Kevin Birth: "Clocks, Politics, and Changing Times"

The clocks in the exhibition Precision and Splendor reflect some of the major debates about time that have occurred over the last five hundred years. This lecture discusses the relevance of the exhibited clocks  to our understanding of some of the great historic changes in timekeeping, including the Gregorian calendar and the Counter-Reformation, the Copernican revolution, the replacement of solar time with mean time, and the French Revolution's failed experiment with decimal time.