The apparent position of the Sun in the sky moves over the course of each day, reflecting the rotation of the Earth. Shadows cast by stationary objects move correspondingly, so their positions can be used to indicate the time of day. A sundial shows the time by displaying the position of a shadow on a (usually) flat surface, which has markings that correspond to the hours. Sundials can be horizontal, vertical, or in other orientations. Sundials were widely used in ancient times. With the knowledge of latitude, a well-constructed sundial can measure local solar time with reasonable accuracy, within a minute or two. Sundials continued to be used to monitor the performance of clocks until the modern era.
The British had predominated in watch manufacture for much of the 17th and 18th centuries, but maintained a system of production that was geared towards high quality products for the elite. Although there was an attempt to modernise clock manufacture with mass production techniques and the application of duplicating tools and machinery by the British Watch Company in 1843, it was in the United States that this system took off. In 1816, Eli Terry and some other Connecticut clockmakers developed a way of mass-producing clocks by using interchangeable parts. Aaron Lufkin Dennison started a factory in 1851 in Massachusetts that also used interchangeable parts, and by 1861 was running a successful enterprise incorporated as the Waltham Watch Company.
“I bought this light because my partner and I need to be up early for work, but our bedroom has very poor natural light. Within a week, I’ve already noticed a difference in my energy levels and mood. The sunrise simulation works perfectly; by the time the ‘alarm’ (peaceful bird noises) goes off, I’m already feeling naturally awake — not groggy or jolted out of my sleep. I feel much more rested, and my average resting heart rate reflects that. I also really love the sunset feature. I wasn’t expecting to get much use out of it, but I feel like it does a great job of helping me settle into bed at the end of the day.”