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History of the Hour: Clocks and Modern Temporal Orders (Hardback)
  • History of the Hour: Clocks and Modern Temporal Orders (Hardback)
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History of the Hour: Clocks and Modern Temporal Orders (Hardback)

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£30.00
Hardback Published: 11/07/1996
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In this analysis of the organization of time, the author examines the history of the mechanical clock and its effects on European society from the late Middle Ages to the industrial revolution. The book provides a discussion of how mechanical clocks functioned in cities and dispels many myths associated with the clock's history. For example, Dohrn-van Rossum argues that in their race to display the grandest clocks, monarchs and princes were more responsible than merchants for introducing clocks into urban environments. This work also questions what is known regarding the clock's invention, including the role of the hour-glass, the arrival of the mechanical clock before scientific rationality, and the obscure history of the escapement, the clock's regulating mechanism. Detailing the clock's effects on social activity, this work presents a picture of a society regulated by the precise measurements of identical hours. From setting time limits on tortures to creating intricate schedules for town councils, schools and religious services, the clock has affected virtually all aspects of society. Restructuring long-distance communication also became vital to modernization as the postal service began measuring its performance with unprecedented accuracy. In showing that the organization of time was not shaped by any single act or group of people, this work reveals the complexity of early modern society and the clock's pervasive influence over an entire culture.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226155104
Weight: 760 g
Dimensions: 235 x 160 x 34 mm
Edition: New edition

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