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Hourglass: views and other interesting facts

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Hourglass: views and other interesting facts
Hourglass: views and other interesting facts

Hourglass is the keeper of time on our planet! This is one of the oldest watch movements. It was invented and put into reality even before our reckoning began. Only no one will be able to find out who was that brilliant man who presented the course of all time in the form of an hourglass. History does not know for certain who was able to clothe such an unstoppable concept in a glass flask filled with quartz crystals.

Entering watches into history

Sand grains in the clock

Europe in the Middle Ages actively used this ingenious device to determine its time. It is known that medieval European monks could not imagine their lives without watches. Sailors also needed to understand the passage of time.

Often an hourglass was used, which only kept time for half an hour. The duration of pouring sand from the top of the flask to the bottom could be about an hour. Despite its accuracy, (and the clockwere famous for this), such an invention in the future ceased to be popular with people. Although the inventors tried very hard, and in their attempts to improve the hourglass, they even went so far as to be able to provide society with a huge glass flask capable of counting time - 12 hours.

How sand time works

To obtain more accurate time data, only the most transparent glass was used in the production of this device. Inside, the flasks were made perfectly smooth so that nothing could prevent the sand from freely falling into the lower container. The neck connecting the two parts of the hourglass was supplied with a special regulating diaphragm. Through its hole, the grains evenly and freely passed from the top to the bottom.

Time is sand

blue sand

For a more accurate watch, its main element - sand - was carefully prepared:

  • The reddish color scheme of the contents of the watch was obtained by burning ordinary sand and processing it through many of the finest strainers. Such sieves did not even give a chance for a poorly polished and not pounded grain of sand to "slip" into the total mass.
  • Sands of a light scale were obtained from ordinary eggshells. The shell was first carefully selected. After repeated drying and washing, it was subjected to roasting. Then came the time for grinding - for the future sand. Pieces of the shell were ground several times and subjected to passage through the sieves of fine fractions already familiar to us.
  • Lead dust andzinc dust was also used as sand for such watches.
  • There are known cases of grinding marble into fine dust to fill hourglasses. Depending on the color of the marble, the contents of the flask were black or white.

Despite the fact that the hourglass showed the most reliable time than other types, they also had to be changed. Glass products, ideally smooth inside, were covered with micro-scratches after a certain period. And, of course, the accuracy of the clock began to suffer from this. The most preferred for the users of this device was the presence of a lead-filled watch. He, due to his uniform graininess, spoiled the inside of the flask less, this made the watch last longer.

Mechanical hourglass

Today, clocks filled with loose contents are most often used as interior decoration. And lovers of antiques are hunting for expensive old models decorated with precious elements.

By the way, there are some places where the use of this invention did not stop even in the 20th century. Such products counted time in courtrooms. True, they had an automated tipping mechanism. Also, telephone exchanges widely used hourglasses. Due to its short cycle time, the watch did an excellent job of telling the time in short phone conversations.

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