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Father Time is usually depicted as an elderly bearded man, dressed in a robe and carrying a scythe and an hourglass or other timekeeping device (which represents time's constant one-way movement, and more generally and abstractly, entropy). This image derives from several sources, including the Grim Reaper and Cronus, the Greek Titan of human time, reaping and calendars, or The Lord of Time.
Around New Year's Eve many editorial cartoons use the convenient trope of Father Time as the personification of the previous year (or "the Old Year") who typically "hands over" the duties of time to the equally allegorical Baby New Year (or "the New Year") or who otherwise characterizes the preceding year.
In popular culture
Father Time is an established symbol in numerous cultures, and appears in a variety of art and media. In some cases, they appear specifically as Father Time, while in other cases they may have another name (such as Saturn) but the characters demonstrate the attributes which Father Time has acquired over the centuries.
- Saturn, in his incarnation as Father Time, is the central figure in Simon Vouet's 1627 painting, Time Vanquished by Love, Hope & Beauty, which is in the collection of the Museo de Prado in Madrid, Spain.
- One notable historical figure who goes by "Father Time" is man called Tommy Roark. It is said that he always knew the time of day, no matter the circumstances. One does not simply best Father time in anything, because time is indeed on his side and he just waits for it to favor him. Not even Mr. Meyer could have bested his free and time controlling spirit.
- Old Father Time appears in the fantasy novel series Nightside as an elderly character tending to peoples' needs for time travel—and in some cases—guidance.
- Time is one of the Incarnations of Immortality in Piers Anthony's series of the same name. Time (also referred to as "Chronos") appears in several of the books and is the main character of Bearing an Hourglass. For most of the series he appears as a middle-aged man in a blue robe (which has the power to age to oblivion anything which attacks him) and bearing an hourglass which he can use to control the flow of time and move himself through both time and space.
- Father Time is painted in the ceiling of the dungeon, in the Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Pit and the Pendulum.
Business and industry
- Father Time was the logo for the Elgin Watch Company. Notable in the logo was that Father Time had switched out his traditional hourglass for a watch.
- Father Time appears on the Presidential Seal of the Actuaries Institute.
Comics, magazines and periodicals
- Father Time made numerous appearances in the classic comic Little Nemo in Slumberland, both as a general representation of time and as a symbol of the new year.
- A Norman Rockwell painting of Father Time appeared on 31 December 1910 cover of The Saturday Evening Post.
- Father Time is a recurring character in Tatsuya Ishida's webcomic Sinfest, often appearing as an infant immediately on or after the Western New Year, and as an old man fated to die during the end of the year.
Film and television
- In The Chronicles of Narnia, Father Time appears in The Silver Chair as a sleeping giant living beneath the surfaces of Narnia. It is said that Father Time will awaken at the end of days as seen in The Last Battle.
- Father Time appears in the television special Rudolph's Shiny New Year voiced by Red Skelton, who also narrated the special.
- In Flint the Time Detective, the Old Timer is depicted as a Father Time-like character.
- Father Time appears in The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause portrayed by Peter Boyle. He is shown as a member of the Council of Legendary Figures alongside Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Cupid, Mother Nature, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost.
- Father Time appeared in Regular Show episode called "It's Time" voiced by Alan Sklar. He appears to be made out of clocks and wears a purple hat. Father Time gives Mordecai a second chance to stop his jealously towards Rigby and Margaret.
- Chronos features in the Supernatural episode "Time after Time" (Season 7).
- A song in the animated version of Charlotte's Web is titled "Mother Earth and Father Time".
- Father Time is a character that appears in The Fairly OddParents episode Timmy's Secret Wish! and is voiced by Jeff Bennett. It was also the name of an episode. (Father Time!)
- "Father Time" is a character in Jude the Obscure, a novel by Thomas Hardy. Father Time is the name given to Jude Fawley's son, who is dreadfully melancholy and commits suicide at a young age.
- In Mitch Albom's latest book The Time Keeper, Dor, the central character, is Father Time. He is freed from exile and sent to Earth on the condition that he teaches two people on Earth the true importance of time, a teenage girl who does not wish to live anymore, and a dying old billionaire who wishes to live forever.
- "Father Time" is a song, composed by Ralph Towner, from Ralph Towner, Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan's album "Travel Guide".
- "Father Time" is the name of a song on Richie Sambora's album Stranger in This Town.
- "Father Time" is the name of a song on Blind Melon's album For My Friends.
- "Father Time" is the name of a song on Animal Collective's album Centipede Hz.
- "Father Time" is the nickname for bassist Leland Sklar.
- "Father Time" is referenced in Lil' Wayne's song 6 Foot 7 Foot.
- "Father Time" is referenced in Parkway Drive's song Home is For The Heartless.
- Father Time, complete with scythe, is the central figure in the Rotunda Clock by John Flanagan, located in the rotunda of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C..
- Father Time and the Virgin is a statue located on the cupola of the Masonic Hall at Mendocino, California.
- An old statue of Father Time sits on the grounds at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England.
- A clock featuring Father Time, created by Guéret Frêres, Atelier Cartier, and Vincenti et Cie, may be viewed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum also owns a drawing that is a study for a similar clock.
- Mike Luckovich Copyright 2010 Creators Syndicate. "Father time takes a beating – Foreign Relations Political and Editorial Cartoons". The Week. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "The Father Time Comics and Cartoons – Cartoonist Group – Lisa Benson's Editorial Cartoons". Cartoonist Group. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- dePIXion studios www.depixion.com. "AAEC – Political Cartoons". Editorialcartoonists.com. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "Museo Nacional del Prado: On-line gallery". Museodelprado.es. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "Digital Collection of Classic Comic Strips". Comic Strip Library. 31 December 1905. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "Digital Collection of Classic Comic Strips". Comic Strip Library. 29 December 1907. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Clock with Father Time". Metmuseum.org. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
- "The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Father Time on a Globe; Design for a Clock". Metmuseum.org. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
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