The Importance of Telling the Time

Our topic on the eve of the Innovation & Collaboration opening focuses on the importance of telling time and we’re using this clock as one of the exhibits to highlight its significance because of its horological importance.

This beautiful 1658 ebony and silver wall clock (Ahasuerus Fromanteel Mounted Wall Clock,c 1658) is one of a very small number of London-made clocks constructed in veneered box cases.  In addition, it’s side-by-side movement layout became the “standard” for all future English spring clocks.

Like our planet, the analogue clock is round and has its own life cycle, that which is based upon a 24-hour day.  The importance of being able to read these clocks is significant; not only does it enable a person to tell the time, but also establishes boundaries and the time frames upon which our world has been built on since the seventeenth century, when pendulum clocks were first introduced, c.1650.  If day-to-day life is built around our 24-hour day and broken down into sectioned routines –morning, noon and night – then it is vital that young people within our modern society can grasp reading the analogue clock as a basic function and everyday too.

Only a few months ago, the media was flooded with reports that the practice of using analogue clocks within class and exam rooms may be abolished, due to the fact that the teenagers within them were only able to read time in a digital format.  This begs the question, ‘Why still use an‘old’ analogue clock when digital advancements are so great nowadays?’  Well, being able to read a traditional clock not only enables us to read time in the present but also to plan ahead.  An analogue clock’s display is an information-rich source as not only does it show the current time, but also allows one to plan for how much time he or she has remaining to complete a task or arrive at a destination within a set schedule.  A digital clock may show us what the time is at that very moment, but it does not show the minutes or hours we have left within that time frame or day.  

Additionally, because of the historical importance of the analogue clock, it is imperative that young people should be able to read them.  We, as a society, would not fully comprehend our past without the facts and our spectrum of knowledge and ongoing research is inextricably linked with scientific progress – arguably one of the most progressive feats of the modern world.  Advances in this field have played a significant role in our further understanding of the past and without the discoveries and advancements of our ancestors, scientific progression would not have been possible in the first place.

Clock exhibition

HELD ON 3rd to 14th September 2018