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How was the direction of “clockwise” established?


I was always curious as to why clock hands don't move the other way.

3420 day(s) ago

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bjones
People often wonder why clock hands turn clockwise. Books have been written based on this question, as it is a fact that has been lost to most of us in time. People have long been conscious of time. Since before the advent of science, people knew about time. Some animals are aware of the passing of time, also, as it relates to established routines. In modern society, we are surrounded by clocks. Whether they are old-fashioned, wind-up alarm clocks, spring-loaded grandfather clocks, or battery-operated digital watches, clocks play an important part in our everyday lives. But what did people do before clocks? They used the movement of the sun to determine hours in the day. The movements of the Earth, moon, and stars were used to determine longer spans of time. It is the sun, however, that is important in the evolution of clocks. One of the first devices used for measuring time was the sundial. The sundial consisted of a vertical stick or wedge on the surface of a horizontal, round face. Most of the technology we use today originated in the northern hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, the shadows of a sundial move around the face of the clock in a clockwise direction. The mechanical clock was invented in the northern hemisphere and the hands of the clock were made to mimic the shadows of a sundial. So, it is no accident that clocks turn clockwise, and the invention of the direction of clockwise can be attributed to the sun. Although some Hebrew and Arabic clocks do run counter-clockwise, for the most part, the world has adopted the clock invented and made popular in the northern hemisphere.




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