A Little History On Clocks


  • Author Carrie Riley
  • Published January 4, 2017
  • Word count 561

We always ask ourselves or someone who is near us, "What time is it." We use clocks in our daily lives to know when to get up to start our day, appointments, activities, when to go home from a hard day at work. Living without a means to know what time it is would be an impossible task. Lets see how clocks came into existence.

If you wondering where the word Clock comes from: The Latin word Clocca which means bell. Time telling devices started around 3500 BC with the sundial. In early days they were using the sun to tell time, was not even close to being accurate. They would use the sun's position on the horizon to speak of the time of day. In time, they came up with phrases like sunrise when the sun was on the east, midday when the sun was straight overhead and sunset when the sun was setting in the west. Anything, in between they are at a lose as to the time of day.

Water clocks came into the picture about 1400 BC. It was soon discovered that Water Clocks were better than the sundial but still did not keep good time. About 1577 the minute hand was added. Until the pendulum clock was developed in 1656 by Christiaan Huygens, and then by 1700 when a second hand was added to the pendulum clock did the clock become more accurate. The pendulum clock was accurate within a minute versus the earlier spring drivin clocks only being accurate within 15 minutes. For the times that was good but to be within a minute they are moving forward.

Due to the difficulty in keeping these clocks going, about 1840 an external battery was added. It was actually the British Parliament offered a reward for the individual whom would be able to solve the problem of the lack of accuracy in the pendulum clocks. There were many theories buy John Harrison won the prize. Many advances were being made towards mass production. Clocks soon became a common place due to prices coming down. My great-grandmother gave my great-grandfather a pocket watch for a wedding present. That pocket watch was made of solid gold with a beautiful design.

In the late 1800's, people were meeting from around the world to start inventing the time zones. Having time zones you would be able to use international clocks and other kinds of time keeping would be perfected to work with international time. Now countries could develop bus and train schedules so that people to get from one end of the country to the other. Thus, there would be no confusion on what time it was it what state or country. "Greenwich Mean Time" is still used, particularly with the military to denote the place where time starts.

The battery being inserted inside the clock was about 1906. It seems hard to believe that there was a time when there was no other way to tell time except by the position of the sun.

Before WWI wrist watches were only worn by women, men didn't start wearing wrist watches until during and after WWI. They have said that soldiers found wrist watches easier to wear than carrying a pocket watch.

We have come so far with technology and design from the pendulum clock to quartz clocks to analog clocks. We will only gain more knowledge as time passes.

Carrie Riley has always loved decorative wall art. She enjoys sharing her passion with all of you and helps run a website selling decorative wall art. Browse their selection now! BuyWallArts.com

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