Humankind has always recognized the passing of time and has tried to measure and record that passing. The simple alarm clock at your bedside table or a wall clock of bedroom owes its existence to more than 6,000 years. A general knowledge of time division was relevant to the earliest of farmers, who sectioned quadrants of time into broad periods of seasons for planting, growing and harvesting. In those days however, the actual hour of any particular day was not important but in the present era every second is important. As early civilizations grew and became more complex in their needs for order and governance a more precise measure of time was required.
History of Clocks
- The first clocks that were invented were Shadow clocks made first by the Egyptians and Sundials made by the Greeks as well as many others. They used this to mark the hours of the day. Simply by using the shadow the sun cast on the clock would indicate the proximate time. This of course only worked to the nearest hour. Another big disadvantage in these types of sun powered clocks is that they don’t work at night.
- The next clock to be invented was the water clock. It was made using a very large bucket and filling it with water, a tiny hole was cut in the bottom of bucket and the let water pass out. Every hour was marked with a line as it passed. Once this was done, the clock could be set and the time could be kept. Over time, an error was found in this clock as well. Water flows at different speeds depending on the temperature. It would freeze in the cold, as well as evaporate when it was hot. Then as a solution, the Hourglass, or Sand clock was created to remove previous flaws.
- Mechanical clocks came into scene using a weight that would fall slowly, turning the hands of the clocks. These of course could only be built in tall towers, since the weights needed to fall great distances in order to keep time for long periods. These wall clocks usually only lost 2 hours a day that was really good for the time they had been used in. Some of those clocks are still working today, due to their extraordinary quality.
- The next big jump in clocks would be the pendulum in 1581 by Galileo. He discovered that even though the clock would eventually run out of energy, the clock would keep accurate time up to that point, and if the pendulum was reset before then, the clock would stay accurate till the pendulum was not reset. Lots of people love this kind of clock and still use it today as we use a modern wall clock.
Then the era of digital clock came and time could me measured more precisely and accurately. Clocks are an essential part of life and every type of clock has some unique characteristics which makes it different from other clocks.