History of Clocks
A clock is an instrument to indicate, keep, and coordinate time. The word clock is derived from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning “bell.” A silent instrument missing such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece.
In general usage today a “clock” refers to any device for measuring and displaying the time.
Timepieces that can be worn or carried on one’s person are often distinguished from clocks by calling them watches.
The study of timekeeping is known as horology.
Clocks measure units of time shorter than the day, the lunar month, and the year. Clocks are one of the oldest human inventions, and have been in use for thousands of years. They are still evolving and being perfected today.
There have been timepieces with an automated bird since antiquity. The first one is credited to the Greek mathematician, Ctesibius of Alexandria (ca.285-222 BC), who in the 2nd century BC used water to sound a whistle and make a model owl move.
It was not until the 14th century that the hourglass was seen commonly. The earliest firm evidence is a depiction of an hour glass in the 1338 fresco Allegory of Good Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.
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The cuckoo clock became successful and world famous after Friedrich Eisenlohr contributed the Bahnhäusle design to the 1850 competition at the Furtwangen Clockmakers School. This style is better known today as a souvenir cuckoo clock.