Public Time

Were church bells among the first?

They’ve proclaimed the hour of the day for centuries. First as a call to worship. And later as a mark of time to all within hearing.

Clocks on bell towers and city halls followed.

Businesses got in on the action later. Think of a photo of an American business district from the first half of the twentieth century. Does the jewelry store have a clock? Or the bank? Attached to the building? Or free standing like this model?

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Today in our fascination with all things digital — several businesses and organizations within a mile will have bright, flashing signs which will give the time and temperature as one of a series of messages. Don’t blink! Any one message only remains seconds, barely time for an unsuspecting brain to notice.

I like the style above. It invites a person to slow down, take an extra look, absorb a bit of the world around yourself.

 

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