Clock and Watch History
With over 600 years of presence in our lives, clocks can be regarded as one of the oldest devices that were created by our ancestors in the birthplace of
modern civilization – Babylon. By giving us the means to track time, build schedules and control the flow of our daily routine, clocks managed to forge the
look modern civilization that we are living today.
Historical records of first manmade clocks are dated to the 3500 BC when Ancient Egyptian builders started erecting tall obelisks near their temples and
royal residences. These tall stone structures served the purpose of casting a sun shadow on the precisely decorated spirals that were set on the ground
(often infused into walkways) where people could easy see the position of the shadow and the current time of the day. Even though initial sundial models
were created in Babylon, Egyptian scientists took that invention and advanced its use and precision over the period of over 3 thousand years, during which
they discovered winter solstice, summer solstice, separation of daytime into “hours” and much more.
Greatest period of sundial innovation happened in Ancient Greece.
The most complicated water clock was made by famous Chinese inventor Su Sung in 11th century BC.
Creation of first modern mechanical clock is attributed to German locksmith Peter Henlein (1510).
Quartz crystals are used in majority of world’s clocks, because it can produce pulse that is exactly 1 second long.
Pendulum clock designs can be finds in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci.
First alarm clock based on water was created by famous Greek philosopher and inventor Plato.
The longest continuous clockmaker in USA is company “Seth Thomas Clocks” which opened its doors in 1813.
Playwright Platus from Ancient Rome complained in one of its plays about sundials that “chop his life into pieces”.
First clocks were created to regulate religious prayers, but standardization of time keeping and clock production came with the arrival of train networks
in 18th and 19th century.
Devices that Keep track of time were always popular and needed by governments, businesses and religion, but the appearance of small and portable pocket watches and wrist watches changed everything we knew and enabled the creation of the modern society that we are part of today.(more)
If you ever wanted to know more about history of the clock, here is the perfect place to do so. Quickly learn detailed information about their history, timelines, and influence they had on our culture. (more)
Facts surrounding clocks, watches, sundials, inventors and other time measuring devices have gathered in history books over the last several millennia’s. Now, you have the opportunity to read everything about those facts here.(more)
If you ever wanted to learn more about famous clock inventors, here is the perfect place to do so. From ancient times to modern age of industry and science, clock innovators managed to change the way we live our daily lives and function in complex modern societies.(more)
Even though sundials received enormous attention by the Greek and Roman scientists, they remained sparsely used in continental Europe after the fall of
Roman Empire. There, they were mostly used by government, commerce and churches. This situation changed with the arrival of Renaissance and expansion of
science, manufacture, and commerce with distant Middle Eastern and Asian lands. After new knowledge of mechanical clocks from China and Islamic lands came
to Europe, art of mechanical clock making slowly started to spread. By late 14th century various clock designs started appearing across England, France,
Italy and Germany, finally culminating in the creation of the first so called “pocket watch” by Peter Henlein. His invention sparked the minds of countless
innovators, who eventually managed to upgrade portable clock into device that became cheap, durable and precise.
In addition to mechanical breakthroughs (such as mainspring, balance spring, automatic winding mechanisms) and rise in the production capabilities, use of
watches also significantly changed with the tides of fashion. In late 1600s male pocket watches came into popularity, and remained in constant use for
almost 250 years, before they were totally replaced by wrist watches who quickly conquered the world after the end of World War I.
Today, modern watches are made in both analogue mechanical form and in digital form, and can be found almost everywhere you look.
- Cuckoo Clock
A cuckoo clock is a clock that uses a pendulum and strikes the hours with a sound like a cuckoo bird’s call. It has a mechanism with cuckoo bird figure that moves forward with each strike through a small trap door. Usual style was with wood decorated ornaments and 3-D woodcarvings.
Chronograph is a type of watch that is a combination of a timekeeping display watch and a stopwatch. The stopwatch is designed to measure the amount of time between activation and deactivation of the device. Chronograph represents an old world craftsmanship as well as real word utility. The use of chronograph is in diving, submarine navigation, car racing, and piloting airplanes.
- Peter Henlein - The Inventor of the Watch
Even though he was not the original creator of clock mechanisms, Peter Henlein is today regarded as the father of the modern age of clocks. With his 1510 invention of small pocket watch, he became instantly famous and provided inspiration for countless other innovators who came after him.
- History of Timekeeping Devices
Timekeeping devices started appearing at the very dawn of modern human civilizations, and ever since then they received steady rate of upgrades and innovations that enabled us to create modern world that we live in today.
- History of Sundials
Sundials are incredibly important time keeping devices that enabled fist modern civilizations to organize their lives and businesses, from the 4rd millennia BC onward. Here you can witness their incredible journey through the history.
- Timeline of Clocks and Watches
Measuring of time was discovered in the dawn of our modern civilization, more than 6 thousand years ago. Here you can witness the timeline of the most important events of clock history.