Sixteen (16) chronometers were received at the Observatory, in December, 1883, for competitive trial, of which, at least, four of the best were to be purchased for the United States Navy. They were submitted by the four principal American makers, viz.: Messrs. T. S. & J. D. Negus, John Bliss & Co., and D. Eggert's Sons, of New York, and Wm. Bond & Son, of Boston, each submitting four chronometers of their own make.
The comparisons began December 31st, 1883, and continued daily until June 30th, 1884.
They were rated at different temperatures from 45° F. to 90° F. and in different positions as a test for polarity, according to the regular Observatory trial. Their relative merits were determined by a modification of the formulae given in the same paper.
Owing to the short notice given to the makers to prepare their instruments for this trial, many of them were too new, and showed the usual acceleration of rate, common to new chronometers, for which due allowance had to be made.