Re: clock faces (was: Why not 13 months?)

Grant Edwards (
Sat, 12 Aug 1995 00:55:19 GMT

Theodore John Swystun ( wrote:

: This is just a shot in the dark, but I suspect that clocks using divisions
: of eight might have had a practical application on board naval vessels.

: A "watch" or duty shift is composed of eight hours,

Nope. A watch was traditionally four hours.

: counted off in "bells".

That's correct -- and there were 8 bells per watch.

: Three bells refers to the third completed hour of a watch and can therefore
: refer to 0300, 1100, or 1900 hrs.

No, a "bell" is added every half hour. Three bells would be one and a half
hours into the watch. The time would then be 0130, 0530, 0930, 1330, 1730,
or 2130. Bells were usually sounded in pairs -- three bells would be
ding-ding (pause) ding. Five would be ding-ding (pause) ding-ding (pause)

Folks, you can look up stuff like this in any dictionary -- there's no need
to guess about such simple things.

: Personally I've never seen a clock like this, but it wouldn't really
: surprise me to find out that they exist.

Grant Edwards | Microsoft isn't the | Yow! SANTA CLAUS comes down
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