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Anyone got any better pictures of an hourglass?

Hourglass album[edit]

There is an album called Hourglass by James Taylor not mentioned with "Hourglass". There is a link for an hourglass single record, but it would seem wierd to place two links at the top of a page like that. Instead, due to me being inexperenced and problably mess it up, can someone make a disambiguation page or, if it seems ok, just place it under the other hourglass link. Thx, Nickmaster 22:19, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Egg timer[edit]

Firstly should hourglass be merged with egg timer, and secondly there seem to be differing opinions on the root of the term egg timer. The German Wikipedia sais they were called egg timer because egg shells were sometimes used inside the glasses instead of sand beacause crushed egg shells give extremely fine powder.


interestingly it does not mention the use of hourglasses as a signal for busy in operating systems —The preceding unsigned comment was added by SleweD (talkcontribs) 13:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC).

18 hourglasses?[edit]

The examples section says a ship captain carried 18 hourglasses aboard. What could the function of having so many be? - Mpnolan 04:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Without accurate timekeeping on a ship in the open ocean it's much more difficult to estimate position. A ship that was relying on an hourglass could not afford to be without one. (The article says they were for the ship's log, but that's incidental, and perhaps not correct.) So, there would "backup" hourglasses, if the ones in use broke. Also, for most accurate timing (I don't know if this was done), the best thing would be to take 2 or 3 hourglasses and average the time the sand ran out between them. (This was done with early mechanical clocks, so it's reasonable to assume it was done with hourglasses.) Taking duplicate hourglasses and need for backup in account (Magellen would have had no way to replace the hourglasses during his years at sea) 18 might be a prudent number to take.
Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 21:11, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
What a useful insight that could be included in the article -- do you have any citations for that? --Yamara 14:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The source, as I remember, is one of the books describing John Harrison and his clocks to resolve "the longitude problem". To achieve more accurate timekeeping, one of the things done was to keep more than one clock and average their times.
I remember the same technique being applied to sandglasses, but I can't be sure that was said. We'll avoid original research, but it can't have escaped hourglass makers and customers that hourglasses didn't have consistent time betweem them, and that there was an easy way to reconcile them.
I'll try to get something more definite. Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 01:45, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Related terms[edit]

I'm not so sure if there should be a 'related terms' section - shouldn't this be covered in the disambiguation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I've removed it, but I post what it had here:
Related terms
"Hourglass figure" is a slang term for woman with a narrow waist and full hips and bust.
The "hourglass model" is a project research approach (Trochim, W.M.K, 2005). The hourglass model starts with a broad spectrum for research, focusing in on the required information through the methodology of the project (like the neck of the hourglass), then expands the research in the form of discussion and results.
Yamara 07:14, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Glassmaking in Europe[edit]

Glassmaking in Europe goes back to at least Roman times, so probably what the article should read is that glassmaking for hourglasses was brought to Europe by the Venetians?

Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 21:11, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that's a legacy bit from before I hacked at the article. Needs something, but be careful: I've come across mentions of hourglasses being put into Roman statues restored during the Renaissance, which couldn't have had them in the original. Roman glass is probably heavier and more opaque than the blown glass needed for hourglasses, but that's just a fuzzy recollection while I'm typing here. —Yamara 00:46, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Modern symbolic use[edit]

I've restored most of the Days of Our Lives stuff for reasons mentioned in the edit summary. It's hardly peacockery: most of that is historic perspective on symbolism. Personally, I could care less about soap operas, but I haven't been able to avoid that opening meme since I was small. (Non-Americans may have avoided it altogether.) Also, the computer icon bit is now better, but almost strays a little off-topic near the end. —Yamara 00:46, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

The date could be useful after a fashion. (Actually, it might be interesting to know how quickly clocks phased hourglasses out, given that early clocks were expensive and didn't necessarily keep good time. Hmmm.)
The hourglass symbol has been used on other computers, which is why the word "Windows" specifically was avoided, but on consideration about 99% of readers will not have used them, or even heard of them, so perhaps being exact is more confusing than helpful.
Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 06:43, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
The soap opera story could go into an 'appearences in popular culture' section.

