Sundials were man's first attempt at marking the passage of hours until the invention of mechanical devices for gauging the passage of time.

Water clocks were first used by the ancient Egyptians who could mark the passage of one hour by the time it took for water to flow between different chambers.

The invention of mechanical clocks during the Middle Ages allowed for more accurate time-keeping and these clocks were mostly installed in churches. In fact, the oldest mechanical clock still in use was installed in Britain's Salisbury Cathedral in 1386.

Ownership of clocks and later watches remained a luxury item well into the 18th century.

As time passed, clocks and watches became more affordable to the general population. Today, more people check the time on their smart phones than a watch but the collecting of watches, and clocks remains a "timeless" hobby.


Grace Dee May Museum at the Historic Shrine Auditorium

665 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007

  • Facebook
  • Instagram