Clocks have been a part of mankind's lives as far back as anyone can determine. Even before a mechanical way of keeping time was devised people were using other methods to record the hours and minutes as they swept by. Lets take a look at the history behind the wall clocks that we mostly all take for granted.
One of the earliest forms of timekeeping came in the form of the sundial of course. This device was placed in a central location where all the local people could reference it easily,much like the town clocks of today. Using a clock face similar to what we use now, they would set the clock in place and adjust it until the sun would cast the correct shadow for the time of day. As you can imagine, once these clocks were set they were extremely reliable, unless the sun chose to stay behind the clouds!
The next type of clock was the water clock, it used the flow of water through the clock to drive a mechanical gear. These were a welcome leap in technology because now you could reference the time night or day. They were very complex and expensive for the time though, meaning that only the wealthy could afford them.
Then came the spring type clock, these were made just as they sound, with a spring that was wound and propelled the clock hands. These particular clocks did not keep very good time at all, often having fluctuations of hours over a day! It was not long before people began seeking a much better option,soon they had them in the form of pendulum clocks.
Pendulum clocks used a weight driven pendulum to move the gear inside a clock face to keep accurate time. They worked extremely well and kept wonderful time. There were a couple of problems though, the weights would eventually hang far down the wall as they drifted downwards during the day, and the weights needed reset constantly to ensure that the power never stopped flowing. By the early 1900s though this problem was solved through the use of battery driven pendulums.
Today most of us have become accustomed to the quartz clocks that adorn our walls. These use a small quartz crystal ,that is vibrated by a small power source such as a battery, to keep time. This allows clocks to come in almost every shape and size ranging from starburst wall clocks to retro styled clocks. The history of timekeeping is a long and evolving one that shows no signs of stopping. One can only imagine what the future will bring but surely a clock will be there in some form.