Who invented the analog clock?
clock,instrument for measuring and indicating time. Predecessors of the clock were the sundialsundial,
instrument that indicates the time of day by the shadow, cast on a surface marked to show hours or fractions of hours, of an object on which the sun's rays fall.
. Click the link for more information., the hourglasshourglass,
glass instrument for measuring time, usually consisting of two bulbs united by a narrow neck. One bulb is filled with fine sand that runs through the neck into the other bulb in an hour's time. The date of its invention is unknown, but it was in use in ancient times.
. Click the link for more information., and the clepsydraclepsydra
or water clock,
ancient device for measuring time by means of the flow of water from a container. A simple form of clepsydra was an earthenware vessel with a small opening through which the water dripped; as the water level dropped, it exposed marks on the
. Click the link for more information.. See also watchwatch,
small, portable timepiece usually designed to be worn on the person. Other kinds of timepieces are generally referred to as clocks. At one time it was generally believed that the first watches were made in Nuremburg, Germany, c.1500.
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The Evolution of Mechanical Clocks
The operation of a clock depends on a stable mechanical oscillator, such as a swinging pendulum or a mass connected to a spring, by means of which the energy stored in a raised weight or coiled spring advances a pointer or other indicating device at a controlled rate. It is not definitely known when the first mechanical clocks were invented. Some authorities attribute the first weight-driven clock to Pacificus, archdeacon of Verona in the 9th cent. Gerbert, a learned monk who became Pope Sylvester II, is often credited with the invention of a mechanical clock, c.996.
Mechanical figures that struck a bell on the hour were installed in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, in 1286; a dial was added to the clock in the 14th cent. Clocks were placed in a clock tower at Westminster Hall, London, in 1288 and in the cathedral at Canterbury in 1292. In France, Rouen was especially noted for the skill of its clockmakers and watchmakers. Probably the early clock closest to the modern ones was that constructed in the 14th cent. for the tower of the palace (later the Palais de Justice) of Charles V of France by the clockmaker Henry de Vick (Vic, Wieck, Wyck) of Württemburg. Until the 17th cent. few mechanical clocks were found outside cathedral towers, monasteries, abbeys, and public squares.
The early clocks driven by hanging weights were bulky and heavy. When the coiled spring came into use (c.1500), it made possible the construction of the smaller and lighter-weight types. By applying Galileo's law of the pendulum, the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens invented (1656 or 1657) a pendulum clock, probably the first. Early clocks used in dwellings in the 17th cent. were variously known as lantern clocks, birdcage clocks, and sheep's-head clocks; they were of brass, sometimes ornate, with a gong bell at the top supported by a frame. Before the pendulum was introduced, they were spring-driven or weight-driven; those driven by weights had to be placed on a wall bracket to allow space for the falling weights. These clocks, probably obtained chiefly from England and Holland, were used in the Virginia and New England colonies.