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    Timepiece history - when did second accuracy become feasible
    From: J Cora
    Date: 2007 Oct 28, 08:31 -0700

    This is a multipart question so I hope that I dont leave
    something unasked as to the scope.

    The concept of a second of time, a minute of time as
    fractions of an hour and of a day.  I wonder what civilization
    had the thought to breakdown the hour and what reasonable
    technology was available.   My quess is the water clock with
    the drip set to 60 per minute but this is pure speculation.
    I also have to wonder what drove the person who decided
    that subdividing the hour was necessary.   Perhaps even
    the concept of a second was quite the leap.


    Since the length of the day changes throughout the year, some
    technology perhaps sundials, or again water clocks made the
    observer aware that measuring an hour with some measure
    of accuracy was desirable.  I know that on ships a sandglass
    was used to to time watches.

    Although Harrison was among the first to make a timepiece
    of sufficient accuracy for use at sea,  I wonder how much
    earlier land based timepieces were up to the task.

    Among my faults, is a tendency to fall into survival mode
    thinking.  What if no  battery powered timepieces, no
    computers (i.e) back to computing by hand trignometric
    tables.

    Peace



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