Featured Article - The History of Time KeepingLearn about the history of ancient timekeeping, sun and water clocks, mechanical and quartz clocks, time standards and time zones with this indepth five page article.
Minute HandIn 1577, Jost Burgi invented the minute hand. Burgi's invention was part of a clock made for Tycho Brahe, an astronomer who needed an accurate clock for his stargazing.
PendulumIn 1656, the pendulum was invented by Christian Huygens, making clocks more accurate.
Wrist WatchIn 1504, the first portable (but not very accurate) timepiece was invented in Nuremberg, Germany by Peter Henlein. The first reported person to actually wear a watch on the wrist was the French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). With a piece of string, he attached his pocket watch to his wrist.
QuartzAccording to the Smithsonian "In 1927, Canadian-born Warren Marrison, a telecommunications engineer, was searching for reliable frequency standards at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Building on earlier work in piezoelectricity, he developed a very large, highly accurate clock based on the regular vibrations of a quartz crystal in an electrical circuit" - the first quartz clock.
Origins of "Clock"The word 'clock' comes from the French word "cloche" meaning bell. The Latin for bell is glocio, the Saxon is clugga and the German is glocke.
Standard TimeSir Sanford Fleming invented standard time in 1878.
Alarm ClocksAn early prototype of the alarm clock was invented by the Greeks around 250 BC. The Greeks built a water clock where the raising waters would both keep time and eventually hit a mechanical bird that triggered an alarming whistle.
The first mechanical alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1787. However, the ringing bell alarm on his clock could ring only at 4 am. On October 24, 1876 a mechanical wind-up alarm clock that could be set for any time was patented (#183,725) by Seth E Thomas.
Self-winding WatchSwiss John Harwood invented the self-winding watch in 1923.
Clock CompaniesIn 1908, the Westclox Clock Company is issued a patent for the Big Ben alarm clock. The outstanding feature on this clock is the bell-back, which completely envelops the inner case back and is an integral part of the case. The bell-back provides a loud alarm.
The Warren Clock Company was formed in 1912 by Mr. Henry Warren as President. The company started by producing a new type of clock run by batteries, prior to that, clocks were either wound or run by weights.