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How To Find Hourglass Sand Timers

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

How do you keep track of time? Do you watch the clock? Or do you watch a Sand Timer?

Sand timers were very popular a few eras back. They were used in many kitchens before the digital stove clock as a way of timing cakes and any baking. They were used to boil a 3 minute egg, and when the sand ran out of the sand timers, it was time for bed.

It was just a more physical way to pass the sands of time! Although we have come a long way with digital clocks, cell phones, programmable stoves and alarms, it is still nice to have a well made handcrafted hourglass sand timer.

These sand timers have become collectible now, and some of the more vintage sand timers are quite sought after.

sand timers

If you collect sand timers, then you are not alone. This is quite the hobby. Whether you collect the tiny 3 minute egg timers for boiling eggs, or the 90 minute floor size sand timers, you can usually find them when you go digging in local antique markets and fairs.

Many have broken over the years, as they were well used. My own grandparents used them for everything. There was one on the counter for boiling an egg. My grandmas swore by it being the perfect egg if you used her hourglass sand timer. It is still around and still works well.

Then there was the 5 minute timer, my mother would use if she was making a long distance calls back in the day when the long distance charges were not for the faint hearted. She would have all her points written down to make this call, it was sweet and to the point, but when the sands of time ran out, that was it, you hung up the phone.

Some board games still use sand timers, and many of the collectible vintage sand timers are from those original board games from the 50's onwards.

If you are wondering just where to look to find vintage sand timers, then here are a few spots to start with:

Antique malls and stores. Some days you will see lots of sand timers and other days, just the cheaper plastic models. But it is worth checking and if there is a vender there all the time, then leave your phone number with him so he can let you know if he comes across one.

Clock store - If you have a antique clock store around or a clock repair shop, you may find that he has older vintage hourglass sand timers for sale too. Since they are akin to clocks you may just find some pretty old ones in a vintage or antique clock store.

Estate Sales - These can be a gold mine for sand timers, and handmade sand timers. It doesn't hurt to go and check out a estate sale or auction, sometimes you may find sand timers are included in a box of old clocks, you may have to dig around.

Next is online. This is a great way to compare prices, and see what is up for offer from around the world on sites such as Ebay and Amazon.

If you like more modern and unique sand timers, then head to your local glass blower shop and more than likely you will see a sand timer for sale. These can be really cool.

Sand timers are still very much in use. I was at a meeting once where the boss turned over the hourglass sand timer and said this is how long we have to get this done. It just seemed more final when the sands of time ran out. A little bit more dramatic than a digital clock somewhere! It was his way of planning his day out, and keeping track of time.


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