Ancient Greeks Invented Alarm Clocks -Although they might seem like a modern invention, the truth is that alarm clocks were invented a long time ago, by ancient Greeks.

The basic idea of an alarm clock can be traced to Ctesibius, an ancient Greek engineer, physicist and mathematician who lived in in Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt.

Ctesibius (285–222 BC) was the Father of Pneumatics, a branch of engineering that makes use of gas or pressurized air. Ctesibius was a great scientist ahead of his time. Some even describe him as an ancient genius. He is best known for his three inventions – the suction pump, the water clock, and the hydraulis, a musical instrument that is the ancestor of the pipe organ. The oldest clocks in history are water clocks.

Plato's alarm clock
Plato’s alarm clock

The water clock was invented with the purpose of tracking time. Ctesibus made a system of dropping peddles on a gong to make a sound which is the first alarm clock. The dropping peddles were set to end at a specific time.

However, the sound of the water clocks was not loud enough to wake up a person. Obviously something more effective was needed so people could get up at a certain time.

See also:

First Odometer Was Invented By Vitruvius Around 15 B.C.

Plato (429?–347 B.C.E.), a famous ancient Greek philosopher constructed his own version of an alarm clock with vessels. He was not very happy with his student at the academy kept oversleeping. So, he added a tube to the filling vessel so it formed a siphon. When the water got high enough to fill the tube and start spilling over, all of it at once was siphoned off into yet another vessel. This last vessel was mostly enclosed, but it had thin openings, making it whistle like a tea kettle when it filled up quickly. Plato’s invention was successful. People who used the “alarm clock” woke people up on time.