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30 Minute Hourglass Sand Clock

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Time

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  • A Brief History Of The Hourglass

    Humans have employed a number of methods to decipher their experience of time throughout history. Early techniques involved slow currents of water in which chimes floated. These early water clocks — likely invented in India or China — were also the first alarms of any kind.

    The hourglass first appeared to historians on a sarcophagus dated to roughly 350 C.E. This finding supports the theory that hourglasses were first used in ancient Egypt, particularly in the area of Alexandria. Evidence of hourglass used in the West wouldn’t arise until much later.

    A 14th century fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti depicts an hourglass, and while this is the earliest hard evidence of the item's use in the Western world, there is some indication that they existed among ancient Greeks as early as the 8th century C.E. Compared to water clocks, hourglasses were very popular aboard ships, where the motion of the ship would disturb the accuracy of the former, but not the latter.

    By the 1500s, however, use of hourglasses waned significantly, as mechanical clocks became more ubiquitous. Today, hourglasses are rarely seen outside of certain board games or anywhere but the desks of discerning individuals.

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