Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Clock Radio

Today's picture is from 1924, and it shows the first clock radio. No, it did not play music, the radio was for remotely setting the clock. Back before high speed communication, a real problem was there was no way to synchronize clocks and timekeeping in different location. Two towns miles apart, might be working on two different clocks. What one town said was noon might be 12:30 in the next town over. This actually caused quiet a bit of trouble for train travel. The device above had a radio receiver, and hence all such clocks could be set via radio waves from a central location, helping to synchronize clocks over a vast area. All clocks did not have to be like the one above, but if each town had such a clock, others could set their watch from it. 


  1. And almost a hundred years after, I still enjoy tuning to the WWV time station (out of Fort Collins, CO) from time to time. If nothing else, to marvel at the wonders of short wave propagation and accurate time keeping. 73 de ZZ3EOF (actually, ex-ZZ3EOF, as I let the license lapse a few years ago. Need to get back into it some day)

  2. The railroads did force the US to set time zones, although the British had been using Greenwich Mean Time since the days of George III. France, oddly enough (or not) didn't go with GMT until 1978.

  3. There are still a few small areas in the Midwest that are off by 1/2 hr--really makes things confusing as you drive through. I suppose the locals have gotten used to how it works, but I have enough trouble with the "jet lag" of "springing forward" and "falling back."