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The History of the Clock



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For many years, dating back to the ice-age man has kept record of time. Ice-age hunters would scratch the ice and ancient races would use the sky. However, one must not get confused with clocks and time keeping, as time keeping relates to measuring time and clocks are time measuring device.

It is hard to group together different kinds of clocks as one, as clocks such as sun, water, analogue, digital and atomic (just to name a few) each have their own clock history to tell.

Stone hedge is evidence of one of the first sundial type clocks to exist and its history is legendary.

Water clocks are also evident in ancient races where around 250BC the Greeks used a water clock, which was also the very first alarm clock. The way it worked was quite fascinating, as it had a mechanical bird that triggered off a whistling sound when rising water levels reached a certain point.

I would like to first of all focus on some specific aspects of clock function, and be date specific as to when some of the great clock discoveries and inventions of all time occurred.

Minute Hand: In 1577, Jost Burgi invented the minute hand. This was quite useful to stargazers as it gave them a more accurate clock to work with.

Pendulum: The pendulum was invented in 1656 by Christian Huygens. This made clocks a lot more accurate than what they already were.

Wrist Watch: The first wrist watch was invented in 1504 by Peter Henlein. It was not until a century later that the first wrist watch to be worn on a wrist occured.

Quartz Watch: In 1927, Warren Marriso, who from earlier work in piezoelectricity, developed a clock based on regular vibrations of quality vibrations of quartz crystal in an electrical circuit. This was the first quartz clock to have ever existed.

Mechanical Alarm Clock: The first mechanical alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins in 1787.

Self-Winding: In 1923, John Harwood invented the first self-winding watch.

Technology has advanced that much today, most clocks are in a digital format and can tell time very accurately. A lot of technologies that the general public use have built-in clocks that are set to computer-based technology that originates from set world clock times.

Reference: 'Inventors.about.com' website

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