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All in Good Time

Tick Tock The History of the Clock

By:August Lysy

IMG3For centuries, the human experience of the passing of time has drawn us to measure it. The earliest timekeeping devices were invented by the ancient Egyptians and used the sun (obelisk), water (water clock), and sand (hourglass) to indicate the time of day. When the mechanical clock was first introduced in Europe in the 13th century, clocks were publicly displayed and often used for astronomical and religious purposes, such as signaling a bell for prayer.

It wasn’t until the 15th century that clocks became small and portable enough to enter the domiciles of nobility. These clocks, which only featured an hour hand, were simple-looking and usually made of brass. Then, in the 17th century, following the invention of the pendulum, the ornate, wooden grandfather clock was born … complete with minute hand.

Most people still used sundials into the 19th century. But, following the invention of the electric clock in 1840, the innovation of interchangeable parts led to a greater accessibility of clocks in a variety of styles. This trend was encouraged by the 1929 introduction of the quartz clock, and soon clocks became common, household accessories.

With the invention of cell phones, and now their ubiquitous presence, the possession of a fine timepiece has once again become an elegant symbol of the human appreciation of timekeeping.

Old or new-—We have a variety of timekeepers for you to view

Photography by noushin nourizadeh

clock

{1} Starburst 8 day Forestville clock, circa 1950s, $175, Antique Warehouse, 212 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.755.5156 {2} Scientist’s wall clock in cave black, $98, SoLo, 309 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.794.9016 solocedros.com {3} Big Ben clock, $55, OB Antique Mall, 4926 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619.223.6170 antiquesinsandiego.com {4} Delft clock, $85, Antique Warehouse, 212 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.755.5156 {5} Waterbury kitchen clock, $275, OB Antique Mall, 4926 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619.223.6170 antiquesinsandiego.com {6} Small dangling French clock, $14.50, The Corner Store, 4873 Newport Avenue, San Diego 619.222.1911 thecornerstoreob.com {7} F.G. Galassi gold clock, $43, Hydrangea Cove, 929 Turquoise Street, North Pacific Beach 858.750.3567 hydrangeacove.com  {8} Jonathan Adler clock, $88, Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.454.0347 warwicks.com {9} Mantel clock, $40, Newport Avenue Antique Center, 4864 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619.222.8686 antiquesinsandiego.com {10} Tea kettle wall clock, $14, Newport Avenue Antique Center, 4864 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619.222.8686 antiquesinsandiego.com {11} Stylebuilt electric clock, circa 1950s, $39, Vignettes, 4828 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619.222.9244 vignettesantiques.com {12} Lime green cubic alarm clock, $39, SoLo, 309 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.794.9016 solocedros.com {13} F.G. Galassi white clock, $42.50, Hydrangea Cove, 929 Turquoise Street, North Pacific Beach 858.750.3567 hydrangeacove.com {14} Chrome desk clock, $152, The Faded Awning, 7464 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.456.7464 thefadedawningcoastalinteriors.com {15} “Life is Good at the Beach” clock, $48, The Corner Store, 4873 Newport Avenue, San Diego 619.222.1911 thecornerstoreob.com {16} Nautical clock, $192, The Faded Awning, 7464 Girard Avenue, La Jolla 858.456.7464 thefadedawningcoastalinteriors.com  {17} Bullitt wall clock in red, $84, SoLo, 309 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.794.9016 solocedros.com {18} Wind-up clock, $10, Newport Avenue Antique Center, 4864 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach 619.222.8686 antiquesinsandiego.com