Among all the modern inventions we rely on in our daily lives, the alarm clock is considered as the most universally despised. The alarm clock is jarring morning jangles jolt us uncomfortably out of our slumber. It helps a lot to come back to reality from the dreams. Some sleep lovers can never wake up without this fantastic invention. However, annoying alarm clocks are indispensable for each one of us in getting us out of bed. In fact, being an ancient invention it is fascinated to know where alarm clocks came from, and how did people wake up before the alarm clock was invented?
The simple act of telling the time has presented a considerable challenge to humans throughout the ages. Then we’ve tried a lot to solve with elaborate and incredible inventions. It is essential to know that the ancient Greeks and Egyptians developed sundial and towering obelisk, which would mark the time with a shadow that moved with the sun. It was all about the clock but the history of alarm, watches is very interesting. Let’s check it out!
The alarm attachment to a clock is such a simple concept. There are a rotating notched cam every 12 or 24 hours. A kind of lever falls into the notch by releasing a gear train which drives a hammer that repeatedly hits a bell. However, that alarm may ring until the weight or spring runs down. If we talk about the mechanical clock, it was made as early as the 13th century, and it was likely that the alarm was available very early on.
Oldest alarm clocks
The oldest alarm clock that is generally referenced is a German iron wall clock with a bronze bell. It was made in Nuremberg in the 15th century. The alarm clock is about 19 inches tall with open framework construction. However, alarm clocks from the 1500s are also in existence.
It is essential to know that the book Early English Clocks by Dawson, Drover, and Parkes, Antique Collectors Club, 1982, had documented some early alarm clocks. One of the significant examples is a lantern clock ca. 1620 that comprises an alarm set disc on the front of the dial. However, one longcase clock ca. 1690 is also documented, which is a 30-hour hanging timepiece alarm by Joseph Knibb.
An important thing to be noticed is that English clockmakers emigrated to the United States in the 18th century there was no doubt carried the idea of the alarm clock with them. However, it has been incorrectly stated that Levi Hutchins of Concord, invented the first alarm clock in 1787. The German and English ones predated that alarm clock.
Simon Willard of Grafton and Massachusetts invented alarm time timepieces called “lighthouse clocks” in the 1820s. Furthermore, some of the American wooden works shelf clocks of the 1820s-30s have also been documented after 1840.
However, Seth Thomas Clock Company was granted a patent in 1876 because of a small alarm clock. It was the first clock of this type, and other makers were also working on this idea at the same time.
In the late 1870s, small alarm clocks gain popularity, and the major US clock companies started making them. The German clock companies followed them. It is essential to note that the predecessor of Westclox was founded in 1885 with a bright and improved method of small clock construction.
After that, Westclox introduced the Chime Alarm in 1931 that was advertised with the famous slogan “First he whispers, then he shouts.
The Westclox Moonbeam introduced an alarm clock in 1949 that flashes a light on and off, then a buzzer sounds. We can also say that the Westclox company now sells an excellent reproduction of the Moonbeam.
Latest alarm clocks
The latest in high tech clocks are known as internet alarm clocks that can also be used as a countdown timer or a stopwatch. However, the WorlClock allows you to show many statistics like population, deaths, births, deforestation, gallons of oil pumped, etc.