Monday, April 18, 2011

A History of Time Clocks

Modern time clock.
Time clocks have a beginning back in 1888, where a jeweler invented the world's very first time clock. It would be until later that time clocks took off, however, when the jeweler's brother, Harlow Bundy, marketed and sold the time clock via the Bundy Manufacturing Company.

The company soon became the International Time Recording Company, due to a high demand for time clocks. Much later, however, it would take on its final name, and well-known modern name, International Business Machines (IBM).

While time clocks from these olden times could vary in design they all shared one thing in common: they provided a means for businesses to track employee attendance and tardiness by providing them with a card that checked their arrival and departure times at the workplace.

Some older models of time clocks used dials or wheels, where an employee would have to dial their employee number and then punch their card. This method was easy for employees to abuse, however, which led to the next innovation: a sheet fed time clock. From the 50s to the 70s time clocks had employee time sheets that were used, eliminating wheels and dials and allowing for the rise of mechanical punch time clocks.

Though mechanical time clocks are still used today, during the 70s cards with magnetic strips that identified employees were invented and implemented in many different workplaces.

In the present day, the most advanced time clocks are called biometric time clocks and can actually scan a body part to clock an employee in or out. One of the more popular of these types of biometric time clocks are ones that are outfitted with fingerprint scanners, where the employee merely scans their fingerprint to clock in and out of work.