Time-Measuring Devices throughout Ages


It is easy to see what time it is by just checking your cellphone or your wristwatch; however, it was not always that easy. Time is relative; depending on the activities that you engage in, time can pass quickly or slowly. As it is not convenient to rely on your personal feelings when it comes to measuring time, people have come up with devices that accurately specify how much time has actually passed. Do you know who invented the first watch? When did people begin to measure time?

Primitive man had to rely on observing the Sun to figure out the time; an example of early devices used to measure time is the sundial. It can be in the shape of an obelisk; when the Sun moves, the obelisk casts its shadow on the ground, reaching marked signs on the ground through which people predict time. The Egyptians used the sundial to measure time, and so did the Greeks and the Romans.

The hourglass, also called the sand clock, is another time-measuring device. It has two glass bulbs connected with a tube through which sand can slowly trickle from one glass bulb into another. Depending on the amount of sand, its quality and the size of the glass bulb, time is calculated; sand clocks can be reused simply by flipping them over. It is claimed that a French monk Liutprand invented the hourglass in the 8th century.

Water clocks are, also, simple devices to measure the time. Water would be left to drip out of a container or a bowl slowly; the container is marked from the inside, and the water level will easily predict the time. Water clocks are ancient; they date back to 16th century BCE Babylon.

Humanity has passed through many phases; many time-measuring devices have been invented. However, we owe the invention of modern clocks to Peter Henlein; he made the first clock in 1510. Peter Henlein, a clockmaker from Germany, is considered “the father of the modern clock” and “the originator of the entire clock making industry”. Portable clocks were too large to be placed in a pocket and had to be worn as pendants.

The first wristwatch was made later by Patek Philippe, a Swiss manufacturer, in 1868; he made it for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary. Men were against wristwatches, first preferring the larger and more masculine watches, but then wristwatches became more popular because they were more convenient than the older ones. They were smaller in size and easily handled with one hand.

Now, everyone can have their simple, easy to use, and elegant wristwatch through which they can easily tell the time.


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