Popular Relics! – Stopwatches!

Stopwatch. Ref: dreamstime.com

It is not unusual for people to wonder where the stopwatch originated. There are some that would dare say that ancient Egyptians were the creators of the first stopwatch and it is not as far-fetched as it would sound, because many ancient civilizations were responsible for inventing some advanced technological items. If you want proof, just take a look at the pyramids of Egypt and then figure out just how they managed to build them. Since it is impossible to ask the ancient Egyptians to show us a stopwatch of theirs, we can only start with the earliest known stopwatches which were made by Leon Breitling back in 1884.

These watches were very expensive seeing as how they were originally made for use in aviation. Though they were used for that, people began to buy and wear them as more of a status symbol than anything else. These original models were created long before anyone had even heard of electronics, and as such they were mechanical, most using a winding mechanism.

Many of the original stopwatches had a large face, but even though that is not comfortable to wear, it didn’t stop anyone from doing so. People didn’t care if it was awkward to wear or not, since they only wanted the status symbol which was expensive to purchase and therefore automatically considered good.

We will now take a closer look at the stopwatch that has been a well known icon for a long time already. More than fifty years long people have been watching the TV show “60 Minutes” and in the corner of the screen is a stopwatch. However, who wondered about whether or not there was CGI at the time? That stopwatch actually existed and spent more than fifty years ticking away. There are in fact those who believe that the stopwatch is what made the show popular after it was first aired on the 24th of September in 1968.

It may have spent more than 50 years ticking away the time for the TV show, but it now can be seen in the Smithsonian where it is displayed along with other famous television icons. It was not thrown away like garbage after it was no longer needed. The importance of this stopwatch for the show is something that actually is quite surprising for many people.

Stopwatches are still basically the same, even though they have advanced over time. They now keep track of laps, can be used to measure time for lab experiments and many other things, as well as keeping track of time in several different countries. This is a big difference to the functions of the original stopwatch that was invented, but it is still important to keep in mind the humble roots.

Regardless of what new inventions come out nowadays, they all have one thing in common and that is the fact that there was a long, hard road that had to be traveled beforehand. Next time you are holding a stopwatch, take some time to think about the history of this device and the role it has played in society. You are bound to come up with more examples than have been mentioned in this article.

If you are researching stop watches, check out this blog which has good articles on digital timers.

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