In a master clock system, electricity is used to give direct impulses to the pendulum, which in turn causes the clock’s gear train to move, or to lift a lever after it has imparted an impulse to the pendulum. In various modern master clocks the pendulum operates a light count wheel that turns through the pitch of one tooth every double swing and is arranged to release a lever every half minute. This lever gives an impulse to the pendulum and is then restored to its original position by an electromagnet. The pulse of current that operates the electromagnet can also be transmitted to a series of distant dials, or slave clocks, advancing the hands of each through the space of a half minute. Thus, a master clock can control scores of dials in a large group of buildings, as well as such other apparatus as time recorders and sirens.
The piezoelectric properties of crystalline quartz were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880.[49][50] The first crystal oscillator was invented in 1917 by Alexander M. Nicholson after which, the first quartz crystal oscillator was built by Walter G. Cady in 1921.[2] In 1927 the first quartz clock was built by Warren Marrison and J. W. Horton at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Canada.[51][2] The following decades saw the development of quartz clocks as precision time measurement devices in laboratory settings—the bulky and delicate counting electronics, built with vacuum tubes, limited their practical use elsewhere. The National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) based the time standard of the United States on quartz clocks from late 1929 until the 1960s, when it changed to atomic clocks.[52] In 1969, Seiko produced the world's first quartz wristwatch, the Astron.[53] Their inherent accuracy and low cost of production resulted in the subsequent proliferation of quartz clocks and watches.[49]
Waking up might be a little bit more pleasant when you can choose between a buzzer, the radio, or your favorite songs streaming from your smartphone or MP3 player to nudge you out of dreamland. Add to that the fun of seeing the time of day (or night) projected in large, red numerals onto your ceiling — you don't even have to turn your head to figure out how much more sleep you'll get if you can just fall back into slumber right now — and the large LCD display on the clock's face, and you have just some of the features that make the Electrohome Projection Alarm Clock our top pick.
“Great alarm clock for the price. Gigantic numbers for my old eyes. Very basic, easy to set, just what I wanted. Alarm is loud even on low [with] an awful sound that would wake the dead. But that sound makes me get right up, so it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. If you want a soft gentle caress to wake you, get something else, but this is a good alarm and easy to use.”
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