Thursday, August 6, 2009

Time clock: 1805

This is a picture of "a watchman's noctuary." People had watchmen who were supposed to check an area at night to make sure fires didn't start unnoticed or items of value get stolen. But how could someone tell if the wathman was doing his job?

"The invention consists principally of a large horizontal wheel, which is moved regularly round, every twelve hours, by clock-work."

Place these devices around the area the watchman was supposed to check. Each contained wheels ringed with holes big enough to hold coins. A slot let the watchman put a coin in the wheel to show when he was at the machine.

The article notes that two of these devices were already in use.

But what I found most interesting is some of the brainstorming the author does:

"Another use may be derived from it by farmers, manufacturers, ship-carpenters, and others, who employ many labourers, by ascertaining at what hours in the morning, evening, &c. their men come to and leave their work."

If you have to "clock in" and "clock out" of work, this is some of the basic research that made it possible.

--From The Gentleman's Magazine--

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