Ever wondered which ingenious mind was the first to create a digital clock? Well, apparently, it’s that of Thomas Bromley, an engineer and amateur inventor who is known to have designed one of the world’s first digital clocks, way back in 1961 in a humble workshop (read: his home shed)! Yes, that’s right!
The maverick who is touted as ‘a mad professor’ by his own family members, had created the prototype of the digital watch at his home in Hull and was also awarded at the Salon des Inventors in Brussels in 1964. While Bromley held the patent to the design for three years, he later chose to not renew it – a move that cost him millions in the making! Only a year after the patent expired, it is said that the Japanese started manufacturing awfully similar clocks and began selling them in bulks.
Recalling on the clock and his whereabouts, Bromley’s son, David said, “It was always in the cupboard in my mother’s house. She died a couple of months ago and me and my sister felt we wanted closure.” He further referred to his father as “an electrical engineer by the day and a n inventor by night” and how he was always “in his head”. The prototype of the iconic clock was recently sold for £460 or $589 (beyond its estimated price of £460 ) to a UK purchaser, when it went beneath the hammer in Beverley, East Yorkshire.