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The Development of the Hourglass Timer Jul 12, 2022

The earliest timekeeping devices were used to judge time by the length and direction of the sun's projection, but such real-time devices were limited, so the hourglass was invented. If used in the cold season, water would easily freeze, so it was driven by sand. The famous old sand clock with five wheels was created by Zhan Xiyuan in the early Ming Dynasty.

Antique Sandglass Decorative Deaktop

The sand watch calculates and measures time by the flow rate of sand. The most complete record of an hourglass in ancient Chinese history dates from the Yuan Dynasty in 1936. At that time, there was a very famous calligrapher Zhan Xiyuan. He thought it was too easy to calculate time with sand and the time was very short, so he invented five rounds of hourglass. The five-wheel sand clock not only has a mechanical set of gears, but also has a dial with the time of day on it. The five-wheel sand timer measures time by adding power to the gears through shifting sand, which turns the dials.

Zhan Xiyuan even made two figures on five rounds of hourglass by telling the time on the hour. Such inventions were comparable to later clocks and watches, but unfortunately the Yuan dynasty's economic development was not good and there was not much support for scientific and technological research.

Sandglass timer hour glass is said to have been invented by Alexander in the third century, where people were sometimes carried around, much like the watches people carry around today. Supposedly, it was invented in the 12th century, at the same time as the compass, as an instrument for night sea navigation.

With definitive evidence of the discovery as early as the 14th century, the earliest sand timer is a suitable government fresco appearing in 1338 in the allegory of Ambrorenzetti in a written record contemporaneous with the mention of an hourglass, which appears in a list of ship shops.

From the 15th century, the decorative hourglass sand timer was widely used on the sea, in churches, in industry and in cooking.

Old Fasioned Sand Clock Hourglass

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