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Looking Back in Time: 6 Devices That We Used in History to Tell Time

by Naveen Agarwal
Looking Back in Time_ 6 Devices That We Used in History to Tell Time

We all know that time is a very valuable thing. Actually, it’s one of the most precious treasures that you can have. Imagine, an individual can only have 24 hours a day, almost 730 hours a month and more or less, 8,760 hours a year. Seems plenty, right? Well, we should think about that and look at our clocks right now while retracing all the things that we did and those that we did not in the past months.

 As we value our time, wristwatches are invented to help us know the precise time whenever or wherever we are. It comes with a range of simple, affordable, and basic designs for people who just want to know the current hour of the day. Others can go up to luxurious yet innovative and complex features that the newest designs can offer like Chanel watches and other high-end brands in the market.

How Wristwatches Came To Be?

Imagine the time of our ancestors when measuring time is much more complicated. Actually, they feed their curiosity by pulling out a bunch of ideas from their heads and shift it to hundreds of trial and errors just to give us the modern clock and wristwatch that we are using today.

1. Sundials

During the pre-historic days, one of the earliest inventions to read the time is the Sundials. The Egyptians from 3500BC observe and track the hours of the day using the shadow cast from the stone obelisks. The point where the shadow from the obelisk will tell what time of the day it already is from the placement of the sun’s rays as it lights upon the obelisk.

 2. Water Clock Or Clepsydra

After using the sun, who would have known that the human experience used to utilize water? By 1500 BC, early civilizations such as the ancient Greeks were believed by historians to use water clocks or Clepsydra, one of the earliest devices that measure the time and can function without using the sunlight.

 3. Hourglass

Another device that was said to be used by our ancestors for timekeeping is an hourglass. A lot of us may have probably seen one of these even to this day. It is made by two glass bulbs with a patch of sand trickling from one bulb to another.

4. Mechanical Clocks

In the early to mid-14th century, gigantic and mechanical clocks are first seen in cities around Europe. This will be the common timekeeping machine until the pendulum clock was made in the 17th century.

5. Pocket Watches

It was only in the 16th century when the first pocket watches were introduced to the public. This was passed down as a family heirloom especially for gentlemen to show their social standing in the society. Rich people would demonstrate their wealth by the type of pocket watch that they used. However, that doesn’t mean the relatively poor people cannot own one. They have their own pocket watches, but it is usually made of cheaper materials compared to expensive ones.

 6. First Wristwatches

Let us hop on to the 19th century when the first wristwatches are made. Apparently, these kinds of watches are designed almost exclusively for women. It served mainly as an accessory more than a device that can tell time. Like pocket watches, it also showed the social status of the person wearing it, much like how pieces of jewellery show the social standing of its wearer.

Most men prefer using the pocket watches but not until the First World War where they immediately realized the advantage of wearing wristwatches—sometimes referred to as “trench watches”. Soldiers find it hard to use pocket watches to tell time and coordinate it to the execution of their plans on the battlefield. After the war, using wristwatches has become a popular trend not only for women but also for men. By 1930, wristwatches outnumber pocket watches at a ratio of 50:1.

Why Should You Wear Wristwatches?

Now in our fast-paced era, using wristwatches gives us a lot of help in keeping track of our schedules every day. Moreover, with the help of modern technology, innovations are constantly made into these little devices to cope up with our growing needs. Wristwatches have been common and must-need items for everyone in all walks of life.

To this day, wristwatches are also worn for their aesthetics and how a small piece of accessory adds a lot to one’s overall attire. It generally adds a charismatic effect to anyone who wears it. Different designs are now available in the market and can be used for almost any occasion or simply just for our everyday lives.

The history of our watches does not only show how intelligent our past ancestors are. More than this, it also shows us how important time is for synchronization in an era where we break borders just to make the economy run.

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