Peter Henlein

Inventor

1485 – 1542

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Who was Peter Henlein?

Peter Henlein, a locksmith and clockmaker of Nuremberg, Germany, is often considered the inventor of the watch. He was one of the first craftsmen to make small ornamental taschenuhr, portable clocks which were often worn as pendants or attached to clothing, regarded as the first watches. Many sources also erroneously credit him as the inventor of the mainspring.

Little is known about Henlein's life. He apparently apprenticed in his youth as a locksmith. At the time, locksmiths were among the few craftsmen with the skills and tools to enter the new field of clockmaking, and Henlein also became a clockmaker. On September 7, 1504, he was involved in a brawl in which a fellow locksmith, George Glaser, was killed. He sought asylum at a local Franciscan monastery, where he stayed for four years, until 1508. In 1509 he became a master in the city's locksmith guild. He became known as a maker of small portable ornamental spring-powered brass clocks, very rare and expensive, which were fashionable among the nobility of the time.

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Born
1485
Nuremberg
Also known as
  • Хенляйн, Петер
Nationality
  • Germany
Died
Aug 1, 1542
Nuremberg

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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