Time clock

A time clock, sometimes known as a clock card machine or punch clock or time recorder, is a device that records start and end times for hourly employees at a place of business.

In mechanical time clocks, this was accomplished by inserting a heavy paper card, called a time card, into a slot on the time clock. When the time card hit a contact at the rear of the slot, the machine would print day and time information (a timestamp) on the card.

One or more time cards could serve as a timesheet or provide the data to fill one. This allowed a timekeeper to have an official record of the hours an employee worked to calculate the pay owed an employee.

The terms Bundy clock, bundy clock, or just bundy[1] have been used in Australian English for time clocks. The term comes from brothers Willard and Harlow Bundy.

Clocking device
Electronic time clock



Time clock at wookey hole cave museum
Early time clock, made by National Time Recorder Co. Ltd. of Blackfriars, London at Wookey Hole Caves museum
Bundy Clock, Birmingham City Transport
Bundy clock

An early and influential time clock, sometimes described as the first, was invented on November 20, 1888, by Willard Le Grand Bundy,[2] a jeweler in Auburn, New York. His patent of 1890[3] speaks of mechanical time recorders for workers in terms that suggest that earlier recorders already existed, but Bundy's had various improvements; for example, each worker had his own key. A year later his brother, Harlow Bundy, organized the Bundy Manufacturing Company,[4][5] and began mass-producing time clocks.

In 1900, the time recording business of Bundy Manufacturing, along with two other time equipment businesses, was consolidated into the International Time Recording Company (ITR).[6][7][8][9]

In 1911, ITR, Bundy Mfg., and two other companies were amalgamated (via stock acquisition), forming a fifth company, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR), which would later change its name to IBM.[10]

The Bundy clock (see image left) was used by Birmingham City Transport to ensure that bus drivers did not depart from outlying termini before the due time; now preserved at Walsall Arboretum.

In 1909, Halbert P. Gillette explained about the state of the art around time clocks in those days:

IBM time clock
IBM time clock
Time clocks.—Such an appliance which may not, in general, be used in the field, but which is of immense value in the office and particularly in a shop, is the time clock. Various forms of time clocks are in common use, two types of which are illustrated. [The first] is a time card recorder, which is a clock so made that it will automatically stamp on a card inserted in a slot in the clock by the workman the time of his arrival and of his departure. The cards are made to hold a record covering the pay period and need no attention from a timekeeper or clerk until the termination of this period. The record of the men's time can then be compiled very readily by one who need not be a skilled mathematician or time clerk.
The time clock system has been developed very highly in shops for keeping track of time used in completing any job by workmen, but as this in a way is not in the realm of field cost keeping, it will not be entered into here.
Another form of time clock [...] has the numbers of the employees fixed on the outer edge of a disk or ring and a record is made by the employee who shifts a revolving arm and punches his number upon entering the office and leaving. The working up of employees' time then becomes simply a matter of computation from printed figures. These two types are made by the International Time Recording Co. of New York.[11]

An example of this other form of time clock, made by IBM, is pictured on the right. The face shows employee numbers which would be dialed up by employees entering and leaving the factory. The day and time of entry and exit was punched onto cards inside the box.[12]

Mid 20th century

In 1958, IBM's Time Equipment Division was sold to the Simplex Time Recorder Company. However, in the United Kingdom ITR (a subsidiary of IBM United Kingdom Ltd.) was the subject of a management buy-out in 1963 and reverted to International Time Recorders. In 1982, International Time Recorders was acquired by Blick Industries of Swindon, England, who were themselves later absorbed by Stanley Security Systems.

