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[TIDBITS] Tick Tock...is that a Clock?


#1

Tick Tock…is that a Clock?

Of course it is folks. Fact is, that ticking you hear is the
cumulation of the ticking of many timepieces, letting you know they
are here, and were here, and will always be here. You like trivia,
folks? Hmmm?

Okay…let’s start with the oldest clock in the world…as best as
we know. It was created in China by two chaps named I Hsing and
Liang Ling-tsan. The year? How about 725 A.D. I don’t think this
clock survives today, but still…think how far back we’re talking
about.

Now then, if we go for size…if we go for sheer weight and height
and width and breadth…well then…we need to go back to circa
1865. This clock, called the Astronomical Clock, housed in a
cathedral in France–I don’t know if they’re referring to size or
outer space when they say Astronomical–has 90,000 parts to it. And
it measures 40 feet high x 20 feet wide x 9 feet deep.

Accuracy anyone? Pop on over to Copenhagen…in the town hall.
There’s the Olson clock…with over 14,000 parts. It took over ten
years to make and it operates in 570,000 different ways. It has
the slowest moving mechanism in the world and is accurate to 0.5
seconds in 300 years.

Now then…it ain’t all clocks you know. Watches have risen to
record states too. How about the oldest. Well, it was made of iron
by a Mr. Peter Henlein of Germany around 1504.

Jaeger Le Coultre of Switzerland holds the record for the smallest
watches in the world. Some of them measure around a half an inch in
length and three sixteenths of an inch in width.

Which brings us to the thinnest of watches. Concord makes one
called the Delirium I. It’s 1/16th of an inch thick and retailed,
as of about 20 years ago, for over $4000.00 US. Wonder what it’s
worth today?

There’s a man’s pocket watch out there called the Swiss Grande
Complication. In 1979 it retailed for $76,000.00 US. In 1976, a
Patek Philippe 18 karat gold was introduced by Tiffany’s and was
priced at $100,000.00 US.

But wait. Let’s go back to accuracy one more time. There are more
accurate time-keeping devices than the one I described above. They
are the twin atomic hydrogen masers located in Washington at the
U.S. Naval Research labs. So…how accurate are these little
trinkets? Well…without getting technical…they’re good enough to
maintain an accuracy level to within one second for every 1,700,000
years. Move over Big Ben…ya got competition.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.

Take care,
Benjamin Mark

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