Horology Invitation Suite
Horology is the art or science of measuring time. For thousands of years, devices have been used to measure and keep track of time, including clocks, watches, sundials, hourglasses, and clepsydras. The first mechanical clocks were invented in Europe at around the start of the 14th century, and became the standard timekeeping device until the pendulum clock was invented in 1656 by Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch mathematician. Clock accuracy took a spectacular jump and hundreds of thousands of people were employed in making clocks or clock parts. The invention of the mainspring in the early 15th century allowed portable clocks to be built, evolving into the first pocket watches by the 17th century. The drawings in this suite are from the horology entry in the Dictionnaire des Sciences, published in 1765. The machines shown are for splitting wheels and rounding gear teeth, and the back of the pocket watch shows the placement of parts necessary for hand movement.