What’s the first thing you see right after waking up? Well, your answer must be “Smartphone”. You definitely open the smartphone to check the time. And then you move to the messages you’ve received overnight. The reason why you take a look at smartphone instead of the wall clock is that you’ve developed this habit over time. The same is the case with the clocks that were introduced in the past. We’ve prepared the Complete Guide to The Evolution of Clocks to help you understand the stages the clocks have gone through.
The clocks have gone through a lot of changes over the centuries. The common concept among people is that the first clock used in the world was the water clock or sand clock. But when you get into the details, you’d get to know that the first clock ever used was sundial that was first introduced by the Egyptians. The sundial consisted of a dial that used to work with the sun rays. The Egyptians used to measure the time according to the movement of the dial.
The problem with this clock was that it could only tell the time in the morning. And it was completely useless in the evening or at night because it only worked with sun rays. This clock was introduced in approximately 3500 BC. Some cultures started using a different type of clock in 1400 BC. These people used to measure time by burning oil or candles. The surprising part is that the Sandglass clocks were first introduced in 300 AD.
The Europeans introduced a new type of clock in 885 where they used the candles with time markings to read the time. And if we talk about the first mechanical water clock, it was introduced by a Chinese innovator in 1092. The use of small domestic clocks became common in the early 1500s. And Peter Henlein introduced the first mechanical watch in 1510. They were just used to measure the hours.
In 1577, Jost Burgi introduced an inaccurate type of minute hand. Similarly, the properties of the pendulum were discovered in 1581. The enamel dials were first introduced in 1635. The use of personal watches and clocks became very common in the 19th Century. And finally, the era of digital clocks started in the 20th Century. And we finally started using the smartwatches to read time more accurately.