The first punched-card system to be linked to a Z80 microprocessor was developed by Kronos Incorporated in the late 1970s and introduced as a product in 1979.[13]

Late 20th century

In the late 20th century, time clocks started to move away from the mechanical machines to computer-based, electronic time and attendance systems. The employee either swipes a magnetic stripe card, scans a barcode, brings an RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag into proximity with a reader, enters an employee number or uses a biometric reader to identify the employee to the system. These systems are much more advanced than the mechanical time clock: various reports can be generated, including on compliance with the European Working Time Directive, and a Bradford factor report. Employees can also use the gadget to request holidays, enter absenteeism requests and view their worked hours. User interfaces can be personalized and offer robust self-service capabilities.

Electronic time clock machines are manufactured in many designs by companies in China and sold under various brand names in places around the world, with accompanying software to extract the data from a single time clock machine, or several machines, and process the data into reports. In most cases local suppliers offer technical support and in some cases installation services.

More recently, time clocks have started to adopt technology commonly seen in phones and tablets – called 'Smartclocks'. The "state of the art" smartclocks come with multi-touch screens, full color displays, real time monitoring for problems, wireless networking and over the air updates. Some of the smartclocks use front-facing cameras to capture employee clock-ins to deter "buddy clocking", a problem usually requiring expensive biometric clocks. With the increasing popularity of cloud-based software, some of the newer time clocks are built to work seamlessly with the cloud.[14]


Basic time clock

A basic time clock will just stamp the date and time on a time card, similar to a parking validation machine. These will usually be activated by a button that a worker must press to stamp their card, or stamp upon full insertion. Some machines use punch hole cards instead of stamping, which can facilitate automated processing on machinery not capable of optical character recognition.

There are also variations based on manufacture and machine used, and whether the user wants to record weekly or monthly recordings. The time cards usually have the workdays, "time in", and "time out" areas marked on them so that employees can "punch in" or "punch out" in the correct place. The employee may be responsible for lining up the correct area of the card to be punched or stamped. Some time clocks feature a bell or signal relay to alert employees as to a certain time or break.

Fraudulent operation of time clocks can include overstamping, where one time is stamped over another, and buddy stamping, where a friend clocks in another member of staff.

Self-calculating machines

Magnetstempelkarte (kontaktlos)
Contactless magnetic time clock card

Self-calculating machines are similar to basic time clocks. Nevertheless, at the end of each period the total time recorded is added up allowing for quicker processing by human resources or payroll. These machines sometimes have other functions such as automatic stamping, dual-colour printing, and automated column shift.

Software based time and attendance systems are similar to paper-based systems, but they rely on computers and check-in terminals. They are backed up with software that can be integrated with the human resources department and in some cases payroll software. These types of systems are becoming more popular but due to high initial costs they are usually only adopted by large business of over 30 employees. Despite this they can save a business a lot of money every year by cutting down errors and reducing administration time.[15]

Mobile time tracking

With the mass market proliferation of mobile devices (smart phones, handheld devices), new types of self-calculating time tracking systems have been invented which allow a mobile workforce – such as painting companies or construction companies - to track employees 'on' and 'off' hours. This is generally accomplished through either a mobile application, or an IVR based phone call in system. Using a mobile device allows enterprises to better validate that their employees or suppliers are physically 'clocking in' at a specific location using the GPS functionality of a mobile phone for extra validation.


Biometric time clocks are a feature of more advanced time and attendance systems. Rather than using a key, code or chip to identify the user, they rely on a unique attribute of the user, such as a hand print, finger print, finger vein, palm vein, facial recognition, iris or retina. The user will have their attribute scanned into the system. Biometric readers are often used in conjunction with an access control system, granting the user access to a building, and at the same time clocking them in recording the time and date. These systems also attempt to cut down on fraud such as "buddy clocking." When combined with an access control system they can help prevent other types of fraud such as 'ghost employees', where additional identities are added to payroll but don't exist.

