Thursday, June 30, 2011

Clepsydra - Water Clock

A few weeks ago, Lulu and I went to the airport in Abbotsford to pick up my mom and dad who were coming for a visit.

First Lulu inspected the flower bed and the airport sign.  Lulu then sat in the car to wait while I went in to snap some pics of their water clock.

The clock is known as a Clepsydra Water Clock.  Clepsydra is Latin and means "steal water".  According to the handout it is "an ancient time-measuring device worked by the flow of water".

The first modern water clock was created by Bernard Gitton who created a 6 metre clepsydra and installed it in a shopping mall in Paris in 1979.  This clock was purchased by the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbottsford, BC and was installed there from 1991 until 2000 when it was donated to the city of Abbottsford and displayed at the airport.

The fluid is pumped from the bulb at the bottom to the top.  It falls from there and continues to pass through various tubes and columns. 

The fluid accumulates near the bottom and empties every two minutes which lights up the numbers on the right hand side of the clock.

Every sixty minutes, the fluid from the minute column drain causing the number on the left side to add another hour to the time shown.

This Clepsydra was only the second such clock on public display in North America.  In fact, at the time of its installation, there were only twenty-one other such clocks around the world.

Most of the previous information was found in the brochure available at the airport near the clock.

If you are interested in seeing an animated version of a clepsydra check out the following link. Halfway down the page is a link to click on the animated version showing real-time.

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