Minute hand

History of the Mechanical Clock

  • Jun 15, 1504

    The first portable timepiece

    The first portable timepiece
    The first portable (but not very accurate) timepiece was invented in Nuremberg, Germany by Peter Henlein. The first reported person to actually wear a watch on the wrist was the French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). With a piece of string, he attached his pocket watch to his wrist.
  • Apr 16, 1577

    The Minute Hand is invented

    The Minute Hand is invented
    Jost Burgi invents the minute hand on the clock. He made it for an astrologer, Tycho Brahe, who needed an accurate clock for his stargazing.
    More information on Tycho Bahe
  • The Pendulum is invented

    The Pendulum is invented
    In 1656, the pendulum was invented by Christian Huygens, making clocks more accurate. The error of the pendulum was only about one minute a day, a great acurracy feat for his time. More about Christian Huygens
  • First mechanical alarm clock

    First mechanical alarm clock
    An early prototype of the alarm clock was invented by the Greeks around 250 BC. The Greeks built a water clock where the raising waters would both keep time and eventually hit a mechanical bird that triggered an alarming whistle. The first mechanical alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1787. However, the ringing bell alarm on his clock could ring only at 4 am.
  • First mechanical wind-up alarm clock

    First mechanical wind-up alarm clock
    A mechanical wind-up alarm clock that could be set for any time was patented (#183,725) by Seth E Thomas.
  • Standard time invented

    Standard time invented
    Sir Sanford Flemming invented standard time.
  • Patent for BIG BEN

    Patent for BIG BEN
    In 1908, the Westclox Clock Company is issued a patent for the Big Ben alarm clock. The outstanding feature on this clock is the bell-back, which completely envelops the inner case back and is an integral part of the case. The bell-back provides a loud alarm.
  • Warren Clock Company

    Warren Clock Company
    The Warren Clock Company was formed in 1912 by Mr. Henry Warren as President. The company started by producing a new type of clock run by batteries, prior to that, clocks were either wound or run by weights.
  • The self-winding watch

    The self-winding watch
    Swiss John Harwood invented the self-winding watch in 1923.
  • First Quartz Clock

    First Quartz Clock
    According to the Smithsonian "In 1927, Canadian-born Warren Marrison, a telecommunications engineer, was searching for reliable frequency standards at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Building on earlier work in piezoelectricity, he developed a very large, highly accurate clock based on the regular vibrations of a quartz crystal in an electrical circuit" - the first quartz clock. Origins of "Clock"