The historicaly, politically incorrect, history of watchman clocks.
Since before the era of Atlantis, people have been supervised at work.  Before the turn of the now previous century (most of us were born before "the turn of the century," this century), factory workers had to clock in and clock out to verify their presence.  Out of control, it is now in every aspect of business and government.  I am proud to tell you that as an analog man, I helped take something simple and made it complex, in a digital world.

Controlling people by time and location has always been met with resistance by those who regard it as a indignity, an offense to their honesty, their morals, their country, whatever.  Sure. And the harder they fought, the bigger the liar behind the fight.

For over 100 years,  mechanical watchclocks were the only method of monitoring the duties of security personnel. Gears, carbonless paper, steel keys and chains.   Everybody in the security business has heard of wall keys being vandalized and stolen, clocks 'accidentally' being dropped or falling under a truck's wheel.  Sometimes the keys were collected and then unscrupulously turned at exactly the right time to create the perfect station tour, every night, week after week, without them ever having to leave the comfort of their office.

Mechanical clocks, like the Detex Neuman and Detex Guardsman, were produced right up until 2008.  A few other ones like the Acroprint C36 (you would change the report disc every 36 hours... it failed, was replaced by the C72, a 3 day disc (yeah, that's better -Fail), the Star, they all died earlier. One of the last remaining mechanical watchman clocks is the Amano PR600, which we still sell.  Inexpensive at the time, durable, and cheap to operate.  But still, "beatable" because it uses mechanical keys, and can still be destroyed "accidentally".  Even more bizarre is that the reports are still on 1" wide rolls of paper with just printed times and a key number.  How are you supposed to give that to a customer to prove a guard actually did their job?  Well, you can thank us for bringing in Big Data to the industry.

In June 1984, during the 20th General Assembly of 'Ligue Internationale des Societes de Surveillance' held in Vienna, Austria, members saw prototypes of electronic watchtour products from two separate manufacturers located in Asutria and Switzersland respectively.  They came up with the outline for the new, computerized watchman clocks.  These are the original specs:
1)  Operate between -25 to + 60C
2)  Be waterproof
3)  Withstand falls from 1.5 meters (about 5 feet, but who will be measuring..)
4)  Have no external keys, plugs, or connections
5) Be able to transfer data from the clock ('to a computer') without a cable

Well, that was the plan.  Craw forward 32 years, 2016, and we have many systems that are using radio waves to capture the punches then download them (Detex ProxiPen, JWM V8 and a few others), we also have the cell-phone app by uPatrol which is totally cloud based and the reports are INSTANTLY UPDATED in real time.  At the other end of the spectrum, we still have the Amano PR600 which uses tapes and zinc coated steel keys with simple numbers (1 - 40).

A lot of companies came and went, some with big money behind them, such as Lathem, which used a bar code and a ruby-red laser reader.  Cutting-edge, but the reader failed too often, and the light had to be "just right" to work.  Bar codes were the way to go for awhile.  Now we use iButtons (the Detex Reliant Plus system), or RFID tags which you can paint over, and even bury them in plaster or put them on the other side of a (wood) door or window. 

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