Hourglasses are good timers that are easy to use, so they’ve been part of people’s lives for centuries. My mom used to have a little one that measured 3 minutes—just right for boiling an egg.
The hourglass became a symbol for time itself, and just how quickly it seems to pass. Go into an old cemetery and you might see one carved into a tombstone—eeek!
On some computers a little icon of an hourglass shows up to tell you that your program is still loading.
If you ever saw the old Wizard of Oz movie with Judy Garland, you’ll remember that terrifying big hourglass that belonged to the Wicked Witch of the West. Here’s a website that tells how hourglasses are made. This one’s good, too.
Back to the beginning of The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space