See also


  1. ^ Bundy. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved April 10, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bundy
  2. ^ Willard Legrand Bundy Biography
  3. ^ U.S. Patent 452,894
  4. ^ IBM Archives: Bundy Manufacturing Co.
  5. ^ Bundy Museum of History & Art
  6. ^ Engelbourg (1954) p.33
  7. ^ Belden, Martin; Belden, Marva (1961). The Life of Thomas J. Watson, Little, Brown; p. 92
  8. ^ IBM Archives: International Time Recording
  9. ^ IBM Archives: ITR time recorder
  10. ^ Bennett, Frank P.; Company (June 17, 1911). United States Investor. 22, Part 2. p. 1298 (26).
  11. ^ Gillette, Halbert Powers, and Richard T. Dana. Construction Cost Keeping and Management. Gillette Publishing Company, 1909, p. 110-112.
  12. ^ Engelbourg, Saul (1954). International Business Machines: A Business History (Ph.D.). Columbia University. p. 385. Reprinted by Arno Press, 1976, from the best available copy. Some text is illegible.
  13. ^ Kronos History
  14. ^ David Needle, TabTimes, Android tablet gives old punch card time clock facelift
  15. ^ "Time Is Money" (PDF). https://www.accelo.com/assets/Uploads/WhitePaperTimeIsMoney.pdf. July 2014. External link in |website= (help)

External links

Boys' World

Boys' World was a boys' comic magazine published in the UK by Longacre Press. It ran for 89 issues beginning on 26 January 1963, and in 1964 it merged with the Eagle. The headquarters of Boys' World was in London. It featured the mythological serial strip "Wrath of the Gods", painted in colour by Ron Embleton and the earliest comic strip parody of Doctor Who, 'Dr What and His Time Clock'. Among the other artists who worked for the comic were Brian Lewis and Frank Bellamy.

Clock port

The clock port is a commonly used term for the real-time clock interface of the Amiga 1200 computer. The port is a remnant of an abandoned design feature for addition of internal RAM and a clock for time keeping. However, it was later widely used as a general purpose expansion port by third-party developers for devices, such as, I/O cards, sound cards and even a USB controller. Although a real-time clock can be connected to the port, the clock was typically added by other means (usually integrated on CPU or RAM expansions) which leave the clock port free.The A1200 was the only Amiga model to have this unique 22-pin connector (some revisions of the A1200 motherboard have additional non-functional pins). However, as the address and data signals used by the interface are available through the internal expansion connectors of other Amiga models, clock port adaptors were later created by third-party developers for these systems. This enables owners of other popular models, such as the Amiga 500 or Amiga 600, to use the hardware created for this interface. Due to the popularity of clock port devices, developers even included one or more compatible clock port interfaces on Amiga Zorro boards to allow hosting such devices on these systems.Essentially, the connector provides an 8-bit data interface with limited addressing.

Culture Club

Culture Club are an English new wave group that formed in London in 1981. The band comprises Boy George (lead vocals), Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards), Mikey Craig (bass guitar) and Jon Moss (drums and percussion). They are considered one of the most representative and influential groups of the 1980s.Led by singer and frontman Boy George, whose androgynous style of dressing caught the attention of the public and the media in the early 1980s, the band have sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 6 million BPI certified records sold in the UK and over 7 million RIAA certified records sold in the US. Their hits include "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", "Time (Clock of the Heart)", "Church of the Poison Mind", "Karma Chameleon", "Victims", "It's a Miracle", "The War Song", "Move Away", and "I Just Wanna Be Loved". In the UK they amassed twelve Top 40 hit singles between 1982 and 1999, including the number ones "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and "Karma Chameleon", the latter being the biggest selling single of 1983 in the UK, and hit number one on the US Hot 100 in 1984. The song "Time (Clock of the Heart)" is included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.

