Against the clock : time awareness in early modern Antwerp, 1585-1789Against the clock : time awareness in early modern Antwerp, 1585-1789
Faculty of Arts. History
Centre for Urban History
Continuity and change : a journal of social structure, law and demography in past societies. - Cambridge, 1986, currens
28(2013):2, p. 213-244
University of Antwerp
Traditionally a large role has been attributed to the spread of clocks and watches in fostering a 'modern' awareness of time. Yet, little research is available that empirically enables signs of growing time awareness to be linked to the distribution of time-keeping devices. In this article both these phenomena are brought together using two independent sets of evidence that permit the hypothesis that clocks and watches contributed to a heightened consciousness of time to be tested. While the ownership of clocks and watches was socially skewed, highly gendered and unevenly distributed over time, time awareness as exemplified throughout numerous court cases was essentially none of these.