Who invented the alarm clock?

The alarm clock may not be mankind’s most popular invention. But it is a necessary evil to get up in the morning and to show up at work or school on time.

But who actually invented the alarm clock and how were people woken up before it was invented Here you can find out how people used to be woken up and did not oversleep.

There was of course a time when people were spared the alarm clock. They did not have to follow a loud alarm clock , but could orientate themselves by the natural position of the sun.

At a time when electricity was not yet available, people were asked to keep to the natural rhythm of day and night. The time of day could be extended with candles, but the lighting was by no means sufficient to carry out extensive work.

In the evening the families withdrew and life took place much “slower”. Instead of the alarm clock, the natural position of the sun was used. What is simulated today with a daylight alarm clock was used quite naturally back then.

Incidentally, at that time, sleep problems were much less prevalent. Only with the widespread introduction of artificial light was the natural rhythm shifted and the known problems arose. So it is definitely beneficial to do without the alarm clock and follow the sun.

Unfortunately, this is usually not compatible with modern workplaces. But if you have the opportunity, give it a try and follow the natural position of the sun.


Who is considered to be the inventor of the alarm clock is not entirely undisputed. Probably the first person who can claim this title for himself is the Greek philosopher Plato . Because he was not only famous for his philosophical writings, but also for his numerous advances on a scientific level.

Nowadays, hourglasses are still known. These vessels are filled with sand and if you turn them over, the grains of sand trickle down. After a constant period of time, the sand is used up.

Water clocks work in a similar way. This is a vessel that is constantly filled with water. In conjunction with sundials and other timekeepers, the water clock was able to measure a duration very precisely.

Plato took advantage of this fact and developed a kind of alarm clock from the water clock . When the water meter has reached a certain level, the system has made a noise. For example, it was possible to set the alarm clock in the evening so that it “rings” in 8 hours. So this can be called the first alarm clock.

By the way, the philosopher Aristotle also developed a similar alarm clock. He used this to limit his bedtime . So he could devote himself longer to his studies.


In the Middle Ages there were completely different alarm clocks that were used in villages. The bells of the churches always rang at a fixed time in the morning. So everyone was awake there and could start work in the morning.

The bells were no longer based on the usual 24 hour rule. They referred to the duration of daylight and could therefore ring between 8 and 16 hours every full hour. When daylight came the first bell began and this ritual was repeated every hour. Thus, the bells served not only as an alarm clock, but also as a sign when a full hour was reached.


When asked about the first alarm clock, it can also be argued that Levi Hutchins’ first alarm clock is counted as this one. However, this is a very limited alarm clock. This could only ring at 4 a.m. and was not available for sale. It was just a purely personal product to wake Hutchins up in the morning.

The first mechanical alarm clock that could be individually set was designed by Antoine Redier in 1847 . This is an alarm clock according to the modern definition . Redier had his invention patented and the alarm clock could be set to a self-determined time. Therefore , according to the modern definition, Antoine Redier is considered to be the inventor of the alarm clock . The alarm clock is still relatively young and just over 150 years old. Before that, people had to orientate themselves towards alternatives and did not have the opportunity to set an individual time to get up.


The first radio alarm clocks, which were developed in the 1940s, are also more progressive With these it was possible to use music as a wake-up noise and no longer rely on the shrill ringing of the bells. The users could therefore adjust to the morning a little more gently, and the radio technology made the alarm clock much more accurate.

Nowadays, alarm clocks with natural sounds or vibrating alarm clocks are also used to make the morning even more pleasant. This will bring you back a little closer to nature and try to curb the prevailing sleep problems.

Antoine Redier is considered to be the inventor of the first alarm clock in 1847. He developed a clock in which the alarm time could be set individually. Long before that, however, Plato and Aristotle used a kind of water clock to wake up after a certain period of time.

So it is up to you who you want to blame for these infernal instruments. Today’s life would hardly function without an alarm clock.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

Leave a Comment