Clocks and Watches. – Necessity of Punctuality.

The perfection of clocks and the invention of watches have something to do with modern nervousness, since they compel us to be on time, and excite the habit of looking to see the exact moment, so as not to be late for trains or appointments. Before the general use of these instruments pf precision in time, there was a wider margin for all appointments; a longer period was required and prepared for, especially in travelling… men judged of the time by probabilities, by looking at the sun, and needed not, as a rule, to be nervous about the loss of a moment, and had incomparably fewer experiences wherein a delay of a few moments might destroy the hopes of a lifetime. (page 103)

Beard, G. M. (1881). American nervousness, its causes and consequences: a supplement to nervous exhaustion (neurasthenia). Putnam.

American Nervousness was published in 1881 and it reminds me of the regular panics surrounding smartphones today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *