The Clock United Communities

IN Europe the clock very early became a public machine. Churches expected communicants to assemble regularly and repeatedly for prayers, and flourishing cities brought people together to share a life of commerce and entertainment. When clocks took their places in church steeples and town belfries, they entered on a public stage. There they proclaimed themselves to rich and poor, awakening the interest even of those who had no personal reason to mark the hours. Machines that began as public instruments gradually became some of the most widely diffused private instruments. But instruments that began their lives in private might never become diffused into the wants and needs of the whole community. The first advertisement for the clock was the clock itself, performing for new publics all over Europe. No self-respecting European town would be without its public clock, which tolled all citizens together to defend, to celebrate, or to mourn. A community that could focus its resources in a dazzling public clock was that much more a community. The bell tolled for all and each, as the poet John Donne noted in 1623, and the tolling of the community’s bells was a reminder that “I am involved in mankind.”


Large clocks in every town brought everyone together under one precise time. It was a reminder that we are all part of a community.

Folksonomies: community technology society progress

Clock United Communities (0.986693 (positive:0.558910)), dazzling public clock (0.850692 (positive:0.805260)), self-respecting European town (0.631167 (neutral:0.000000)), poet John Donne (0.625561 (neutral:0.000000)), diffused private instruments (0.587423 (neutral:0.000000)), Large clocks (0.432717 (positive:0.558910)), precise time (0.415926 (positive:0.558911)), town belfries (0.402445 (neutral:0.000000)), church steeples (0.395209 (neutral:0.000000)), new publics (0.382012 (neutral:0.000000)), personal reason (0.377713 (positive:0.227196)), public machine (0.357655 (neutral:0.000000)), public stage (0.344894 (neutral:0.000000)), community’s bells (0.332070 (positive:0.338689)), public instruments (0.319850 (neutral:0.000000))

Clock United Communities:Facility (0.862635 (positive:0.558910)), Europe:Continent (0.542537 (neutral:0.000000)), John Donne:Person (0.417749 (neutral:0.000000))

John Donne (0.948793): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Clock (0.874817): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Village (0.800059): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Time (0.782308): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Bell (0.766410): dbpedia | freebase | yago
England (0.728211): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago | geonames
European Union (0.670996): dbpedia | ciaFactbook | freebase | opencyc | yago
Watch (0.670853): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The discoverers
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Boorstin, Daniel Joseph (1983), The discoverers, Random House Inc, Retrieved on 2013-08-08
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