On Time National Museum of American History

About This Site

This site accompanies On Time, an exhibition held at the National Museum of American History from 1999–2006.

On Time Web site text and images are copyright 1999–2007, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the principles of "fair use" under U.S. copyright law, no part of this site may be reproduced in any form, stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted or distributed in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, or the copyright owner.

About the Book

On Time Book Cover

On Time: How America Has Learned to Live by the Clock
by Carlene E. Stephens and The Smithsonian Institution

An illustrated history of the ways Americans have measured used, and thought about time over the past 300 years.

Have you ever wondered who came up with time zones, or why we adjust our clocks at daylight saving time? This entertainingly written, generously illustrated book, drawn from a popular exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, provides the answers to these and dozens of other questions about time. On Time showcases unusual timepieces from the museum's collection such as Helen Keller's pocket watch and the earliest bedside alarm clocks, and brings to life some of the lesser-known characters and events that have shaped the way we think about time today. With over 175 full-color illustrations with captions.

Note: this book is out of print - check your favorite bookseller for availability.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History