As discussed in the readings, one of the primary forces for the development of the clock was from a desire to understand astronomy to a greater extent. Once Islamic traders had understood the mechanisms that the Chinese had begun to build, they began to see a religious purpose…
Recognizing the way that the Islamic traders that came to China and bought and sold goods along the Silk Road had expertise with astronomy, the Chinese commissioned some of these Islamic craftsmen and scholars to help build the first Chinese clocks. Just as the Islamic groups before them had done, the Chinese used these first clocks primarily for astrological and astronomical purposes instead of telling time.
Europe was introduced to the clock during the Muslim conquest of Southern Europe during the early part of the early Dark Ages. As with most forms of cultural interaction, Europe sought t improve upon the idea of the clock and soon thereafter began using it to tell time of day. Previously the time of day was told not by clocks but by the position of the sun and or celestial bodies. Such a form of time telling was adequate at times but made increasingly difficult in case of poor weather or visibility. By means of using a clock to tell time, the Europeans were able to industrialize their societies and have a solid base for arrangements and organization of the nations and peoples
One of the biggest ways that the mechanical clock affected the United States was by way of navigation and discovery. Early navigation, like time telling, took place through visual confirmation of the sun moon and stars. However, such a method was not practical and led to many errors in judgment. Soon other forms of navigation were produced to include the sextant. However, one of the most useful was the use of navigation equipment that also utilized the time. The way that early mariners would do this was by having two clocks and a sextant. The first clock would tell them what time of day it was back home (in London or elsewhere) and the second they would use and set based upon their latitude. In this way, they could practically pin-point their location on the map as they navigated; helping them in finding their way back ...
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