Have you ever wondered why ‘clockwise’ is the way it is? The answer is very simple: sundials.
The first mechanical clocks had no dials, they simply sounded bells at the hour, half-hour and quarter. When clocks were fitted with dials and hands, naturally they copied the sundial. On a sundial, the shadow of the gnomon, which points to the time, moves clockwise through the day; the first mechanical clocks simply replicated this.
Of course sundials only work like this in the northern hemisphere; south of the equator, the shadow on a sundial moves anticlockwise… Proof, if it were needed, that clocks were not invented in Australia.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs