HISTORY OF ALARM CLOCKS 4:20
While they may not be your best friend in the morning, alarm clocks have been there to help get us out of bed daily. That is of course, unless you forget to set it. But what did people do to wake up before the blaring of the morning radio show or that loud beep? Here is a brief history of something we may not always love to wake up to, but helps us out every morning, rain or shine... the good ol' alarm clock.
IN THE BEGINNING...
RISE AND SHINE! The bright and rising sun has helped people wake since the beginning of time.
The morning crow of the rooster has helped wake people up for centuries. This has definitely been the most annoying alarm clock... especially if he didn't stop.
People used to drink tons of water if they needed to wake up before the sun. It's pretty hard to stay sleeping when you NEED to go to the bathroom.
Here comes the sun! The sundial is the oldest known 'clock' and dates all the way back to the Egyptian Period, around 1500 B.C. It was a simple design that was based on the shadows the sun cast as it moves throughout the day. In central Europe it was the most commonly used method to determine the time, even after the mechanical clock was developed. Sadly, sundials are now more commonly known as decorative garden pieces.
THE WATER CLOCK
After the sundial, the earliest civilizations moved to water to help tell the time of day. It wasn't until 245 B.C. that Cteslblus of Alexandria improved the water clock and created the world's first mechanical clock. The whistle-like sound marked a designated time. Plato was said to have a water clock of this type to awaken him early in the morning.
Since the 14th century, clock towers in Western Europe became capable of chiming at a fixed time everyday, the earliest of which was described in 1319.
THE FACTORY WHISTLE
In the 1850s during the Industrial Revolution, it was the loud factory whistle, not the crowing rooster of the clock tower, that woke people up. People lived around the factories they worked at and would wake to the noise every morning.
ADJUSTABLE ALARM CLOCK
In 1876, a mechanical wind-up alarm clock that could be set for any time was patented by Seth E. Thomas. In the late 1870s, alarm clocks for the home started to become popular and begin being sold to the masses.
RADIO ALARM CLOCK
The first radio alarm clock was invented by James F. Reynolds in the 1940s. People could finally choose to wake up to the local tunes and news instead of that annoying bell.
ICONIC ALARM CLOCKS
INVENTIONS OF THE SNOOZE FUNCTION
The first alarm clock with the snooze function was made in 1956. Ever since, millions of people have been regularly late for work.
ONLINE ALARM CLOCK
The most significant recent innovation regarding alarm clocks happened in early 2006, when the online alarm clock was invented, thus beginning a new chapter in alarm clock history with OnlineClock.net.