Clockwise Before Clocks

This is a discussion thread · 8 replies
Pavel314:
In the years before clocks were invented, I'm sure there were times when people needed to indicate a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation, e.g., turning a windlass to raise or lower an anchor. I've heard the term "widdershins" was used to indicate counterclockwise. What did they say to indicate clockwise, "counterwiddershins"?
Paul
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Weatherlawyer:
[nq:1]In the years before clocks were invented, I'm sure there were times when people needed to indicate a clockwise or ... an anchor. I've heard the term "widdershins" was used to indicate counterclockwise. What did they say to indicate clockwise, "counterwiddershins"?[/nq]
Under the sun?
But you are asking about the days befor the mass production of nuts and bolts and the need for the description of rotation. What manuals would require the terms?
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
John Dean:
[nq:2]In the years before clocks were invented, I'm sure there ... indicate counterclockwise. What did they say to indicate clockwise, "counterwiddershins"?[/nq]
[nq:1]Under the sun? But you are asking about the days befor the mass production of nuts and bolts and the need for the description of rotation. What manuals would require the terms?[/nq]
Well, the Druids who were using Stonehenge 3.0 or Stonehenge 4.1 or later would have needed manuals. And drawing your pentagram the wrong way round would have dire consequences.

John Dean
Oxford
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Gary Eickmeier:
[nq:2]Under the sun? But you are asking about the days ... the description of rotation. What manuals would require the terms?[/nq]
[nq:1]Well, the Druids who were using Stonehenge 3.0 or Stonehenge 4.1 or later would have needed manuals. And drawing your pentagram the wrong way round would have dire consequences.[/nq]
AHA! Provided you are in the northern hemisphere above the declination of the sun, your sundial will go clockwise. There ya go.

Gary Eickmeier
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Odysseus:
[nq:1]In the years before clocks were invented, I'm sure there were times when people needed to indicate a clockwise or ... an anchor. I've heard the term "widdershins" was used to indicate counterclockwise. What did they say to indicate clockwise, "counterwiddershins"?[/nq]
The opposite of "widdershins" is "deasil", as someone else has already mentioned. "Sunwise" would also be available, and would be much more easily understood by anyone who hadn't encountered the word before.

Odysseus
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Mike Lyle:
[nq:2]In the years before clocks were invented, I'm sure there ... to indicatecounterclockwise. What did they say to indicate clockwise, "counterwiddershins"?[/nq]
[nq:1]The opposite of "widdershins" is "deasil", as someone else has already mentioned. "Sunwise" would also be available, and would be much more easily understood by anyone who hadn't encountered theword before.[/nq]
"Left foot, straw foot." For those not facing south at the time, I'd have thought "from left to right" would usually have been good enough: wouldn't we most naturally interpret that as "left to right over", not "left to right under"?

Mike.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Gary Eickmeier:
[nq:1]The opposite of "widdershins" is "deasil", as someone else has already mentioned. "Sunwise" would also be available, and would be much more easily understood by anyone who hadn't encountered the word before.[/nq]
What would "sunwise" mean to the average person?
Gary Eickmeier
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Pavel314:
[nq:2]The opposite of "widdershins" is "deasil", as someone else has ... easily understood by anyone who hadn't encountered the word before.[/nq]
[nq:1]What would "sunwise" mean to the average person?[/nq]
In the Northern Hemisphere, looking South to watch the sun, it seems to go clockwise through the sky. Although the Moon goes clockwise through the sky in a given night, its progress against the fixed stars (and the Sun's position) through the month is counterclockwise.
Paul
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Gary Eickmeier:
[nq:1]In the Northern Hemisphere, looking South to watch the sun, it seems to go clockwise through the sky. Although the Moon goes clockwise through the sky in a given night, its progress against the fixed stars (and the Sun's position) through the month is counterclockwise.[/nq]
Thanks. Seems like a stretch to me - not a circular motion that you can really grab onto. Also, if you aren't much higher than 30 north, it would just rise, go overhead, then set straight down again. In the summer.

Fine.
Gary Eickmeier
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Live chat
Registered users can join here