Tag Archives: stopwatch

The history of the stopwatch

Link here. The most fascinating part of this story is the recent discovery of the very first stopwatch, previously unknown, built in 1816, and remarkably similar to the standard analog stopwatches used for decades until the arrival of digital equipment.

The layout of the compteur also makes one suspect it ended up in 1816 via a time machine. Instead of inking paper, it has a silvered and frosted metal dial dominated by a large fraction-second hand like later stopwatches, and three subdials for marking hours, minutes, and whole seconds Along with this, the stopwatch has a button at 12 o’clock to start and stop it, plus an 11 o’clock button to instantly reset the dials. This is a feature common to modern stopwatches and one not thought to be invented until 1862 by Adolphe Nicole.