Time Tracking Evolution
2 min read


We are all in the time tracking business. Not just us brave souls here at Flapps, but every person on this planet.

Even you, yes you, reading this post. Believe it or not you too are in the time tracking business. Now granted you may be reading this as a way of procrastination and let’s be honest here, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of that. Or you could be genuinely interested in this topic. Either way, time is ticking and somebody, somewhere is tracking it.

But this isn’t a modern phenomenon. Human beings have taken a vested interest in it since time immemorial.

You don’t believe us? Check out the history – albeit whistle-stop in nature – of the evolution of time tracking.



Humans quickly learned that being able to track time was an invaluable skill. Even Fred Flintstone and his cronies kept a close eye on their Prehistoric clock.

Cartoon characters aside, the importance of understanding time became fundamental to the survival of the human race.  Ancient civilizations used the Sun and the Moon to track time, dates and even seasons.

The early hunter-gatherer groups implemented sticks, stones and bones to track the different phases of the moon. This would lead to some of the earliest known calendars.

Tracking time was simply a matter of life and death for these societies. The capability to plant and harvest crops was critical for the evolution of the human race.

Pretty heavy stuff, right? Fear not, it all gets a lot lighter as the Flapps DeLorean time traveling machine hits 88mph.



The oldest known sundial is dated to the year 1500 BCE and was only discovered three years ago in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The Sundial was a surprisingly accurate device for tracking time. However, it did have two major flaws – it was useless at night and useless when cloudy.



I got to admit that this little beauty is my favourite. One of its earliest appearances came in the 14th century painting, Allegory of Good Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. As the years rolled by, the humble egg timer established itself as the number one tracking device. It was used in churches, in kitchens and even during the great sea expeditions that were the hallmark of that era.


The pendulum clock was the forefather to our modern clocks thanks to the Dutch scientist, Christian Huygens. It morphed into the imposing Grandfather clock towards the end of the 1600’s in England. Probably best known in pop culture for its regular appearance in creepy horror movies such as Insidious, The Haunting and the Evil Dead.



Clocks developed quickly and radically since the industrial revolution of 1780. Pocket watches became wristwatches and by the end of World War I, wearing a wristwatch was the most common way for people to track time.

Our ability to track time, much like everything else, has evolved at a staggering pace since. The first electronic watch was invented in 1957. The first plastic wristwatch appears on the scene in 1983 and the evolution simply gathers pace right up to the present day with the recent launch of the Apple Watch.

So you as you can see, time tracking has always been part of the human story. At Flapps we are happy to continue that tradition because time keeps ticking and we keep on tracking it as it does.


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