history museums pragmatic historian time timekeeper

Library of Congress: The Ultimate Eye Candy

Continuing from last week’s post about my January trip to Washington DC, I’d like to share my impressions and photos of the Library of Congress. For some reason, this building was open during the partial government shutdown and I’m so very glad it was. First off, the Library of Congress is located in the Thomas Jefferson Building. The building is called that because Thomas Jefferson sold his significant personal library to the United States after…

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clock pragmatic historian time timekeeper

Museums for Clocks & Watches

Okay, I’m writing a super easy post tonight, which will go live tomorrow at 8:33 a.m. In contrast to the other blogs I’ve kept, with which I have written posts and published them immediately, with The Pragmatic Historian my goal has been to write posts ahead of time and schedule them. It was bound to happen sooner or later, but here I am on a Wednesday night after a full day of writing and editing…

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Slave Clock? Not So Much

This post went live at 8:33 a.m. Central Standard Time on November 5, 2018. Let’s step back in time a moment, shall we? Daylight Saving Time I’m writing this on the evening of November 3rd, on the eve of the end of Daylight Saving Time for 2018. For those of us in the United States who follow Daylight Saving Time, it officially ends at 2 a.m. on November 4th, but who wants to wait up…

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Timekeeping with Fingers and Sun

When I was a kid, someone taught me a nifty little timekeeping technique involving my fingers and the sun. If you hold your fingers between the setting sun and the horizon, you can estimate the time for full sunset by counting 15 minutes for each of your fingers between the sun and the horizon line. For the photo above, there are 4 fingers between the sun and horizon, so there is about an hour before…

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Using Sound to Keep Time

Which of these things is not like the others? With my penchant for clocks as the visual theme for The Pragmatic Historian, does today’s featured image of drums come as a surprise? It may seem on the surface that clocks and drums have nothing to do with each other, but both are timekeeping devices. Clocks tell us what time it is within the day, but drums establish the tempo for other musicians to follow. The…

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