Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time Keeping Clock

             For thousand of years people lived their lives by the Sun. They got up when the Sun rose, ate when it was high in the sky, and slept soon after it set. Soon however people wanted to divide their day more accurately and that lead to the invention of clock.Want to learn about the history of ancient timekeeping, sun and water clocks, mechanical clocks and time standards?

Yeah?.................. Then jump in the article.

Shadow Clock
A moving shadow is one of the oldest ways of measuring time. The ancient Egyptian shadow clock told the time from markers in the ground. However, its practical limitations - it requires the sun to shine and does not work at all during the night.

Candle clock
The candle clocks provided an effective way to tell time indoors, at night, or on a cloudy day. A candle clock could be easily transformed into a timer by sticking a heavy nail into the candle at the mark indicating the desired interval.

Sand Clock
An hourglass (sand clock,) measures the passage of a few minutes or an hour of time. It has two connected vertical glass bulbs allowing a regulated trickle of material from the top to the bottom. Once the top bulb is empty, it can be inverted to begin timing again. The name hourglass comes from historically common hour timing. The earliest hourglass appears in the 1338.

Astronomic Clock
The merkhet, the oldest known astronomical tool, was an Egyptian development of around 600 BCE. A pair of merkhets was used to establish a north-south line (or meridian) by aligning them with the Pole Star. They could then be used to mark off nighttime hours by determining when certain other stars crossed the meridian.

Water Clock
Water clocks, also known as clepsydrae along with the sundials, are possibly the oldest time-measuring instruments, with the only exceptions being the vertical gnomon and the day-counting tally stick. The clock was driven by water power as well as an escapement- a wheel that controlled the speed of the clock’s driving force. The bowl-shaped outflow is the simplest form of a water clock and is known to have existed in Babylon and in Egypt around the 16th century BC. A famous clock was built in China in 1088 had a gong to sound the hours.

Early mechanical Clock
None of the first clocks survive from 13th century Europe, but various mentions in church records reveal some of the early history of the clock. The word horologia was used to describe all these devices which gradually suggest that it was the sound of bells which also characterized the prototype mechanical clocks that appeared during the 13th century in Europe.
Minute Hand
In 1577, Jost Burgi invented the minute hand. Burgi's invention was part of a clock made for Tycho Brahe, an astronomer who needed an accurate clock for his stargazing.
In 1656, the pendulum was invented by Christian Huygens a mathematician and astronomer, making clocks more accurate.
Grandfather Clock
The excitement over the pendulum clock had attracted the attention of designers resulting in a proliferation of clock forms notably, the long case clock (also known as the grandfather clock).

Wrist Watch
In 1504, the first portable) timepiece was invented in Nuremberg, Germany by Peter Henlein. The first reported person to actually wear a watch on the wrist was the French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). With a piece of string, he attached his pocket watch to his wrist.
Alarm Clocks
The first mechanical alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1787. However, the ringing bell alarm on his clock could ring only at 4 am. On October 24, 1876 a mechanical wind-up alarm clock that could be set for any time was patented by Seth E Thomas.
Standard Time
Sir Sanford Fleming invented standard time in 1878. In 1876, Sir Sandford Fleming missed a train he was supposed to travel on in Ireland. The train's schedule had misprinted the departure time as p.m. instead of a.m. Fleming was inspired to create a 24-hour international clock based on the world globe meridian of Greenwich (Greenwich mean time). Standard time in time zones was not established in U.S. law until the Act of March 19, 1918, sometimes called the Standard Time Act.

A lot of information on Time keeping and clock!

But ...did I told you the history behind naming a particular type of pendulum clock as Grandfather Clock?

According to the story told by Henry Clay, during the 19th century, two brothers named Jenkins worked as managers at the George Hotel in Pierce Bridge, County Durham, England. One of the brothers died in 1875 and the clock began to lose time. Repair attempts were made by the hotel staff and local clockmakers, but failed. When the other brother died at the age of 90, the clock broke down altogether, and was never repaired in remembrance of the brothers. Henry Clay decided to write a song about the story of this clock in 1876, which he called My Grandfather's Clock. The song became popular, and it is from this song that the current usage derives.


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