A Brief History Of Pocket Watches

Everything has its beginning. And if you believe that time starts from somewhere, also consider the beginning of time measurements.

Early people have devised a system to tell the exact date. But a device that exactly tells the precise time comes much later. Water clocks, sundials, and candle clocks are the earliest instruments that somehow manage to tell time but accuracy is far from achievable.

In the 13th century, weight-driven clocks were developed. It used gears while hour hand was already used while the minute hand was an indication of luxury and wealth. The weight-driven clocks were publicly displayed on church towers, city halls, and monasteries.

In the 16th century, clocks were produced using spring instead of weight. The portable clocks or the pocket watches were the first timepieces that the public can own. During this time, the only persons who can own them were the rich and owning one signified the status, authority, and wealth of the person. Often, portable watches were placed on the wall of the house. The term “portable” though did not mean it could be carried on your pocket. The term changed its meaning some years later.

The first transportable watches or pocket watches was used also in the 16th century. This time, clocks no longer had to stay at one place. Pocket watches can already be worn around the neck or carried on a pocket. The same era also brought revolution to the development of pocket watches. Mechanisms were introduced to bring time-telling precision. Some packet watches even had an alarm.

The entry of the 17th century made pocket watched even more desirable. The box-like image was removed and was replaced by more rounded and slimmer cases. Clockmakers also became instant artists as they infuse designs and craftsmanship to every pocket watch the made.

When Christian Huygens discovered the law of pendulum, which for your information was different from Galileo’s, clock had yet again moved one step further. The law proved to be very helpful in the development of pocket watches.

In the 18th century, pocket watches continued to evolve. This time, jewels were used as bearings. Diamonds became part of some pocket watches that boosted the price of a single pocket watch to the ceiling. Oil was also became part of pocket watches during this period. This was to lubricate and smoothen the movement of the watch’s hands. In the second half of the 18th century, pocket watches were produced with three hands. Contrary to the inclusion of the minute hand during the 16th century, second hand made sense since accuracy in telling time was far better.

In the 19th century came the glory days of the packet watches. This era brought the several watchmakers into the picture. Names such as LeCoultre & Cie, Ulysse Nardin, Minerva, Heuer, IWC, and many others were established in this period. The quality of pocket watches became better than ever.

By the turn of the 20th century, certificates were issued to those watchmakers that created precise watches. Unlike the previous years, issuance of certificate became more of a requirement than luxury.

And as the years gone by, the popularity of pocket watches diminished as wristwatches became more popular.

Although pocket watches are not so much used today, it has served as one of the important instruments for several centuries.

25 Top Gas Grills Compared

All too often consumers seeking a high end stainless steel gas grill are won over by a manufacturer’s reputation, the look of the grill or other factors such as recommendations from friends or family. Now, this is a fairly large investment, as appliances go, and consulting an expert in the field could help in making an informed decision. A reliable gas grill specialist can help you evaluate the various features found in these high end grills and quide you to the best choice for the features you prefer.
The simplest way to compare the manufacturers objectively, of course, is with a chart! Our chart compares Fire Magic, Alfresco, Kenmore Elite, Viking, DCS, Dacor, Lynx, Vintage, Weber Summit Gold D, Wolf, Altima, Turbo, ProFire, Phoenix, Tec, Solaire Infrared, Vieluxe, Lazy Man, Jenn Air, Holland, FrontGate, Capitol, Crown Verity, Ducane and Dynasty.


