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World Time Balls

Portsmouth Time Ball


Portsmouth Time Ball

The Portsmouth Time Ball

The time ball was successfully tested by the Royal Navy at Portsmouth in 1829. Although Captain Wauchope suggested that the system be set up on the Calton Hill, Edinburgh. it took a quarter of a century before his invention was installed on the Nelson Monument.

Greenwich Time Ball


Greenwich Time Ball

The Time Ball at Greenwich

A time ball was set up on the roof of Flamsteed House, Greenwich in 1833. The ball drops daily at one o'clock. The lifting machinery was installed by Maudslay, Son & Field.

St Helena Island Time Ball


St Helena Time Ball

The Time Ball at St Helena Island

A time ball was set up at St. Helena Observatory in 1834. The white canvas ball dropped at noon while a time gun positioned on the High Knoll fired the signal. The procedure was repeated at one to coincide with Greenwich mean time. Illustration by John Thomson.

Sydney Time Ball


Sydney Time Ball

The Time Ball in Sydney, Australia

When the time ball was set up in 1858, it dropped at noon. Shortly after, it was decided to drop the ball at one. A complex system of clocks including a Short Free Pendulum Clock and a Charles Frodsham Mean Time Clock sent the electric impulse to the ball. On spotting the time ball falling, the gunner fired the time gun from Fort Denison. Photo credit and Copyright: Sydney Observatory

Brighton & Hove Time Ball


Brighton & Time Ball

The Brighton & Hove Time Ball

The Jubilee Clock Tower Brighton. Built in 1888 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the distinctive structure's innovative structural features, quickly turned the building into a landmark. Image credit: The Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove

Cornhill Time Ball


Cornhill Time Ball

The Cornhill Time Ball

A time ball was set up at J. French's premises, Cornhill, London in 1860. The time ball received the time from Greenwich Observatory at one o'clock.

Fremantle Time Ball


Fremantle Time Ball

The Fremantle Time Ball

Fremantle time ball - Set up on the headland in 1900, the time ball was moved to the port area five years later. Discontinued in 1937, the time service was restored in 1998. Photograph courtesy of the Fremantle Heritage Guides.

"Original" US Navy Time Ball


Old US Navy Time Ball

The "Original" US Navy Time Ball : Image Courtesy US Navy

The U.S. Navy Observatory was built at Foggy Bottom, Washington D.C. in 1844. A time ball was set up on the dome two years later.

"Original" US Navy Time Ball - Moved


Old US Navy Time Ball

The "Original" US Navy Time Ball - Moved : Image Courtesy US Navy

In 1885 the Time Ball was moved to the State, War, & Navy Department building to the west of the White House, Washington D.C. where it remained in operation until 1936.

"New" US Navy Time Ball


US Navy Time Ball

The "New" US Navy Time Ball

The time ball was dropped on New Year’s Eve 2000 to mark the arrival of the millennium. Time balls around the world including the Nelson Monument time ball were also dropped to commemorate the international event. Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Electric Telegraph Office Time Ball


ETO Time Ball

The Electric Telegraph Office Time Ball

Set up on the roof of The Electric Telegraph Company, Charing Cross, London in 1852. Dropping at one o’clock, the time ball received the time from the Greenwich Observatory. Illustration 'Illustrated London News'.

Newcastle, Australia Time Ball


Newcastle, Australia Time Ball

The Newcastle, Australia Time Ball

A heritage listed building, the Newcastle Customs House was designed in 1877. A wing was added in 1899. The time ball stands on a 32 m high clock tower situated at the western end of the building. One of three examples in Australia which are relatively intact, the customs house currently operates as a restaurant and function centre. image credit Fort Scratchley Hisorical Association.