How many pointers were there on the first clocks with hands made in the fourteenth century? [R.i.P]DADDy.CMF.J

There was only one pointer, the hour hand on clocks made in the 14th century. Minute hands did not generally appear until the 1650s. One of the first public clocks to strike the hour was in Milan in about 1335 AD.

The first mechanical clocks with hands were made to emulate the path of a sundial shadow. In the northern hemisphere, the shadow travels in a west to north to east rotation, which is what we call “clockwise”.

The clock in Salisbury cathedral, installed in 1386 is still ticking today with its original mechanism. It has no face, designed only to strike the hours.

Discover 10 Methods of Measuring Time, including one from China that uses your sense of smell to tell you the time and others that are as old as time itself.

Updated on Tuesday, April 15 2014 at 04:21AM EDT
Collection: pointer