Some of the features on the chart are:
*BTU Output: How many burners, and how many BTUs are standard?
You’ll need to do some math to determine the actual heat your food will receive. Ideally, you want to have over 95 BTU’s per square inch of cooking surface. How will you know? Take your total BTU’s and divide it by the primary cooking surface. So…. if your cooking surface is 660 square inches and the total BTU’s are 104,000 then 104,000 BTU’s divided by 660 square inches = 157 BTU’s per square inch. That would be a winner!!!
*Temperature Range: This is a very important characteristic if you like to do a variety of cooking. You’ll be able to do everything from searing steaks to baking pizza with a large temperature range.
*Burner material can consist of cast stainless steel, stainless steel sheet metal, cast iron, infra-red and even cast brass, which is used in commercial settings. Dual burners allow for indirect cooking and better heat control. Cast brass or cast stainless burners are your best bet. They will last longer and are more durable. Grease tends to burn through sheet metal easily.
*Infra-Red Burners are an option for those who demand a well seared steak. Thinking of an infra-red cooking system? Temperatures on an infra-red cooking system can reach up to 1600 degrees on some grills. Infra-red cooking allows for quick, high temperatures, which cuts cooking time and helps seal in juices — perfect for searing a steak. If blackened food or steaks are your taste preference – infra-red cooking is the way to go. If you plan on conventional cooking — go with a hybrid that offers infra-red and standard burners. Tip – make sure you can convert infra-red burners back to standard for large parties.
*Rotisserie backburners are a popular option. Used to cook large pieces of meat evenly, rotisseries use a lot less heat than normal grilling. BTU ranges generally range in the 13-15,000 category but the best grills offer 18-28,000 BTUs. Meats cooked using a rotisserie are generally juicier, self-basted and slow roasted. Tip – look for a model with a drip tray to make cleanup easier. Be sure to compare available rotisserie space, especially if you want to roast a turkey or two.
*A Triple Gourmet Grill allows you to use gas, infra-red AND charcoal cooking! How versatile can you get!!

*An adjustable smoker box is perfect for those who enjoy the added flavor of hickory, mesquite or other wood to your meats. It makes smoking easy. Adjustable vents allow you to control the amount of smoke flavor to provide just the right taste.
*Warranty is one of the most important features to consider. Only the best grills offer a warranty against a condition called burn through which affects the burners.
*Does the grill you are considering offer a countertop model? These types of gas grills can be dropped into an outdoor kitchen which can be customized with your choice of tile, stucco or other solid surfaces, doors, drawers and other accessories like refrigerators or sinks.
*Cooking Grids: Stainless steel cooking surfaces won’t rust or chip. Porcelain cooking surfaces tend to chip and could flake off into food. No N.S.F. (National Sanitation Federation) affiliates use porcelain cooking grids.
*Cooking Grid Size: How many people do you regularly feed? The size of your crowd will determine how big your grill should be. Tip – make sure you can convert infra-red burners back to standard for large parties.
*Inner Liner: This accessory radiates heat more evenly to grill, directs dripping to tray and separates the valve and manifold from combustion chamber. This will prolong the life of your burners and reduce the chances of a grease fire. The grill hood covers the cooking surface and assists in trapping the heated air inside. Look for a double insulated wall hood. If you’re buying a stainless steel model, with a double insulated wall hood, it won’t turn a brown or blue hue. It will keep it’s shine.
*Stainless Steel Flavor Grids: This heat distribution system should be stainless steel for long life and durability. Flavor grids reflect all the heat up toward the grilling surface and vaporizes drippings. You can add wood chips and other flavor enhancers to your flavor grids to add some zest to your choice of meat.
*Fuel Conversion: Will your grill easily convert from natural gas to propane if you want to move it from the back yard to the street for a block party?
*Side burners provide versatility giving you separate controls for each burner. Side burners offer you additional cooking options and come with single or double burners. You can fry up some french fries or treat the team to sweet corn. The BTUs range from 12-17,000, but be sure to look for cast brass or cast stainless burners.
More Great Options:
*A power/wok burner will give you even more cooking diversity. Saute onions or boil lobsters! Brown butter or deep fry a turkey! Having a party? A power burner can accommodate a 26″ wok! With a range of 3,000 – 60,000 Btu’s, the power burner is a definite advantage for any cook!

