Can you imagine a world without clocks?
Time is money, and a clock is a device used to track how well you spend it.
The invention of the clock boasts a long history. There was a time when the sun represented the only reliable way to track time. Today, this time-tracking device has evolved impressively, atom clocks and digital clocks being the most recent introduction to the clock world.
But do you want to know where did this invention begin? Read on to know who invented the clock and other interesting facts about this invention.
What is a Clock?
A clock is an electrical or mechanical machine used for measuring time. It indicates the hour and other divisions using hands moving on a round dial plate or displayed figures. The internal mechanism of this machine is worked by weight or spring featuring bell or strokes of a hammer to tell the hour.
The Evolution of a Clock
Early solutions of tracking time include using sun shadows and water clocks. However, they were unreliable as they did not lead to accurate time-keeping. Gradually, mechanical time pieces appeared during middle age, and the development of the pendulum took place.
Thanks to the introduction of atomic clocks and quartz oscillators, time-keeping has become accurate today.
Who Invented the Clock?
To dig history deeper into the invention of a clock, the first ever time tracking device was developed by Ancient Egyptians. They named it Shadow Clocks. It divided the day into 12-hour periods, and they used obelisks to track the sun’s movement. Around this period, sundials, too, were developed to give an estimate about the hour of the day.
These ideas were found inaccurate. In the 14th century, the first true mechanical clocks appeared. They employed the verge of escapement mechanism, featuring a balance wheel for precise timekeeping. Soon they took over other mediums of time-keeping and were considered more reliable. It was the development of a pendulum clock that marked the actual evolution of the device.
In the 17th Century, Christiaan Huygens built a prototype of the pendulum clock. A pendulum refers to a weight suspended from a pivot to swing freely. The pendulum of the clock is a rod weighting the end that swings from side to side to make a clock function. Ever since the invention of the pendulum clock, other forms, too, were introduced.
In 1840, Alexander Bain, a Scottish clockmaker, introduced an electric clock that used a pendulum that kept moving by electromagnetic pulses.
The invention of the quartz clock also proved to be a breakthrough. The first quartz clock was invented by Warren Marrison and J.W. Horton at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Canada. The battery in such clocks sent electricity to the quartz crystal via an electronic circuit.
Atomic clocks, too, were invented, in 1949. Today, they have become the most accurate time-keepers worldwide. These clocks are regulated by the resonance frequency of atoms or molecules of various substances like cesium or ammonia.
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