The History of Clocks


Raeleigh Smith and Dana Martinez

Have you ever wondered what time it is? Before 2000 B.C. people didn't have a way to tell time. They just got up and went to work when the sun was out, and then went to sleep when the sun went down. However, there has been evidence that the sundial was used to tell time as early as 2000 B.C. We do not know who invented the sundial, but in the year, 742 B.C., the first mention of the sundial was recorded. Once people realized that the sun dial could be used to tell time during the daylight hours, Archimedes constructed toothed wheels for transmission of power to help run the water clock. The water clock not only kept track of time during the daylight, it also kept time at night.

In the year, 330 A.D., sand glasses which are also known as hour glasses were invented by Peter Henlein which aided in the construction of table clocks. As time went on, glass coverings were developed to protect the watch dial and hand on the clock. In 1657, Christiaan Huygens made the first pendulum controlled clock. Even though only an hour hand was used for telling time, the concentric minute hand which we still use a similar version today was developed by Daniel Quare.

Clock makers continued to develop clocks as the years passed. In 1840, Alexander Bain made the first electric clock. Fifty-five years later, Frank Hope-Jones invented the first electric master clock and impulse dial system which clock makers and companies today base their design. One of the last two inventions was the development and study of the Quartz Crystal clock by Warren A. Marrison and the digital clock in the 1970's. Since then, clock makers have refined the development of clock making to this day.

In conclusion, when someone asks you, "What time is it?" Then you can tell them to go check the clock. We don't even have to read analog clocks anymore because we now have digital clocks to tell people the time. If we didn't have clocks, how would we know what time it is.