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A history of time keeping in ancient egypt

Clever arrangements of gears and wheels were devised that turned by weights attached to them. As the weights were pulled downward by the force of gravity, the wheels were forced to turn in a slow, regular manner.

History of Timekeeping Devices

A pointer, properly attached to the wheels, marked the hours. These clocks became common in churches and monasteries and could be relied upon to tell when to toll the bells for regular prayers or church attendance. The very word "clock" is from the French cloche, meaning "bell.

  • As centuries went on, their designs became more advanced, their structure smaller, and by the 19th century mechanical pocket, table and wall clocks became commonplace all across the world;
  • In the quest for more year-round accuracy, sundials evolved from flat horizontal or vertical plates to more elaborate forms;
  • Today, when the digital devices can be found in every corner of our civilization, measuring of time has finally become available to everyone;
  • They also constructed large, four-sided pillars that tapered towards the top that would act similarly to sun dials see sundials;
  • As centuries went on, their designs became more advanced, their structure smaller, and by the 19th century mechanical pocket, table and wall clocks became commonplace all across the world.

However, they had only an hour hand and were not enclosed. Even the best such clocks would gain or lose up to half an hour a day. Because these clocks could fit on a mantle or shelf they became very popular among the rich. They did have some time-keeping problems, though, as the clock slowed down as the mainspring unwound.

The development of the spring-powered clock was the precursor to accurate timekeeping. In 1582, Italian scientist Galileo, then a teenager, had noticed the swaying chandeliers in a cathedral.

The History of Time-Keeping

It seemed to him that the movement back and forth was always the same whether the swing was a large one or a small one. He timed the swaying with his pulse and then began experimented with swinging weights. He found that the "pendulum" was a way of marking off small intervals of time accurately.

  • He encased the pendulum and weights in wood in order to diminish the effect of air currents, thus was born the "grandfather's clock;
  • It had an error of less than one minute a day;
  • In the quest for more year-round accuracy, sundials evolved from flat horizontal or vertical plates to more elaborate forms;
  • A pointer, properly attached to the wheels, marked the hours.

Once Galileo had made the discovery, the regular beat of the pendulum became the most accurate source used to regulate the movement of the wheels and gears of a clock. It wasn't a perfect system, though, as a pendulum swings through the arc of a circle, and when that is so, the time of the swing varies slightly with its size.

History of timekeeping devices in Egypt

To make the pendulum keep truly accurate time, it must be made to swing through a curve known as a "cycloid. He used short pendulums that beat several times a second, encased the works in wood, and hung the clock on the wall.

It had an error of less than one minute a day.

  1. The Clepsydras worked by continuously dripping water down a through a narrow opening and accumulating the water in a reservoir where a float carrying a pointer rose and marked the hours. History of Timekeeping Devices History of Timekeeping Devices Tracking of time via mechanical or other means appeared over 5500 years ago in the Ancient Egypt and Sumer, southern region of the ancient Mesopotamia that is today regarded as birthplace of modern civilization.
  2. Even the best such clocks would gain or lose up to half an hour a day. They also constructed large, four-sided pillars that tapered towards the top that would act similarly to sun dials see sundials.
  3. Ancient Greeks and Romans focused much more attention on developing water clocks, which by 325 BC achieved much higher degree of accuracy than in its early stages.
  4. In the quest for more year-round accuracy, sundials evolved from flat horizontal or vertical plates to more elaborate forms. Even the best such clocks would gain or lose up to half an hour a day.
  5. Ancient Greeks and Romans focused much more attention on developing water clocks, which by 325 BC achieved much higher degree of accuracy than in its early stages.

This was a huge improvement on earlier mechanical clocks, and subsequent refinements reduced the margin of error to less than 10 seconds per day. In 1670, English clockmaker William Clement made use of a pendulum about a yard long that took a full second to move back and forth, allowing greater accuracy than ever before.

  • It had an error of less than one minute a day;
  • However, they had only an hour hand and were not enclosed;
  • Because these clocks could fit on a mantle or shelf they became very popular among the rich;
  • In the early 1500s, a new type of clock was invented that was spring-powered rather than powered by heavy weights.

He encased the pendulum and weights in wood in order to diminish the effect of air currents, thus was born the "grandfather's clock. The mechanical clock continued to develop until it achieved an accuracy of a hundredth of a second a day and it became the accepted standard in most astronomical observatories.

Wall Clock from the 1870s.