Their second album, Colour by Numbers, sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. It appeared on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Best Albums of the 1980s and is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Ten of their singles reached the US Top 40, where they are associated with the Second British Invasion of British new wave groups that became popular in the US due to the cable music channel MTV. Culture Club's music combines British new wave and American soul and pop. It also includes some elements of Jamaican reggae and also other styles such as calypso, salsa, and with "Karma Chameleon", elements of country music.In 1984, Culture Club won Brit Awards for Best British Group, Best British Single ("Karma Chameleon"), and the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. They were nominated the same year for the Grammy Award for Pop Vocal by Group or Duo. The band were also nominated for a Canadian Juno Award for International Album of the Year. In January 1985, Culture Club were nominated for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Video Artist, and in September 1985, they were nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Special Effects and Best Art Direction for their video "It's a Miracle". In 1987, they received another nomination for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group Video Artist.

Drivin N Cryin

Drivin' N Cryin' is an American hard rock/Southern rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

Endurance art

Endurance art is a kind of performance art involving some form of hardship, such as pain, solitude or exhaustion. Performances that focus on the passage of long periods of time are also known as durational art or durational performances.Writer Michael Fallon traces the genre to the work of Chris Burden in California in the 1970s. Burden spent five days in a locker in Five-Day Locker Piece (1971), had himself shot in Shoot (1971), and lived for 22 days in a bed in an art gallery in Bed Piece (1972).Other examples of endurance art include Tehching Hsieh's One Year Performance 1980–1981 (Time Clock Piece), in which for 12 months he punched a time clock every hour, and Art/Life One Year Performance 1983–1984 (Rope Piece), in which Hsieh and Linda Montano spent a year tied to each other by an eight-foot rope.In The House with the Ocean View (2003), Marina Abramović lived silently for 12 days without food or entertainment on a stage entirely open to the audience. Such is the physical stamina required for some of her work that in 2012 she set up what she called a "boot camp" in Hudson, New York, for participants in her multiple-person performances.

Floral clock

A floral clock, or flower clock, is a large decorative clock with the clock face formed by carpet bedding, usually found in a park or other public recreation area. Most have the mechanism set in the ground under the flowerbed, which is then planted to visually appear as a clock face with moving arms which may also hold bedding plants.

The first floral clock was the idea of John McHattie, Superintendent of Parks in Edinburgh, Scotland and the clockmaker James Ritchie. It was first planted up in the spring of 1903 in West Princes Street Gardens. In that year it had only an hour hand but a minute hand was added the following year. A cuckoo which popped out every hour was added in 1905. The clock was soon imitated across the United Kingdom and later throughout the world.

In Edinburgh, the clock mechanism is set inside the plinth of the statue to Allan Ramsay adjacent. The first mechanism using salvaged parts from Elie Parish Church in Fife was installed by Ritchie. A new mechanism was installed in 1934 and is still maintained by Ritchie's company.

The only flower clock with two faces moved by the same system is located in Zacatlán, Puebla, Mexico. It has two faces, each five metres (16 ft) in diameter. It was manufacturated by Relojes Centenario, a local manufacturer.

Michael Jackson had a floral clock at his Neverland Ranch.Other floral clocks can be seen in the International Peace Garden on the border between North Dakota and Manitoba, Rockford, Illinois and in Frankfort, Kentucky.On 19 May 2016, Camarillo Plaza in California unveiled a 13-foot (4.0 m) in diameter floral clock. The clock was created as a dedication to Mr. David Pick.

High Quest

High Quest (1931–1948) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1934 Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series of races.

Kissing to Be Clever

Kissing to Be Clever is the debut album by the English band Culture Club, released on

4 October 1982 in the United Kingdom. It includes Culture Club's international breakthrough hit single, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", which reached number one in the band's native UK and the Top 10 of many charts around the world. The album has reportedly sold over 5 million copies worldwide, including over 1 million in the US where it has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Lockout (industry)

A lockout is a temporary work stoppage or denial of employment initiated by the management of a company during a labor dispute. That is different from a strike in which employees refuse to work. It is usually implemented by simply refusing to admit employees onto company premises and may include changing locks and hiring security guards for the premises. Other implementations include a fine for showing up or a simple refusal of clocking in on the time clock. It is therefore referred to as the antithesis of strike.

