Station: [18] Time Clock and Counting House

With industrialisation came changes to the way work was organised and managed. It became important to record exactly when and for how long each individual person had worked. That’s where the time clock came in. It recorded the beginning of a worker’s shift on their personal time card – to the minute!

This time clock is from the town of Schwenningen in the Black Forest. During the period of industrialisation, the demand for such special clocks created a minor economic miracle in the precision mechanics industry.

On your right is the office, furnished in the style of an early counting house. That’s where the factory owner and his book keepers worked. The second door, which has since been bricked up, was the outside entrance into the office. So the workers never knew whether the owner might come on to the factory floor at any moment, or whether he was enjoying a second breakfast at his villa. The company’s site rules regulated all the employees’ rights and duties as well as their working hours. In those days, people worked a standard six-day week, with only Sundays off. In summer, a shift lasted 13 hours, in winter, it was twelve, with three breaks a day summer and winter.

All depictions: © Uhrenindustriemuseum Villingen-Schwenningen