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- Middle Ages [edit | Edit]
- In addition to the sun and water clocks established since 900 AD in Europe, the candle clock. Candles of defined shapes and sizes burned off in a certain amount of time, and markers were used to read the elapsed time. These watches could not only be used independently of daylight, but were also easy to use and readily available. In addition to the candles were also oil lamps, slowly burning fuses and in China also used fire watches, some with changing over time scents.
- The medieval life was governed by a multitude of bell-signs of the church and city towers. Not only the prayer times of the monasteries, but z. The opening hours of city gates, court and market times and other important times of the day and night were heralded by the towers. This required a reliable indication of the time; a necessity that the sun and water clocks did not meet.
- As an epochale invention, the inhibition must be considered, which enabled the development of the wheel clock. Gearboxes had been used since pre-Christian times  and complicated automata were known from the Arabic water meters, but it was the escapement that turned the free-running gearbox into a clock. When the mechanical clock was used, is not known. 
- The wheel clock quickly found use in clockmakers to display the right time for striking the bells. At first, the clock tower hung with alarm clock and hour strike in the room of the Türmers, later she wandered as a large, wrought-iron clock tower in the town halls, church and clock towers to indicate to the public the time. The gear regulator of early wheel clocks was the Foliot, a simple but robust device that allowed accuracy of about 10 minutes per day. These clocks were adjusted with the help of sundials or Mittagsweisern on the respective local time.
- The first written mention of a wheel clock dates from 1335 and refers to a device in the chapel of the Visconti Palace in Milan. With the invention of the clock, it was for the first time in 1344 possible to read equinoctial hours mechanically. In the year 1370 a first publicly visible clock was attached to the Tour de l'Horloge called corner tower of the Palais de la Cité in Paris. In the 14th century, many public wheel clocks were produced in Europe in rapid succession, of which about 500 are still documented today. In addition, a large number of watches are suspected that found no documented mention.
- Above all, the findings from astronomy and mathematics at that time greatly influenced the development of the wheel clock. Some monumental astronomical clocks with a variety of intricate displays emerged during this period. For European monarchs and wealthy citizens, smaller watches were made of iron on the same principle. Although they also had astronomical displays, they served mostly representative purposes. At the same time, the change from the public to the domestic clock took place.
- Hourglasses spread in Central Europe simultaneously with the wheel clocks in the 14th century. Centers for their production were Nuremberg and Venice, which had suitable sand deposits. Hourglasses are only suitable for the measurement of comparatively short time intervals and were z. B. in shipping for determining the cruising speed and as a glass clock until the 19th century in use.
- First of all, wheel clocks, apart from a few individual artists, were made and repaired, above all, by locksmiths or gunsmiths, who had already been organized in guilds in the high Middle Ages. From their ranks, masters specialized in the watchmaker's craft. Already around 1450 independent watchmaking guilds, z. In Vienna, detectable.  Very early after the invention of the iron wheel clock, there were also attempts to build such watches from wood. Tower clocks, which were partly made of wood, are known.  Contrary to popular belief, the first wooden wheel clocks were by no means simple commodities, but often artfully crafted and intended for princes or high clergy. It was not until the early 17th century, there was a rapid and wide distribution of simple wooden wheel clocks in Central Europe, especially in Switzerland, France and southern Germany.
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