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A Skelding Summary

If you really dislike Mickey Mouse watches the person you need to blame is not Walt Disney but Peter Henlein of Nuremberg.
Watches date from the early 1500s and were invented by the aforementioned German locksmith and burgher.They were carried about in the hand. Up to the 1580s watches were made of iron, but gradually other metals were introduced such as brass & steel particularly after 1625.

The origins of a self winding wrist watch date from a patent granted in 1780 - though it wasn't invented until 1924. Electronic watches date from 1953.

The oldest known clock was built and erected in Milan in 1335, and the oldest English clock at Salisbury Cathedral in 1386. Domestic clocks were simply smaller versions of public clocks and came into fashion around 1500 with clocks designed by our old friend Peter Henlein which were driven by a spring. Furthermore you could carry the clocks anywhere so you could get a vague idea of the amount of time you were wasting wherever you did wander. All had hour hands and had no glass cover protecting the clock face. In fact, the time honoured excuse "Just a minute" wouldn't have made much sense prior to 1660 when the minute hands first made their entrance - no doubt to a very big hand indeed.

Pendulums became a feature of regular and accurate timekeeping in 1656 thanks to Christiaan Huygens. These pendulums were encased in wood and then mounted on walls. Soon after, the grandfather clock was born.

Rudimentary battery electric clocks were developed in 1840, and the first self contained battery-driven clock appeared in 1906. The development of quartz crystal by 1929 increased time keeping accuracy even further.

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By Laurence Skelding

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