Sun Clocks, Water Clocks and Sun Dials.
5000 to 6000 years ago great civilizations in the Middle East and North Africa began to make clocks to augment their calendars.
The ancient Greeks, it is believed, began using water clocks around 325 BC.
The Mechanical Clock.
The Chinese invented the first mechanical clock, was made of wood. It was made in 723 A.D. by a monk and mathematician I-Hsing. It was was 30 feet high.
In the mid-1400s, European craftsmen discovered that coiled springs, unwinding the speed governed by an escapement, could move the hands on a timepiece as effacingly as the weights of a tower clock. This discovery made possible the first portable clocks, later reduced in size to become watches.
The Watch was invented by Peter Henlein . It was invented in 1504. It was invented in Nuremberg, Germany.
I suppose they set the first clocks by waiting till noon, when the sun is directly overhead and went on from there.
When the first caveman left a stick in the ground to make a sundial.
There have been time keeping devices around since early times. Mostly these were sundials that would give an approximate time of day depending on length of shadow.
There is a very sophisticated clock that uses the flow of water to keep time. One of them was discovered in the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep who died about 1500 BC.
The first "modern" clocks, those with some sort of energy source like a wound up spring driving an "escape" mechanism, date from about 1250AD.
So, take your pick depending on how you define the word "clock."
Knowing how to set the clock depended on where you were. In most locations when a stick in the ground cast the minimum shadow, that was determined to be 12:00 noon. Divisions between one noon and the next determined when every 24th part of the day was complete, that is, it determined hours.
In the 19th century the idea of time zones became necessary. Railroads had to keep trains from running into each other so local times, for example when its noon in Philadelphia its 12:09 in New York,wouldn't work. Both cities had to have the same time so that trains could run on a single track and not collide ( this has to do with not having multiple track all the way between the two cities)
Atomic clocks now keep time by measuring the vibration of atoms. As accurate as this is, scientists keep improving the accuracy so that the precision of timekeeping doubles every 30 years or so.
Just a tick and I will tell you - oops the answer is above.
When the sun was created at the beginning of time...
half an hour before Christ's birth
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