Stromberg Dial

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Doug Hill, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. Doug Hill

    Doug Hill Registered User
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    Dec 21, 2001
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    Can anyone tell me the significance of the RED time markings on this Stromberg Slave? Looks like it was done professionally. I’ve seen it before but not sure of the purpose.

    Thanks

    dial.JPG
     
  2. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    Sep 7, 2000
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    #2 John Hubby, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    Doug, thanks for posting! Being a Stromberg clock (Stromberg-Carlson was founded in 1894) your clock could have been made before WWI. That being a possibility, it could be related to a movement to implement ''decimal time" in France.

    At the time of the French revolution (1789-1799), the new government and others wanted France to use a decimal system for everything . . including currency, measures of weight and length, the calendar and clocks. There would be ten months in a year, and ten hours instead of twelve in every half-day. This movement eventually led to the metric system of measurements, but the calendar and clock time didn't take hold. After the adoption of the metric standards in the 1890s, there was a resurgence of the idea to adopt "metric time" with 10 hours instead of 12 per half day. In the first decade of the 20th century, clocks with dials showing both standard time and metric time appeared in the attempt to move France to that system. Here is one made in 1908 for a 400-Day clock by Claude Grivolas of Paris:
    637 Dial2.jpg As can be seen, the dial ahows the standard 12-hour day but also a 10-hour day with the hours marked in red. The inscription reads "L'Universel Systéme Metrique Decimal", "Testut Paris". This was the name of the decimal time system that was attempted to be introduced at that time.

    I think it could be that your clock dial was made to represent decimal time, however I don't have information needed to determine the age of your clock, Perhaps another user could have that information. Please post photos of the back of your movement if possible, as that could provide the info needed for dating.
     
  3. Doug Hill

    Doug Hill Registered User
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    Dec 21, 2001
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    Thank you so much for the great explanation.
    Best,
    Doug
     
  4. mxfrank

    mxfrank Registered User

    Oct 27, 2011
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    Do you know why there are 12 hours in a day? Sixty seconds in a minute? 12 in a dozen? 360 degrees in a circle? twelve months in a year?

    We are still living in the aftershock of the first decimal conversion, which happened about 1200 years ago. The mathematics known in ancient times derived from the Sumerians, who counted in sexagesimal (base 60.) The most likely explanation for why they chose base 60 is that their counting system was finger based. No, they didn't have more fingers than we do. But if you use your thumb as a pointer, and count each joint of your fingers as a digit, it's obvious. You can count to sixty by counting to 12 on the joints of one hand and accumulating 12's on the fingers of the other. Most of that ancient mathematics was lost during the dark ages. Our decimal system was developed in India sometime around the 4th century AD, and entered Europe by way of Arabia. Sexagesimal has persisted in geometry and derives from the Greeks, who used the Babylonian system for this purpose. As comfortable as we are with decimals, it's not necessarily the only "natural" system of counting.
     
  5. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    as a programmer i've always loved this t-shirt... seems relevant:

    binary.jpg
     
  6. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    p.s.: explanation for non-binary enabled folks:

    binary is base-2... just ones and zeroes. think of the digits from right to left as 1's, 2's, 4's and 8's and that will get you started.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 6.16.30 PM.jpg



     

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