Clocking-in machine, 1930.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This time recorder, made by the National Time Recording Co Ltd of London, was used at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, Hampshire until 1976 to record the arrival and departure time of employees so that their wages could be calculated correctly. It is a clock with a printing mechanism. Each employee had their own card, one per week. They put this card in a slot in the machine and pulled a lever to print the time on it to 'clock-in' and 'clock-out' each morning and afternoon. There are mechanisms to print the times in the correct places on the card, and on different rows for each day of the week. Modern computer software can now record employees' hours spent at a computer terminal, making clocking-in and out unnecesary in some workplaces.