*A full sear plate or briquette tray (which can also be filled with lava rocks or wood chips) under the cooking surface protects burners and allows for drippings to smolder which gives foods more flavor. Look for a model that will quickly flash the drippings eliminating flare-ups.

*Adding a warming rack will keep food warm and away from direct heat and also give you extra cooking space.
*Add a griddle to your side burner and enjoy breakfast alfresco!
Armed with this information, you should be able to define your needs and choose a grill that will give you many years of great food and good times. Enjoy!

7 Ways to Grow Flowers

Flowering landscape trees are the crown jewels of the yard.  Perhaps no other plants, individually, can have as great an  impact on how a yard looks in spring. Browse the articles to which I’ve linked below for information on particular varieties of flowering landscape trees. Pictures are included.

Crape Myrtles: Landscape Trees of the South

A popular choice in flowering landscape trees for Southerners, crape myrtles have a long blooming period (mid-summer to fall). The blooming clusters of these flowering landscape trees come in pink, white, red and lavender. The clusters appear on the tips of new wood. Northerners can sometimes get away with treating these flowering landscape trees as perennials that die back in winter but come back in spring.

Trees

Not all specimens with a weeping habit are flowering landscape trees, but this article looks at several weeping varieties that do bloom, headed by four types of cherry. Saucer Magnolias

The size and shape of the blooms are what suggested the common name for these flowering landscape trees. Want a specimen with a brilliant bloom as big as a saucer? Access information on these beauties here.

Rose of Sharon

Although some people think of it as a landscape “tree” (because it gets tall and can be pruned so as to have a single trunk), rose of sharon is, in fact, a flowering shrub. The fact that it blooms relatively late — and for a long time — makes it a valuable plant for those looking to distribute their yard’s color display throughout the growing season. Top 10 List of Flowering Landscape Trees and Shrubs for Spring |This article features information on ten flowering landscape trees and shrubs that brighten our spring seasons. Included are redbud, callery pear and crabapple.

Hawthorn: Late-Blooming Landscape Trees

This article offers information on Washington hawthorn trees, which are perhaps most valued for the time at which they bloom (late spring to early summer). Many of the popular flowering specimens bloom earlier in the spring, and while their blossoms are pleasant sights for eyes sore from winter’s barrenness, they desert us too quickly!,[]

5 Tips For Fountain Pens Gift Giving

Fountain pens make great gifts. They’re personal, stylish and fun, not to mention very useful in everyday life. There are so many fine pens to choose from, and you can guarantee personalization by having them engraved. However, because there are a lot of options, choosing the “right” pen for that special person on your gift list can be intimidating. Here are some tips for making it easy and enjoyable instead.

Tip #1: Focus on the other person’s preferences, not your own.

If you like the same things, you’ve got it made. But that’s usually not the case. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and you’re off to a good start.

Tip #2: What type of writing instrument?

There are four choices: Fountain Pen, Ball Point Pen, Rollerball Pen and Mechanical Pencil. What type is used as an everyday writing instrument? How about for special occasions like signing documents or writing personal correspondence? What is his or her profession? Answering these questions will help you determine the type.

Tip #3: Evaluate a handwriting sample of the person.

This is especially helpful if you’re going to pick out a fountain pen. And it’s easier than it may sound. For instance, a fine nib is your best bet for smaller writing or writing that has slimmer lines. On the other hand, a medium to broad sized nib works well for writing that’s larger and darker. If the sample wasn’t written with a fountain pen, it will either confirm or change the decision you made as a result of Tip #2.

Tip #4: Decide how much you want to spend.

This can help you narrow the field and not get too distracted. But give yourself a reasonable range so you’ll still have plenty of choices. Sometimes a slightly more expensive writing instrument will make a big difference in quality, performance and appearance.

Tip #5: What’s the person’s style?

Is he or she traditional, a trendsetter or somewhere in between? Get your clues from personal or business attire, accessories such as watches, jewelry and eyewear, even what the person drives. These answers will help you pick a pen brand, finish, color and more, until you’ve made your final selection.