Time is at the center of today's Google Doodle, which honors clockmaker John Harrison. Harrison is depicted working on an elaborate tabletop clock, surrounded by instruments and scrolls of paper.
Harrison was actually best known for his work on clocks used in marine environments, not households. His first invention was the H1, a chronological tool used for determining longitude at sea. After testing the H1 in 1735, Harrison worked on later iterations, the H2 and H3, that improved on the original's accuracy.
According to Google's Doodle Blog, Harrison worked towards the £20,000 reward offered by Britain's Board of Longitude for "anyone who could devise a navigational instrument that could find the longitude within 30 miles of a sea voyage." The reward was created after numerous disasters at sea, and had stringent requirements for any inventor in pursuit of it.
It wasn't until Harrison created the H4, a smaller timekeeper that was roughly the size of a pocket watch, that the reward was within reach: His son, William Harrison, successfully tested the watch's ability to keep time at sea on a voyage to Barbados. The Royal Observatory reports that Harrison was awarded £10,000 in 1765. Later efforts sought to reproduce the watch with the same level of accuracy, and Harrison was promised the final £10,000 for replicating the H4.
The clockmaker was born in 1693 in Yorkshire, England, and moved to London in the late 1720s to pursue his career aspirations. He would have been 325 today. Head to the Royal Observatory's website for a look at Harrison's H1 clock.