The sun dial worked during daylight, but how did people agree on what time it was at night before clocks were invented?

  • @Demonmariner
    link
    363 months ago

    Precise time came to humanity with the railroad. Until then no one cared very much about whether it was 11:35 PM or “around midnight” or “way past bedtime.” Train timetables were the first thing that made minutes matter to the general public.

    Mariners cared about time and preferred to be as precise as possible, but did pretty well telling local time by the stars. Finding longitude was a problem until good clocks came aling though.

    • Encrypt-Keeper
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      English
      23 months ago

      Well if by “precise time” you mean “minute hands regularly being included in pocket/wristwatches” then yes. But we did have mechanical clocks for a couple hundred years by that point which were more precise than “around midnight” or “way past bedtime”. Given their linear nature, and measurement by the hour, even without a minute hand you could tell when it was quarter past, half past, quarter till an hour.