On Time National Museum of American History

Marking Time
  The Almanac
  Nature's Time
  Status Symbols
  Time in Religion
  Time Is Money
Synchronizing Time

Marking Time 1700–1820

Americans were deeply mindful of time, but not of the clock.

The Almanac

To keep track of time, many people used an almanac. Its elaborate tables of astronomical, seasonal, and religious events provided a useful way to mark time. And its directives on the proper time to do all manner of things—from planting crops to celebrating holidays—reflected the way many people organized their lives.

  Almanack, 1792; with ephemeris (astronomical tables) by Benjamin Banneker, a free African American farmer who used his knowledge of astronomy and mathematics to project the dates and times of celestial events—sunrises and sunsets, the moon’s progress, the appearance of planets and major stars, and eclipses.
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Smithsonian National Museum of American History