Punching a time clock (photo courtesy of North American Watch Museum)
Have an affinity for clocks and history? Traveling to the Philadelphia area anytime soon? If so, this may be of interest to you. Just last week, the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pa., (near Philly) unveiled an all-new exhibit — "On the Clock: Changing the Industrialized World."
The exhibit, open now until the end of December 2015, gives insight into how time clocks and time recorders have affected our lives. Today’s generation has no recollection of the old time cards that were used in conjunction with punch clocks to track work hours to the minute and even the second. Today, derivatives of that clock continue to unfold.
Heywood Time Recorder (photo courtesy of North American Watch Museum)
Beginning in the late 19th century, the National Labor Relations Act protected the rights of employees and employers, and the Fair Labor Standards Act outlined minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and youth employment standards. The "On the Clock: Changing the Industrialized World" exhibit highlights the first time-recording companies, outlines the typical workday in the 19th century and touches on what possibilities the future workday may hold.
“Having a job is an integral part of survival in the modern era,” says museum curator Kim Jovinelli, pointing out that the exhibit is not only a look back at history, but also an examination of the present and, potentially, the future.
The E. G. Watkins Family Foundation sponsors "On the Clock." Edward Watkins was the man who invented the time clock. The National Watch and Clock Museum is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. (NAWCC), a nonprofit association with more than 14,000 members in 52 countries.