Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Time spent with a cat

is never wasted." 
  ~ Colette

 My cat...one of many...but this is Deuteronomy...named after the old guy in the musical Cats.  If Colette's adage is true, no time is wasted in our household.   But...time is this week's topic.  Of course, there are hundreds of quotes about time...but who created this thing...time...we can't save it...really...we can't buy it...truly...we can't make it...seriously...all those sayings just do not hold time in the bottle, do they? 
 I came into a stash of old clocks...not working...but that is all right with me...I can have time stand still for awhile!  And one has the hour on the loose...we have all had those lost hours though, haven't we!
 The 60 seconds and 60 minutes was probably devised by the Babylonians about 5000 years ago. They divided the imaginary circular path of the Sun into 12 parts and then divided the periods of daylight & darkness into 12 parts each, resulting in a 24 hour day.The Babylonians invented a number system with a base of 60. 360 degrees in a circle. Each degree was later divided into 60 minutes. We use a base of 10. 

The 24 hour day came from the measurement of the Earth's rotation. The year came from the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. The choice of 24 periods was an artificial designation. A year is the only time measurement that is real. There are 365 1/4 days in a year which is marked by the Sun's full circle around the sky, in one cycle of seasons. Months & weeks are artificial units of time.

There is no history of the first clock, but the sundial was the earliest device for measuring time.  The Egyptians had water clocks.  These clocks measured time "by the weight of water flowing from" it. 

In Greece, a water clock was known as a clepsydra (water thief). The Greeks considerably advanced the water clock by tackling the problem of the diminishing flow. They introduced several types of the inflow clepsydra, one of which included the earliest feedback control system. Ctesibius invented an indicator system typical for later clocks such as the dial and pointer. The Roman engineer Vitruvius described early alarm clocks, working with gongs or trumpets. In my stash, I love the bell on the top of this clock.
 
Islamic civilization is credited with further advancing the accuracy of clocks with elaborate engineering in the 1st century.  None of the first clocks survived, but various mentions in church records reveal some of the early history of the clock.
 
The word horologia (from the Greek ὡρα, hour, and λέγειν, to tell) was used to describe all these devices.  The word clock (from the Celtic words clocca and clogan, both meaning "bell"), which gradually superseded "horologe", suggests that it was the sound of bells which also characterized the prototype mechanical clocks that appeared during the 13th century in Europe.

A mainspring was invented by Peter Hele, or Henlein, a locksmith of Nurnburg and allowed for the small table clock to make an appearance.  In the 16th century, the watch was developed, and Galileo discovered the properties of the pendulum.   By the 17th century, Geneva was the center of watchmaking, and glass was introduced as protection and the second hand was added. In 1840, the electric clock was made by an Edinburgh clockmaker Alexander Bain. In 1884, the meridian (an imaginary great circle on the Earth's surface connecting the North Pole and the South Pole) of Greenwich was adopted by international agreement as the zero or prime meridian from which the longitude of all places in the world is measured.

In researching this, I found it to be a rather complicated and mathematical study. Bottom line...as Chicago sang, "does anybody really know what time it is?"   If you buy any of these clocks, you probably won't know what time it is since I am not sure of their viability, but they sure make a dramatic display...I love the design...some have labels on top...and one had labels that had been worn so someone typed new labels...

 
For the lover of things French, we have a neat French clock...love the design, the hands, the numbers... not to mention the brand is JAZ!   In 1919, a small group of French engineers, playing into the industrial revolution workforce,  realized there was a market for alarm clocks.  They decided to create a manufacturing process that would "produce an alarm clock in large quantities, of superior quality and pleasing presentation, capable of competing with foreign imports."  (And that was pre made in China!)

The brand name has two origins...either it is from the first letter of the family names of the original three engineers or it was a reference to the new American music sweeping the Continent.  I would put
my money on the engineer names...cannot imagine the French naming anything after American interests...but then they did give us that big lady statue.
 

This model dates to 1920 and was called the Replic.

And, as the song goes..."it is 5 o'clock somewhere!"


 
“I don't understand people who say they need more "Me Time." What other time is there? Do these people spend part of their day in someone else's body?”
Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale

5 comments:

The Cinnamon Stick said...

Soon "time" to pay you a visit!! Hoping you can figure out "how to make time repeat itself" as today is the perfect "shore" day and I would love to order 4 more when we come to NJ!!!

Manuel said...

Hola, tiene usted un comercio de los que a mi me gusta visitar, donde todos los artículos tienen ese olor y color a añejo que a mi me encanta.
Es una pena que que vivamos tan lejos y no pueda visitarla.
Un abrazo.

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