From the dawn of time, man and animal alike have had to wake up. Scientists have never been able to agree why we sleep, but no one can argue that it is absolutely necessary, and because of this, man has toiled for centuries with different methods of startling himself awake. Let's take a look at a few notable milestones in the history of the alarm clock:
Some creatures rise with the sun while the other half use it as a signal to find a place to hide out. Some researchers have theorized that the reason we sleep is because our cave ancestors were stuck inside their places of refuge, hiding from the terrifying predators that roamed the night, and since there wasn't much else to do they decided to sleep through it. This theory is debatable, but it is true that the only method early man had for rising was with the rays of the sun.
As farming developed and wild animals were domesticated, a genuinely handy feature was found in the rooster, although truly annoying, this fowl will typically start sounding off before the sun is visible and allows a farmer to get a jump on his days labor.
The Sundial and Water Clock
When civilization began to bloom and our large brains began to face new challenges in large communal organizations, there was need for a system of agreement about what time it was. The earliest timepieces were sundials that used cast shadows and a circular number pattern to give a reasonably precise synchronization. At the same time, the water clock was becoming popular and worked much like an hourglass, but used a regulated flow of water in place of sand.
The Mechanical Clock
Although this device was invented in 240B.C., it wouldn't be until nearly 1600 years later that it would be effectively used. Large clock towers began popping up across europe in the mid 14th century and are still an iconic image of many great cities in the region.
Adjustable Home Alarm Clocks
These nifty devices, the classic metal types with two bells at the top, became the burden of those experiencing the industrial revolution. For the first time in history it became crucial for hundreds of people to show up in one location, at the same time, every day. So beginning in 1870 large numbers of these little guys were sold, and this is where we can say that the modern alarm clock was born.