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Clocks

The human race has been attempting to measure time for millennia. The story of the clock runs parallel with that of the technology available.

Some of the earliest timekeepeing devices are believed to be stone circles such as the one at Stonehenge. These were designed to line up with certain significant astronomical events.

Methods of intra-day timekeeping have also been used for as long as we have records. Some of the earliest timekeeping devices were water clocks. Other devices used sand or candles. These were better than nothing but usually highly inaccurate and/or inconvenient.

Modern clocks (the word comes from the Latin "cloca" or "bell") began in the 13th century with monastic tower clocks. Table clocks were becoming numerous during the 16th century however these were still not very accurate and often had only one hand.

The real breakthrough in clockmaking came in 1657 when Christiaan Huygens built the first clock based on Galileo's recent discovery of the pendulum. That is arguably the begining of modern horology.

Things continue to move forwards. Although mechanical clocks are still popular, especially with enthusiasts and collectors, today's clocks include electronic, radio controlled and even atomic devices.