 1914 with no record of the partnership continuing in any capacity after 1923. Roughly 1,000 heliochronometers were made before 1914 but many did not survive the recycling of metal in WW2.
Original Early Antique Pilkington Gibbs Heliochronometer Sundials refurbished in our workshops
Click Here To View The Sundials That We Currently Have For Sale

Original Antique Pilkington Gibbs Sundials are in stock ready for delivery from our warehouse