I was reading the book Mastering Life before it’s too late by Robert J. Morgan and came across this paragraph. This was information I had never read before. How the railroad played such a big part in bringing our world into a smaller picture and paving the way for the world of technology.
“There were no time zones anywhere in the world until the railroad companies established them in the 1800’s. In the United States and Europe, time zones were devised by train companies to coordinate rail schedules. It was the railroad system that caused people to start wearing pocket watches so they wouldn’t miss their trains. Smaller versions of these pockets watches appeared on the market, designed for the wrist, but they were not popularized until about 1911. Wristwatches didn’t become popular with the general public until the 1920’s.”
When were time zones invented and who invented them? The first adoption of the time zone was December 1, 1847 in Great Britain by the railway companies called “railway time.” It was 1986 when Nepal the last to join the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and the world was officially on the same time zone schedule.
I began thinking about the famous clocks of the world. Were they only set to the hour or did they have second hands? The Glockenspiel built in 1908 in Munich, Germany. Rings at 11:00 a.m. (12:00 pm midnight and 5:00 pm in the summer). “Big Ben” built in 1858 in Westminster, London rings hourly. Prague Astronomical clock. The oldest clock still operating built in 1410, chimes every hour
Glockenspiel and Big Ben
When did the second hand show up watches? The fixed hands on the clock came on the scene in the 14th century. The “second hand” showed up in 1690 after the invention of the pendulum invented by St. John the Evangelist of Groombridge, Kent, England.
Railroad Pocketwatch and WW1 Wristwatch
When did pocket watches show up and who invented them? In 1462 Italian clockmaker Bartholomew Manredi invented the “pocket clock.” In 1675 when Charles II of England introduced the waistcoats it began begin called the “pocket watch.”
When did the wrist watches come onto the scene? In 1571 when Robert Dudley invented the arm watch which was primarily worn by women until the military began using them during WWI.
The railroads were responsible for bring the transportation of people and goods. It was responsible for the introduction of fine dining with the “Fred Harvey way.” It was responsible for the induction of the time zones which brought the world together on a time schedule. Railroads brought entertainment and many other practical things into our world that paved the way for today’s world of technology.