Why 24 hours a day and 60 minutes into an hour?

Ken Baker, Ph.D.

clock maker: “There will be 12 numbers on the clock face.”

Your average citizen: So the day will be divided into 12 segments?

“No, twenty-four.” Oh. And the day starts at one o’clock?

“No, twelve, and it’s at night.” Excuse me?

“And 6 on the clock means 30.” Uh …

It’s a marvel that any of us learn to tell time. One 24-hour “day” at noon is divided into two 12-hour parts – why 24 and 12? Each hour consists of 60 minutes by 60 seconds to a minute – why 60? Who thought that was a good idea?

Apparently, it was the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians.

The Egyptians and sundials were probably joints in the fingers responsible for the order of time