Radio-controlled desk clock, American, 2000.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Detail of display. This radio-controlled digital display clock was made by Oregon Scientific, United States. By the end of the 1990s, radio-controlled quartz clocks were becoming fairly cheap compared to standard quartz clocks, and so were gaining popularity. Radio signals carrying time from highly accurate atomic clocks in national standard laboratories are received by radio-controlled clocks every few hours, and set the clock to the right time if it has drifted.