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Encyclopedia > Ship's bells

Ship's bells are a system to indicate the hour by means of bells, used aboard a ship to regulate the sailors' duty watches. 8:17 am, August 6, 1945, Japanese time. ... The bells of St Savas A bell is a simple sound-making device. ... Italian ship-rigged vessel Amerigo Vespucci in New York Harbor, 1976 A ship is a large, sea-going watercraft, sometimes with multiple decks. ...

Ship bell USS Chancellorsville
Ship bell USS Chancellorsville

Unlike civil clock bells, the strikes of the bell do not accord to the number of the hour. Instead, there are eight bells, one for each half-hour of a four-hour watch. Bells would be struck every half-hour, and in a pattern of pairs for easier counting, with any odd bells at the end of the sequence. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2000x3008, 538 KB) Source: http://www. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2000x3008, 538 KB) Source: http://www. ... A clock (from the Latin cloca, bell) is an instrument for measuring time. ...


The classical system was:

Number of bells Middle
watch
Morning
watch
Forenoon
watch
Afternoon
watch
First
dog
watch
Last
dog
watch
First
watch
One bell 0:30 4:30 8:30 12:30 16:30 18:30 20:30
Two bells 1:00 5:00 9:00 13:00 17:00 19:00 21:00
Three bells 1:30 5:30 9:30 13:30 17:30 19:30 21:30
Four bells 2:00 6:00 10:00 14:00 18:00 22:00
Five bells 2:30 6:30 10:30 14:30 22:30
Six bells 3:00 7:00 11:00 15:00 23:00
Seven bells 3:30 7:30 11:30 15:30 23:30
Eight bells 4:00 8:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 0:00
Ship bell of ORP Iskra II - Polish Navy school tall ship
Ship bell of ORP Iskra II - Polish Navy school tall ship

Most of the crew of a ship would be divided up into between two and four groups called watches. Each watch would take its turn with the essential activities of manning the helm, navigating, trimming sails, and keeping a lookout. fot. ... fot. ... ORP is a traditional ship prefix in the Polish Navy. ... Flag of the Polish Navy Polish Navy Ensign The Polish Navy (Polska Marynarka Wojenna, PMW) is the branch of Polands armed forces responsible for naval operations. ...


The hours between 16:00 and 20:00 are so arranged because that watch (the "dog watch", which is cur-tailed) was divided into two. The odd number of watches aimed to give each man a different watch each day. It also allows the entire crew of a vessel to eat supper, the normal time being at 1700 with First Dog watchmen eating at 1800. In marine or naval terminology, the dog watch is the period of time (or work shift) between 1600 and 2000 (see ships bells). ...


Some "ship's bell" clocks use a simpler system:

Number of bells Hour (a.m. and p.m.)
One bell 12:30 4:30 8:30
Two bells 1:00 5:00 9:00
Three bells 1:30 5:30 9:30
Four bells 2:00 6:00 10:00
Five bells 2:30 6:30 10:30
Six bells 3:00 7:00 11:00
Seven bells 3:30 7:30 11:30
Eight bells 4:00 8:00 12:00

The number of bells may be used to refer to the hour so indicated.


External links

  • British Horological Institute: the broken dog watch is British usage after the Nore mutiny

 
 

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