A Time Zone Toy
By Anonymous , 1844

Weltuhr Time Zone Clock Toy

Planetaria, calendars, and dials
  • Author: Anonymous
  • Publication place: [Germany
  • Publication date: after 1844].
  • Physical description: Wooden box (135 by 105 by 290 mm) with printed decoration, rectangular aperture showing central tube with pasted printed map of the world, light wood needle in dial.
  • Inventory reference: 11506


This unusual piece was probably produced in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, as an instructional toy to teach the user about time zones. The user turns the central tube through a slot in the right hand side of the box to position a time zone in front of the aperture, which in turn moves the hand on the dial on the front of the box to show the time. On the map itself, the continents are named and major capital cities are marked with a dot and their initials. The map is divided into time zones of twenty degrees rather than fifteen, suggesting it was made before the time zone system in its modern form had been universally adapted. The prime meridian, however, is at Greenwich, suggesting it was made after the International Meridian Conference in 1884.