CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Lose Track of Time

In 1891 , the crash between two trains was found to be caused in part by an engineer's watch . It had stopped and started at somepoint and lost 4 minutes . The result was a total loss of life .

In 1893 , the General Railroad Standards were set for pocket watches . Any watch used from that point on had precise specifications that it must meet and every railroad employee had to carry a watch . Time was synchronized at every train stop with the telegraph clock .

Every employee meeting another employee would out of habit pull out his watch and check to see if they were sychronized . When a train whistle blew , every CPR employee along the route checked his watch . People in towns along the railway would call the telegraph office to sychronize their town and home clocks . It was the railway , that carried the time of day from the Peace Tower Clock in the Nation's capital out across the country .

When radio became available , the Canadian Broadcast Corporation signalled to the Nation the 1:00 pm hour . This allowed everyone across Canada to set watches and clocks including employees of the CPR . If you listen the the CBC today , at the end of the lunch hour , you ,too, can find out exactly what time it is in Canada ,wherever you are across all time zones .

An excellent article by Harold Clithroe -Railroad Time: Railroad Pocket Watches and the CPR- can be found through people.timezone.com . It is worth the read if only to see the precise specification for making a railroad watch and see pics of watches over more than 120 years .

A short cut to the article : Google , images, CPR pocket Watches , click click people.timezone.com photo , cancel the photo , and up pops Clitheroe's article .

1 comment:

thepowmill said...

I need to say that within a short time of posting this one , I got a viewer in Switzerland . The clock and watchmaking centre of the world for hundreds of years ...how cool is that . Hello Switzerland !