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Wakey wakey: a history of alarm clocks and the mechanics of time

By Matthew S. Champion, Senior Research Fellow in Medieval Studies, Australian Catholic University
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It’s the time of year when we Australians start returning to our normal rhythms. The first beats of the day are often the dreaded beeps of the alarm clock or a digital symphony from a bedside phone.

These modern electronic alarms are just the latest in a long sequence of methods used to wake us from sleep: from the watchmen on ancient city walls waiting for the dawn to more recent clocks on wheels that have to be chased to stop ringing.…

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