The history of the car clock

How often do you use your car's clock to let you know how late you are for work? Have you ever been in a rental car and spent more than a few seconds trying to figure out where the heck they hid the clock? Heck, when was the last time you were in a car that didn't have a clock? It's hard to imagine a time when clocks weren't a part of every vehicle's standard equipment, but where did it all begin? Thanks to this piece in The Watchismo Times (like we could make that up), we now know some of the history surrounding this most ubiquitous automotive accessory.
Timepieces used to be strictly for the home. They were delicate and expensive. When travel became more common, mobile clocks were needed and so the more rugged carriage clock was developed. It was a pretty big innovation, but some people preferred to just slip their pocket watches into leather pouches on the dash. A dedicated car clock didn't really come about until the car started to prove a viable entity in the early 1900s.

More after the jump.

[Source: The Watchismo Times]

Speedometer companies started making aftermarket clocks as accessories, and eventually there were a lot of players in this part of the market. For many of the companies, it was as easy as repackaging the marine clocks they had already begun making for boats. And some of these early clocks were pretty wild. You could get clocks that mounted just about anywhere, from dashboards to steering wheels, on gearshifts, and even clipped onto rear-view mirrors. The biggest leap in car clock tech happened in the '30s and '40s, when electricity started to make mechanical clock winding obsolete. Quartz technology was another significant leap in timepiece tech, but GPS and other emerging technologies promise to usher in a new era of automotive time keeping.

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