John Muir’s Desk Clock

John Muir's Desk Clock

John Muir (Wikipedia Commons)

Naturalist, author, and father of the Nation Parks system, John Muirs legacy is well anchored in American history. But did you know about his peculiar desk-clock invention?

While a student at the University of Wisconsin, Muir invented a study desk contraption designed to aid his daily routines and studies. The nine foot tall desk-clock had legs shaped like compasses. It has many functions such as lighting his lamp and choosing which book he was supposed to study at any given time. When the time came for another book to be read it removed the current book and replaced it with the next one to be studied.

The desk-clock is currently in the lobby of the The Wisconsin State Historical Society.

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