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Słuchaj i ucz się – S-12. Harrison - the Master Clockmaker

Wersja do druku

Voice 1

master - mistrz; mistrzowski

clockmaker - zegarmistrz

Hello. I'm Marina Santee.


Voice 2


And I'm Elizabeth Lickiss. Welcome to Spotlight. This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.


Voice 1


The year was 1704. The English ships were in heavy seas. The weather was bad, and they were lost. The chief of the ships was Admiral Shovell. His officers made an estimate of the ships' position. Shovell gave the order to sail on. The wind and the waves shook the ships, driving them on into the cloudy night. Then suddenly someone shouted 'Land!' This filled the sailors with fear. There should be no land here. They were in the wrong place. Four of the ships crashed into the land. Over sixteen hundred men died that night. Only twenty-six survived.

heavy sea - wzburzone morze

chief - dowódca

estimate - przybliżone obliczenie

order - rozkaz

sail on - kontynuować żeglowanie

fill - napełnić

crash - rozbić się

survive - przeżyć

Voice 2


At that time, England depended on sea power. Ships brought the people of England sugar, spices, and tea. The people who sailed the ships needed good maps.

depend on - polegać na; być zależnym od

spices - przyprawy

Voice 1


But they needed something more. They needed to avoid accidents like the loss of Admiral Shovell's ships. To do this they needed to know exactly where they were. They could estimate their north-south position easily. They could measure it from the sun and the stars. But they could not measure their east-west position by that method alone. They needed to know the exact time in two places. They could use the position of the sun and the stars to tell the time where they were. But the sailors also needed to know the time at the place where the ship had started its voyage. If they knew that, they could work out their east-west position on the earth's surface. In other words they could work out the ship's 'longitude'.

avoid - unikać

voyage - podróż, rejs

surface - powierzchnia

in other words - innymi słowy

work out - obliczyć

longitude - długość geograficzna

Voice 2


King Charles the Second of England knew how important it was to solve this problem. If the problem was not solved, many ships would be lost, and many people drowned. In 1675 he ordered the building of the Royal Observatory. The Observatory was a place where people could study the stars and work on the problem of establishing longitude at sea. The Observatory was in Greenwich, a place near London where the King had a palace. The first chief of the Observatory was John Flamsteed. Flamsteed worked hard, but he could not solve the longitude problem. In 1714 the British Government offered a prize of twenty-thousand pounds. The prize would go to the first person who could find a method of measuring longitude at sea. Some people thought that this would never be possible.

King Charles - książę Karol

solve - rozwiązać

drown - utonąć, utopić się

establish - ustalać

prize - nagroda

measure - mierzyć

possible - możliwy

Voice 1


Our story moves on to one man - John Harrison. He was born in Yorkshire, England in 1693. He was twenty-one years old when the government offered the prize. Like his father, he was a carpenter. He made things of wood. He did not have much education, but John was very good at making clocks. First, he made clocks from wood. He designed them so that they did not need any oil to keep working. And they worked even when the temperature changed. Harrison became expert at making clocks. His clocks were very accurate. Each month they lost or gained no more than one second. They were more accurate than many of the best clocks in London.

move on to - przechodzić do

government - rząd

carpenter - stolarz

wood - drewno

clock - zegar

oil - olej

accurate - dokładny

lose (lost, lost) - tu: spóźniać (o zegarze)

gain - tu: spieszyć (o zegarze)

Voice 2


Harrison wanted to win the longitude prize of twenty thousand pounds. Remember, the key to finding a ship's east-west position was knowing the exact time. Harrison knew that he could make a clock that would keep time during a sea voyage. Such a clock is called a chronometer. It took him five years to make his first chronometer. He took it on a ship to Lisbon, Portugal, and it performed well. But not well enough for Harrison. He made another, and then another. This third chronometer was much larger, and included ideas that exist on clocks even today. It took Harrison nineteen years to make. But, there was a group of experts who would decide who should get the prize. The group was called the Board of Longitude. And the Board was not satisfied with Harrison's clock. Harrison decided that he must try again.

win - wygrać

key - klucz

exact - dokładny

chronometer - chonometr

perform - działać, funkcjonować

include - zawierać

exist - istnieć

Voice 1


Harrison's fourth chronometer was very different from the other three. It was much smaller. It looked like a large watch. Harrison's son William took it with him on two voyages to the West Indies. On both of these long sea trips the watch kept time very well - well enough for Harrison to win the prize. But the Board of Longitude was still not happy. This watch was made by a carpenter, he had no education and he knew nothing about the stars. The board wanted to make sure that Harrison had really made the watch. They asked him to tell them how he had made it.

watch - zegarek

Voice 2


At first Harrison was not willing to give away his secret. But in 1765 six experts visited him and examined the watch in detail. They asked him to give them all the watches and clocks he had made. The Board gave Harrison half of the prize money. They also wanted two more watches. Harrison made one, and another watchmaker made the other.

willing - chętny

give away - zdradzić

examine - zbadać

in detail - szczegółowo

Voice 1


Harrison was now almost eighty years old. The Board still refused to pay him the rest of the prize money. People who wanted to find other methods of measuring longitude influenced it. Harrison decided to appeal to the King, George the third. The King soon agreed that John and William Harrison had been unfairly treated.

refuse - odmawiać

influence - wpływać

appeal - odwołać się; odwołanie, apelacja

unfairly - nieuczciwie

treat - traktować

The King tested the watch himself and found it to be very good. But the Board of Longitude still refused to pay the money. So John and William Harrison appealed to Parliament, in April 1773. And the appeal was successful. John Harrison received almost all of his money. But it was Parliament, not the Board, who gave it to him.

receive - otrzymać

Voice 2


Two years later Captain James Cook returned from a three-year voyage that had taken him to the Equator and to Antarctica. He had with him one of the two watches made for the Board. It had kept almost perfect time.

the Equator - równik

John Harrison died on the 23rd of March 1776. He had the satisfaction of knowing that Captain Cook was pleased with the watch. He had solved the longitude problem, at last.


Voice 1


The writer of today's programme was Shelagh Godwin and Mike Procter. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom. Computer users can hear our programmes, read our scripts and see our wordlist on our website at This programme is called 'Harrison -the Master Clockmaker'.


Voice 2


We love to hear comments and questions from our listeners. You can reach us by e-mail. Our address is radio @ English . net. Thank you for joining us in today's Spotlight programme. Goodbye.


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