NT (cassette)

NT is a digital memo recording system introduced by Sony in 1992, sometimes marketed under the name Scoopman. The system stored memos using helical scanning on special microcassettes, which were 30 × 21.5 × 5 mm with a tape width of 2.5 mm, with a recording capacity of up to 120 minutes. The Scoopmen cassettes are offered in three versions: The Sony NTC-60, -90, and -120, each describing the length of time (in minutes) the cassette can record.

NT stands for Non-Tracking, meaning the head does not precisely follow the tracks on the tape. Instead, the head moves over the tape at approximately the correct angle and speed, but performs more than one pass over each track. The data in each track is stored on the tape in blocks with addressing information that enables reconstruction in memory from several passes. This considerably reduced the required mechanical precision, reducing the complexity, size, and cost of the recorder.

Another feature of NT cassettes is Non-Loading, which means instead of having a mechanism to pull the tape out of the cassette and wrap it around the drum, the drum is pushed inside the cassette to achieve the same effect. This also significantly reduces the complexity, size, and cost of the mechanism.

Audio sampling is in stereo at 32 kHz with 12 bit nonlinear quantization, corresponding to 17 bit linear quantization. Data written to the tape is packed into data blocks and encoded with LDM-2 low deviation modulation.The Sony NT-2 Digital Micro Recorder, introduced in 1996 and shown here, features a real-time clock that records a time signal on the digital track along with the sound data, making it useful for journalism, police and legal work. Due to the machine's buffer memory, it is capable of automatically reversing the tape direction at the end of the reel without an interruption in the sound. The recorder uses a single "AA"-size cell for primary power, plus a separate CR-1220 lithium cell to provide continuous power to the real-time clock. The Sony NT-2, an improved successor to the Sony NT-1 Digital Micro Recorder, introduced in 1992, was the final machine in the series. The NT cassette systems cost more than a DAT recorder in their day, are fragile and relatively unreliable compared to other emerging recording technologies, and being unable to compete soon disappeared from the market. The devices are considered curiosities for collectors.


The NanoBook is an ultra-mobile PC reference design by VIA Technologies, Inc. It has a clamshell form factor, a 7-inch 800×480 touchscreen display, and a full-size keyboard. It weighs less than 850 g (approximately 1.87 lb) and has a claimed battery life of up to 4.5 hours. It is based on the VIA VX700 chipset, featuring the VIA UniChrome Pro II IGP integrated graphics and powered by the 1.2-GHz VIA C7-M ultra low voltage processor. It includes up to 1 GB DDR2 memory, a minimum 30-GB hard drive, 802.11g WiFi, Bluetooth and Ethernet support, as well as a 4-in-1 card reader, a DVI port and two USB 2.0 ports.

The company's press release states that, "[t]o provide users with additional flexibility when they are on the move, the VIA NanoBook also features a USB slot next to the screen that will enable the snap-in integration of a variety of World Time Clock/Calendar, GPS, VOIP, and broadband wireless modules."The NanoBook is "[t]argeted at aggressive consumer price points", and is expected to be available starting in the second half of 2007 through global OEMs and SIs.

Nonvolatile BIOS memory

Nonvolatile BIOS memory refers to a small memory on PC motherboards that is used to store BIOS settings. It is traditionally called CMOS RAM because it uses a volatile, low-power complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) SRAM (such as the Motorola MC146818 or similar) powered by a small "CMOS" battery when system and standby power is off. The typical NVRAM capacity is 256 bytes.The CMOS RAM and the real-time clock have been integrated as a part of the southbridge chipset and it may not be a standalone chip on modern motherboards.

