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Heirloom Hourglass

History of the Hourglass Sand Timer

The hourglass, also known as a sand timer, sand glass, or sand clock, is a device traditionally used for the measurement of time. It consists of two glass bulbs resting one on top of the other connected by a narrow opening. The top bulb is filled with sand which flows through the opening into the lower bulb at a given rate dependent on the volume and size of the sand and size and angle of the glass bulbs. The hourglass can then be inverted and the sand will again flow from bulb to bulb. Alternatives to sand are used in some instances. Since the hourglass was one of the few reliable methods of measuring time at sea, it has been speculated that it was in use as far back as the 11th century, where it would have complimented the magnetic compass as an aid to navigation. Not until the 14th century is there actual evidence of their existence, appearing in a painting by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1328. The earliest written records come from the same period and appear in lists of ship stores. From the 15th century on they were being used widely at sea, in churches, in industry, and for cooking. They were the first dependable, reusable, reasonably accurate method of measuring time. During the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan around the globe, his vessels kept 18 hourglasses per ship. It was the job of a ship’s page to turn the hourglasses and thus provide the times for the ship’s log. Hourglasses are still in use today, but typically only ornamentally or when a rough estimate of time is needed. Hourglass collecting has become an avid hobby for many collectors and elaborate and unique hourglasses command huge prices.

Heirloom Hourglass honors the rich history and tradition of this captivating nautical instrument, and it is a beautiful symbol of the importance of the unique moments during the passage of time throughout all of our lives. Just as the hourglass kept time for the ancient mariners, Heirloom Hourglass helps you keep the special events and memories you make so you can Bring "Your Once In A Lifetime" Home
and share them for generations to come.  

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