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[p. 13] must conclude without doubt that time-pieces were rare in Medford in the early decades of 1700, and that the appearance of a clock, seen in the possession of these two orphans, was an event to be noted and remembered. The records of Essex County confirm this result as to the scarcity of time-pieces, for in the three years from December, 1699, to December, 1702, there were one hundred eleven inventories filed, and in but four of them is there mention of a clock or watch, and to three of these the epithet old is attached, indicating that they were probably out of repair and useless. The records of Suffolk County for 1699-1700 show seventy-two inventories, in but eight of which clocks or watches are mentioned. The question may now be asked, ‘If they had no clocks or watches, how did they keep time?’ But, before answering, we must determine what we of 1900 mean by keeping time. We follow time so closely that it is seldom we are surprised at finding our watches indicating a different hour and minute from what we anticipated before looking. With this in mind, how shall we define keeping time in Medford in 1700, when the 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
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