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

Robert Roosen (
Sat, 12 Aug 1995 01:31:09 GMT

Oh, oh. Is the next thread going to be, "Why not 26 hours in a day?" :-)

Bill Owen ( wrote:
: In article <>, (Smuts, L) writes:
: > Do anybody know if a DIVISION OF EIGHT instead of the usual twelve divisions
: > as on a clockface, was ever used on any type of mechanical timekeeping
: > equipment? If so, what was the argument for it?
: > a Listener to a local radiostation asked panel of scientists this question,
: > but there was as yet no conclusive answer. Aparently, needlework artpiece
: > showed a clockface with eight divisions.

: I've never heard of a clock face being divided into eight equal parts.
: Ten, yes, as part of the calendar reform of the French Revolution (the meter
: and gram caught on, but not the 10-hour day).

: The Spanish "milled dollar" or "piece of eight" (8 reales) used to be cut
: into 8 wedges or "bits" in order to make change -- which is why a quarter
: dollar is still colloquially called "two bits." [Off topic, but interesting.]

: I suspect that the real reason that needlework art would show 8 divisions on
: a clock face is simply a concession to the discrete nature of needlework.
: Whether it's needlepoint or cross stitch, the basic unit -- a pixel if you
: will -- is a small square piece of material. You can make 45-degree angles
: easily, but 30 degrees is next to impossible. The closest you can come is a
: 4-by-7 rectangle, but that's likely to be too big for a design.

: -- Bill Owen,