‘Public clocks’ written in red pencil at top left of page
13th November 1871
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter P1-5554?? ?? re ‘Public Clocks’ and to inform you that I have to-day learned from Mr Tornaghi the contractor the complete design which he has agreed to supply. I have to point out two most important defects affecting the Public Utility of the new clock. In the first place: no provision has been made for the control of the clocks by galvanic signal from the observatory. This is most essential if the clocks are required to keep accurate time.
As no clock will of itself keep time, it must be connected from the Observatory and the usual course is the proper ?? to have the clocks controlled by that principal Observatory clock.
In the second place the contract does not provide a clock shewing?? seconds for the public use with which no one rating chronometer or even good pocket watches can make any use of the clocks. I would therefore suggest that wire?? be carried from the Observatory to the new Post Office and the design of the clocks so altered as to admit of their being controlled by regular signals for the Observatory, and that at least one of the clocks, and by preference one not more than 8 or 10 feet from the ground should beat accurate seconds. Mr Tornaghi informs me that he can make these alterations if required to do so.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant
H C Russell
The Principal Under Secretary