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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 6., The Lawrence Light Guard.—Continued. (search)
he smallest subdivision on the hour dial of the weaver's clock is the quarter of an hour, and furthermore, it never had but one hand, and that the hour hand. What sort of a mess would the men of today make of their work if but five only out of one hundred possessed time-pieces, and these with the hour hand only? The witchcraft trials of Salem, 1692, furnish much evidence as to the temporary use of words of timemeas-urement. They referred to three fixed times; sunrise, noon, and sunset. Parris, the minister at Salem village, notes that on November i, 1691, he called a meeting, For tomorrow an hour and a half before sundown. The entry the next day is, After sunset about seventeen of the brethren met. Owing to the indefiniteness of time, some of these brethren must have wasted at least an hour and a half. Yet their needs seem to have been satisfied. Each house was sufficient to itself, for it had its water, its fuel, its lights, its stocks of food in the cellar, and a snow stor