We all have luxury watches and cellphones to check the time, but who invented the clock? After years of estimating time based on the position of the sun, stars, and other factors, humans finally invented a gadget that used science and mechanics to compute one time worldwide.
Well, there are numerous eras of clock creations over history. The roots of the original creators are still a mystery.
Sundials are the oldest known time-keeping instruments. They invented Sundials around 6,000 years ago in Babylon and refined them into a much more linear function in Ancient Egypt. They became a precious conventional clock that stayed in use for thousands of years, even to this day.
The construction of the first obelisks was tall and narrow stone structures. Its shadows facilitated the simple calculation of time from the circular divided horizontal disc set on the ground around it. This marked the genuine beginning of sundial appeal in Egypt.
Despite Europe’s inventive age of inventing mechanical clocks, the use of sundials continued due to their accuracy and dependability in sunny conditions. During the mid-nineteenth century, sundials were rendered useless for the government and the business industry when mechanical clocks first gave reliable time calculations.
Water powered the first mechanized watches. Su Sung, a Chinese polymath, invented the first automated water clock based on escapement theory. But while this particular water clock never received recognition outside China, its mechanical structure became the foundation for the modern European and Islamic clocks in the following years.
In 13th and 14th century Europe, a few non-water-driven mechanized clocks began to appear. Still, their size and complexities limited their use to scientists who designed them.
In terms of history, German innovator Peter Heinlein invented the first modern clock in 1505, when he presented the world to the first Spring-driven clock. Although many locksmiths and others devised various ways for measuring time, no one succeeded.
Peter Henlein invented the modern-day clocks and is the founder of today’s clock-making sector. Heinlein created a pocket watch in 1510. By 1541, he became well-known for his artistry. He received commissions throughout Europe to produce the most magnificent clocks for palaces and large clock towers.
He also began creating compact, portable watches that were fashionable and convenient. People wore them as necklaces or bracelets. The Pomander Watch is the oldest known mechanized timepiece. It works like a typical watch today, with the hand indicating 12 hours on the dial.
On the other hand, people used sundials widely to measure the time until the 17th century because watches were highly expensive luxury goods. Furthermore, the time estimated in Henlein’s spring designs was inaccurate. However, they preferred using the sun as the time reference rather than having a single standard time.
The international order of units established GMT as the world’s time standard in 1885. We don’t know why people use numerals up to 12 and multiples of five to compute the precise time. However, the origins lead to Egyptians who divided their day into 12 smaller portions in their sundials.
When asked about why our ancestors used the number 12, individuals typically explain it as the representation of the number of lunar cycles in a year. People did not widely use minutes and seconds, on the other hand, to tell the time until several decades later. They then divided the hour into halves, thirds, quarters, and even had 12 sections on clock displays, but never 60. In truth, the hour was not widely considered to be 60 minutes.
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February 11, 2022 | 4 Minutes to Read