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  • Cory Doctorow, May 4, 2009 10: 08 PM Here's a good explanation of the workings of the "watchclock," a device carried by watchmen in order to allow their employers to check up on their patrolling.

    Boing Boing

  • He visits every checkpoint and clicks each unique key into the watchclock.

    Boing Boing

  • The key, literally, to the watchclock system is that the watchman is required to "clock in" at a series of perhaps a dozen or more checkpoints throughout the premises.

    Boing Boing


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  • 'An elegant solution, designed and patented in 1901 by the German engineer A.A. Newman, is called the “watchclock�?. It’s an ingenious mechanical device, slung over the shoulder like a canteen and powered by a simple wind-up spring mechanism. It precisely tracks and records a night watchman’s position in both space and time for the duration of every evening. It also generates a detailed, permanent, and verifiable record of each night’s patrol.'

    May 5, 2009