Evolution of Clocks

Evolution of Clocks: The History of the Clock

 (Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/clocks-time-timepiece-old-clocks-1208303/) 


In just a lift of our phone or one push of a button, we can instantly check the time. But have you ever wondered what the evolution of clocks has been like?

In the olden days, it was much more difficult for people to know the hour and the minutes.

The ancients used the sun as their natural clock, watching the patterns of the sun and the direction where it set.

The evolution of clocks dates back to 2000 BC, when the earliest form of time-telling devices was traced back to.

Ancient civilizations created their own devices with the use of the resources they had.

Let’s take a look at some of the first time-telling devices that prompted the evolution of clocks.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Garden_sundial_MN_2007.JPG)

The Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, the Persians, and the Greeks first used water clocks.

On the other hand, candle clocks were most popular in the United Kingdom and the East Asian countries, Japan and China.

Sundials were the time-telling devices of those in Tibet, Persia, Mesopotamia, India, and some countries in Europe.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ambrogio_Lorenzetti_002-detail-Temperance.jpg)

There were ancient records that show the use of the sandglass or hourglass during the same time as the appearance of the earlier devices.

Although these devices were unreliable, people then only depended on these inventions to keep track of time. 

As time went on, inventors made clock mechanisms to simplify the observance of time. 

The clocks we have today help us by indicating the exact time at the moment and also show the time of other places around the globe.

The Earliest of the Mechanical Clocks

(Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/SuSongClock1.JPG/220px-SuSongClock1.JPG)

The first version of the mechanical clock stood in China in the year 1094.

Invented by the Buddhist monk, Su Song, this clock tower was based on the astronomical calendar of the Chinese people.

The mechanism involved in this clock tower was from the design of the water wheel and indicated every hour that passed.

The design featured the concept of escapement–a necessary application in mechanical clockwork–which required regulated and precise bursts of power that came from the machine itself.

It fell to its demise because of barbarians.

The Next Generation of Mechanical Clocks

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Throughout history, inventors have reinvented and continuously improved the mechanisms of a clock.

The first mechanical clock to be made had a balance wheel that swung from left to right, which indicated a beat or a tick.

The earliest recorded device of the mechanical clock was created in England in 1386 and France three years later.   

St. Mark’s Plaza’s Clock Tower; (Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/13/Venice_clocktower_in_Piazza_San_Marco_%28torre_dell%27orologio%29_clockface.jpg/350px-Venice_clocktower_in_Piazza_San_Marco_%28torre_dell%27orologio%29_clockface.jpg)

These old clocks instantly became the standard clock for everyone since it was far more accurate than the older methods used to tell the time.

The discovery of the idea to use cogs and gears in the clock mechanism paved the way for establishments to create clocktowers in the 1490s.

One of these was in 1493, the St. Mark’s Tower in Venice.

Unfortunately, they did not reign long because they quickly lost power.

What followed after was the pendulum clock.

(Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/old-clock-time-clock-shield-tips-436495/)

One of the greatest inventors, Galileo Galilei, had already conducted studies in using a pendulum to tell the time in the early 1580s.

Unfortunately, he never made any prototype to bring his idea to life.

In 1656, Christiaan Huygens became the first pendulum clockmaker, adapted from the designs and studies of Galilei.  

(Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/clocks-clock-grandfather-clock-time-4891142/)

William Clement, an Englishman, invented the first tall-case clock in the 1670s.

The grandfather clock incorporated the pendulum design into its mechanism.

This time-telling device was a standard piece of furniture in every household and establishment, and it is one of the most accurate clocks to date. 

These were only called “grandfather clocks” because of a song released in 1876 called “My Grandfather’s Clock” by Henry Clay Work.

Following this invention was the electric clock in the 1840s, the battery-powered clock manufactured in the 1910s, and the quartz clock created in the 1920s.

The Modern Way of Telling Time

(Source: https://static.miraheze.org/r2wiki/thumb/b/b5/SmartClockGoogleLenovo2019.jpeg/300px-SmartClockGoogleLenovo2019.jpeg)

The digital revolution was what changed the face of clocks forever.

With the emergence of smart clocks, this clock performs things that those in the past could not do.

In collaboration with Google, Lenovo released the Lenovo Smart Assistant in the United States in the year 2017.

It included the voice assistant of Amazon’s Alexa to answer your queries searched through the Internet. 

Firstly, this clock allows you to set alarms, appointments, or play your favorite tunes as a speaker. Secondly, you can even control your other smart devices in the household with it.

The evolution of clocks has come a long way since the ancient times when people used sun as their time-telling guide, right?

Time is of The Essence

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People are throwing this infamous saying around here and there whenever someone rushes.

However, this line holds a deeper meaning than it does today.

The adage means that one should give importance to time.

Another quote that could be compared or is almost similar to this is, “Time is gold.”

In other words, time is valuable. 

It is no surprise that we, as humans, tend to take things for granted, especially time. 

We should always make the best use of our time whenever we can.

In conclusion, time is ever constant while we should never remain stagnant in life.

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