8 Things You Never Knew About Clocks

The hourglass, one early form of a clock, can still be found in use today in modern egg timers. These egg timers not only time how long it takes to boil an egg, but are filled with sand made from ground up eggshells, making their name doubly accurate!

The National Institute of Standards and Technology boasts the world’s most accurate clock. NIST-F1 measures time by using an array of infrared lasers to count the vibrations of cesium atoms, which are then used to define the length of a second. This clock is so accurate that it would take over 60 million years of continued use for it to lose or gain a single second.

On the clock Big Ben, the cast iron frame of the clock face was designed by AW Pugin.

The Big Ben in London is actually the name of the Bell inside the tower and not the clock itself.

Clocks’ hands were designed to mimic the sundial, the way the shadows were cast on the sundial in the western hemisphere. Clocks turn clockwise because the shadow on sundials on the northern hemisphere turns that way.

In 1797 a British act of parliament levied a tax on all clocks of 5 shillings per year. This resulted in the populace not purchasing as many personal clocks. This move is often cited as the impetus for the trend in our society to build public clocks.

All of the clocks in railway stations throughout Switzerland are copies of the same original design by Hans Hilfiker, who created the prototype in the 1940s. The design features a red disk on the second hand that helps trains to depart punctually.

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