Pokémon Mini

The Pokémon Mini (officially stylized as Pokémon mini) is a handheld game console that was designed and manufactured by Nintendo and themed around the Pokémon media franchise. It is the smallest game system with interchangeable cartridges ever produced by Nintendo, weighing just under two and a half ounces (71 grams). It was first released in North America on November 16, 2001, then in Japan on December 14, 2001, and in Europe on March 15, 2002. The systems were released in three colors: Wooper Blue, Chikorita Green, and Smoochum Purple.Features of the Pokémon mini include an internal real-time clock, an infrared port used to facilitate multiplayer gaming, a reed switch for detecting shakes, and a motor used to implement force feedback. The Nintendo GameCube game Pokémon Channel features playable demo versions of several Pokémon mini games via console emulation. Also included in the game is Snorlax's Lunch Time, a Pokémon Channel exclusive. Some games were only released in Japan, such as Togepi's Adventure.

Various hackers have reverse engineered the Pokémon mini (with the aid of the aforementioned emulator in Pokémon Channel) in order to enable the creation of homebrew games, and to allow official games to be played on other platforms (such as a PC, Dreamcast and various others).

Real-time clock

A real-time clock (RTC) is a computer clock (most often in the form of an integrated circuit) that keeps track of the current time.

Although the term often refers to the devices in personal computers, servers and embedded systems, RTCs are present in almost any electronic device which needs to keep accurate time.

Sleeping while on duty

Sleeping while on duty or sleeping on the job refers to falling asleep while on the time clock or equivalent, or else while responsible for performing some active or passive job duty. While in some jobs, this is a minor transgression or not even worthy of sanctioning, in other workplaces, this is considered gross misconduct and may be grounds for disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment. Recently however, there has been a movement in support of sleeping, or napping at work, with scientific studies highlighting health and productivity benefits, and over 6% of employers in some countries providing facilities to do so. In some types of work, such as firefighting or live-in caregiving, sleeping at least part of the shift may be an expected part of paid work time. While some employees who sleep while on duty in violation do so intentionally and hope not to get caught, others intend in good faith to stay awake, and accidentally doze.

Sleeping while on duty is such an important issue that it is addressed in the employee handbook in some workplaces. Concerns that employers have may include the lack of productivity, the unprofessional appearance, and danger that may occur when the employee's duties involve watching to prevent a hazardous situation. In some occupations, such as pilots, truck and bus drivers, or those operating heavy machinery, falling asleep while on duty puts lives in danger. However, in many countries, these workers are supposed to take a break and rest every few hours.

Solar time

Solar time is a calculation of the passage of time based on the position of the Sun in the sky. The fundamental unit of solar time is the day. Two types of solar time are apparent solar time (sundial time) and mean solar time (clock time).

Time (Clock of the Heart)

"Time (Clock of the Heart)" is a song by the British new wave band Culture Club, released as a stand-alone single in most of the world and as the second single from their debut album Kissing to Be Clever in North America. Following on the heels of the band's global #1 hit, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me", "Time (Clock of the Heart)" peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart, selling over 500,000 copies in the UK. In the United States, the song matched the #2 peak of its predecessor on the Billboard Hot 100, kept from the #1 spot by "Flashdance... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara for two weeks.

In Europe and United Kingdom, it was a stand-alone single, released in November 1982. For this market, its first inclusion on a Culture Club album was on their 1987 compilation, called This Time: The First Four Years.

In a retrospective review of the song, Allmusic journalist Stewart Mason wrote: "Of all of Culture Club's early hits, Time (Clock of the Heart) has probably aged the best. Boy George drops the cryptic self-mythology long enough to deliver a tender, heartfelt lyric on lost love."The music video has been released in two versions. The only difference was a scene where the group is watching television, along with vocalist Helen Terry. In one version, a Christmas tree is shown. In the other, the tree is removed. This was because of the date of release for certain markets. The "Christmas" version (which is on the 2005 DVD "Greatest Hits") was for European countries and the "regular version" was for the other markets, where the song was released in Spring 1983.

The US single was released with the B-side being an instrumental version of the song called "Romance Beyond the Alphabet", which not only removed the vocals but at least one layer of melody as well.


A timekeeper is an instrument or person that measures the passage of time.

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