Friday, January 28, 2022

History of Timepieces By Donna Schlachter with Giveaway

Ever since God created the world, time has been measured. We see in Genesis 1 that God laid out the days and nights, resting on the seventh day.

Have you ever wondered why that measurement is so important? Surely an infinite God wouldn’t need to count seconds, minutes, and hours, as there is no beginning or ending to His time.

However, once sin entered the world and Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, our time on this earth became numbered. We understand that at some point we will die, which should make our days more precious to us.

Apart from our mortality, however, throughout history, mankind also realized that time and seasons pass on a regular basis. For early farmers, herdsmen, and gatherers, keeping track of the passage of time means they could plan when to plant, when to breed, and when to reap.

As a result of this desire to keep track of days and months and years, many different kinds of timepieces were created. Some used items available in nature, such as a tree or rock that marked the passage of the sun. Early sundials were very helpful on days when the sun shone, of course, but less so when the skies were overcast.


History credits the Egyptians with first using the stars to tell the passage of time, and this was a skill in great demand once ocean exploration was embarked upon. Candles, water, and oil were commonly used in the Far East, particularly Japan and China.

Weight-driven timepieces were built beginning in the 1300s, which eventually morphed into clocks with pendulums by 1656.


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Pocket watches came along in the 1500s, but surprisingly, the minute hand wasn't added for about 200 years. Other versions were worn around the neck, but didn’t do an accurate job of keeping time. Prior to 1780s, watches were wound with a key or a stem, and in 1796, the self-winding version released.

Wristwatches are credited to Louis Cartier, whose aviator friend Santos asked him to design a watch he could see without taking his hands off the controls when he flew his airplane. Within a few years, wristwatches were all the vogue. Soldiers during World War 1 used “trench watches”, and the wristwatch became easily accessible and affordable to the general public.

As we can see, keeping track of time throughout history has seen many variations, from sundials to candles to clocks and wristwatches.

In my book, Time Will Tell, my heroine owns a watch and clock repair shop. She learned the business from her father, who recently passed away. She knows the ins and outs of cleaning and repairing all sorts of timepieces, and loves the ticking of all the clocks lining the walls of her shop. However, she feels time is slipping away as she struggles against a male-dominated culture that refuses to let her work at what she loves best. Sadie must learn that God makes all things beautiful in His time, a lesson we can all keep close to heart in these uncertain times.

Question for readers: What is your favorite watch or clock you received as a gift or bought for yourself? Leave your answer and I will draw randomly for a free print (US only) or ebook copy of Time Will Tell. Please leave your email address, too, disguised like this: donna AT livebytheword DOT com

About Time Will Tell:

Sadie Bauer inherits her father’s watch and clock repair shop in the Mall beneath Main Street, Pueblo. However, she soon learns that Fate conspires against her operating this business and keeping her father’s memory alive.

Will O’Reilly, recently dismissed for fighting, longs to help this beautiful damsel in distress, but she’s about as prickly as a porcupine. He’d like their relationship to be more than employer-employee, but if she learns of their connection through their ex-fiances, she might not want to have anything to do with him.

Can Sadie overcome her mistrust of men in general, and of a certain suave salesman in particular? Can Will get past his former betrothed’s infidelity? And can both learn to trust the God who makes all things beautiful in His time?

About Donna:

A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published 50 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both. Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

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  1. Thanks for posting. My favorite clock is a kit clock made by my father-in-law, with a pretty tile face. Sadly we can't hang it in our current home because it's too heavy for the walls. Thank you for the giveaway, your book sounds great. bcrug AT twc DOT com

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi ConnieR, thanks for leaving such a nice reply. Good luck in the drawing.

  2. I've never had expensive watches but my favorite would probably be my very 1st watch. My parents gave me a Timex wrist watch for my 10th Christmas Eve and I wore it many years.
    Thanks for an interesting post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Connie, and good luck in the drawing. My first watch had a brown leather strap, silver colored case, and a blue face. I loved it and still have it tucked away somewhere, although it hasn't run for years. A Timex as well.

  3. Great post! I didn't realize clocks were made as early as 1656, and self-winding watches were made in 1796. My favorite watch is the one my hubby bought me for our anniversary years ago. I still wear it daily. Thanks for the giveaway. moma3homeschool AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for sharing your story. Good luck in the drawing.

  4. Interesting information. I certainly didn’t realize that watches had been around that long. I haven’t worn a watch in years and now have an Apple Watch. I guess that would be my favorite one other than the old watch my mother used to wear and that I received after she passed away. I don’t think that one works anymore.
    Thanks for the giveaway :). bettimace AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Betti, thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. Good luck in the drawing.

  5. Hi Donna, I inherited my great-grandpa's vintage gold pocketwatch. The back of it is worn some, but still beautiful. I didn't know that much about watches, so I learned a lot. jenningskaren1973 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for sharing. Good luck in the drawing.

  6. Thank you for this amazing post I had a Mickey Mouse watch when I was a little girl My Dad and Mom had got me for my Birthday one year! sarahbaby601973 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your fun story. Good luck in the drawing.

  7. I had no idea that clocks didn't have minute hands for 200 years. Fascinating. We have an antique clock on our wall that needs to be wound with a key. My husband has a pocket watch that was his great-great-grandfathers that is also wound with a key. For a few years long ago watch repair was a hobby of his. I'd love to read your story. cindyhuff11ATgmailDOTcom

  8. Hi Cindy, thanks for leaving a comment. Good luck in the drawing. And thanks for your watch stories.