~~May 24, 2019~~
A candle clock is a thin candle with consistently spaced markings (usually with numbers), that when burned, indicate the passage of periods of time.
While no longer used today, candle clocks provided an effective way to tell time indoors, at night, or on a cloudy day. A candle clock could be easily transformed into a timer by sticking a heavy nail into the candle at the mark indicating the desired interval. When the wax surrounding the nail melts, the nail clatters onto a plate below.
It is unknown where and when candle clocks were first used. The earliest reference to their use occurs in a Chinese poem by You Jiangu (AD 520). Here, the graduated candle supplied a means of determining time at night.
Similar candles were used in Japan until the early 10th century.
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