Historical usage[edit]

I'm adding a quote to give a broader historical context (and replacing in History that it was only used back as far as the 11th century). This source seems fairly dispassionate, knowledgable and detailed, but there are bound to be better. "The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar"

Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 00:56, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


The article should mention somewhere that black widow spiders have hourglasses on their bellies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Possible copyvio?[edit]

Several sentences seem to have been copied verbatim from In particular, the entire "Largest Sandglasses" paragraph -- (talk) 12:12, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

It's a little hard to tell who copied whom. The original Wiki version contained the same (weakly written sentence) "One of the bulbs is usually filled with fine sand which flows through the narrow tube into the bottom bulb at a given rate."[1] The section removed by Dougweller clearly was a Wiki copyright violation, since a reference was given to the place it was copied from![2]. The removed material wasn't especially encyclopedic, unless one is interested in subverting Wikipedia into becoming The Guinness Book of World Records. Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 03:28, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Distribution of the word "sandglass"[edit]

I have a pretty extensive vocabulary, and had never before heard the word "sandglass". When I first read it, I thought it might be some subtle vandalism. However, after a bit of web searching, I am satisfied that it is a real word: albeit about 25 times less common than "hourglass." However this makes me wonder if it is a regionalism? Does anyone know? -- (talk) 12:18, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

"Sand-glass" is in the OED with a number of examples starting 1556, including a variation spelled "sandglass". It is not marked as dialect, and the examples make it clear that it was in common, professional use. Regards, Alpha Ralpha Boulevard (talk) 03:13, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Ibn Sirin's Dictionary of Dreams[edit]

I have included the entry on hourglass from Ibn Seerin's Book of Dreams. It was undone by someone stupidly claiming the book doesn't exist. An ISBN trace makes it evidently clear it does. The book includes a forward by Dr Mahmoud Ayoub, a leading Islamic Studies academic. Ibn Seerin (Ibn Sirin) is entered on Wikipedia and reference is also made to the same book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Plimfix (talkcontribs) 10:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I've removed references to this book twice now. There is such a book, but it isn't clear who wrote it or when. Ibn Sirin's article says he didn't, as does [3]. Dougweller (talk) 11:23, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't notice the misplaced edit above, which I've moved to the bottom under the section I started. The existence of a book doesn't make it a reliable source. When it can be shown that the book was written by the alleged author, only then can it be used. At the moment it appears that he didn't write it, including the author's article that Plimfix mentions. I've asked Plimfix to take this to RSN if he disagrees. Hopefully without any personal attacks. Dougweller (talk) 11:30, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Hourglass body shape section?[edit]

I'm really not sure why the Body shape section is doesn't fit in well with the rest of the article, it has no sources, and it's...creepy. I'm removing it for now, if somebody comes up with a legitimate reason for its inclusion they can add it back and hopefully explain themselves here. --Kierkkadon talk/contribs 14:00, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Infinity symbol[edit]

It's an hourglass tipped on it's side, representing time no longer flowing/running out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Wrong, see infinity symbol. It's also called lemniscate and the usual interpretation is as a stylised Möbius strip, but that cannot be the historical origin either as John Wallis introduced the symbol already in 1655. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:21, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

trimmed content[edit]

I trimmed the following from the introductory paragraph, but it may find a different home.

Alternatives to sand are powdered eggshell and powdered marble[1] (sources disagree on the best material). In modern times, hourglasses are ornamental, or used when an approximate measure suffices, as in egg timers for cooking or for board games.

jameslucas (" " / +) 13:24, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Mistakes copied from an unscholarly source[edit]

"Some of the most famous hourglasses are the twelve-hour hourglass of Charlemagne of France" -- Charlemagne of France? Really?

While the Roman Emperor Charlemagne was a Frankish king, there was no France during his lifetime. The reference for this and for the following information about Holbein is an obscure website that itself doesn't quote sources. One starts to wonder how reliable the rest of this article is ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:47, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ (2006). "Hourglass". How Products Are Made, vol. 5. Retrieved 2008-02-04.