HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Check out the Pride Celebration Treasure Hunt!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of…
Loading...

Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World

by David S. Landes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
397340,619 (3.72)4

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
What keeps one coming back to the same book for years or even decades?

I can think of two books I’ve read and re-read for years; Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Revolution in Time by David S. Landes. It’s this second book I’ve been thinking about again after reading a blog post about early mechanical clocks

“Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Ding, daing, dong. Ding, daing, dong.”

I first stumbled across Revolution in Time around 1985 while exploring the nether regions of the Dundee University library. I found the opening of the book fascinating as it explained the need to measure time more precisely in late medieval Europe. Unlike Islam or Judaism, the Roman branch of Christianity (particularly the Benedictine rule) held offices at fixed times of day rather than during bands of time around sunrise, noon and sunset that can be assessed without a timekeeper. The monastic day or (Horarium) revolved around the eight canonical hours that would begin at midnight with the service of Matins followed by the morning office of Lauds at 3:00am.

While most of Europe in the middle ages lived an agrarian lifestyle regulated by the natural day, the Religious were subject to fixed times in each day and during the long dark winter nights. Given those conditions one can understand the anxiety about Brother John sleeping-in and not ringing the matins bell. They needed a reliable way to divide up the day.
It’s an interesting diversion to reflect on the fact that methods of telling the time elsewhere in the world don’t work well in Northern Europe. Water (clocks) freezes and sundials work best when one can be more confident of clear skies.

Revolution in Time tells a number of separate, but related, stories:
• The magnificent dead-end that was timekeeping in ancient China.
• The birth of mechanical timekeeping in medieval Europe.
• The race to fing the longitude and the story of John Harrison’s clocks.
• The history of the clock and watchmaking industry — for me, the least interesting part of the book.

I have travelled nearly 30 years with this book and will keep coming back to it because there is so much material to take in and Landes is a good story teller. Since first reading the book I’ve been lucky enough to visit some of the earliest clocks in Europe; theastronomical clock in Exeter CathedraL and the turret clock at Cotehele. It was fascinating to see that these are not precisely-engineered creations butmachines that have run for 500 or 600 years.

This is not just the story of instruments to measure time and break up the day into regular chunks. It’s the story that led to the industrial revolution and the modern world. ( )
  Craiglea | Jan 21, 2014 |
Told the Harrison deck watch story before Longitude became popular. ( )
  hcubic | Feb 16, 2013 |
Clocks and timekeeping ( )
  IraSchor | Apr 5, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Use time, or time will use you. - Old Proverb
Dedication
In memory of teachers and mentors: Arthur Harrison Cole, Donald Cope McKay, Sir Michael Moyse Postan, Abbot Payson Usher
First words
The question to ask is: Why clocks?
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674768000, Hardcover)

The mechanical clock was one of the technological advances that brought Western civilisation to a position of world leadership. The book details how and why this breakthrough occurred through an historical journey.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.72)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 5
3.5 1
4 9
4.5
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,519,834 books! | Top bar: Always visible