History dating platform clock escapement

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These early clocks may not have used hands or dials, but “told” the time with audible signals.

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In 797 (or possibly 801), the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid, presented Charlemagne with an Asian Elephant named Abul-Abbas together with a "particularly elaborate example" of a water clock.

For example, there is a record that in 1176 Sens Cathedral installed a ‘horologe’ but the mechanism used is unknown.

According to Jocelin of Brakelond, in 1198 during a fire at the abbey of St Edmundsbury (now Bury St Edmunds), the monks 'ran to the clock' to fetch water, indicating that their water clock had a reservoir large enough to help extinguish the occasional fire .

For horologists and other specialists the term clock continues to mean exclusively a device with a striking mechanism for announcing intervals of time acoustically, by ringing a bell, a set of chimes, or a gong.

The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to consistently measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units, the day, the lunar month, and the year. Devices operating on several different physical processes have been used over the millennia, culminating in the clocks of today.

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