New Times in Siam: Mechanical Clock and the Formation of a Modern State


  • Pornnapha Tatdokmai Southeast Asian Studies Branch Department of History Faculty of Social Sciences Naresuan University
  • Natthapong Sakulliao Faculty of Social Sciences Naresuan University


Mechanical Clock, Standard Time, Punctuality


This article would like to portray the transformation of time in Thai Society, especially through the introduction of the mechanical clock standard-time between the 1920s. It argues that the 1920s was marked as the beginning of the official synchronization of national time with “global time”, as a result of Siam's participation in the international Prime Meridian Conference in London, Great Britain, in 1918. Since then, the mechanical clock time started to have a great influence in Thai people's every aspect of life, generating from the varieties of the state's policies and apparatus. After the revolution in 1932, the revolutionary government continued to project the mechanical time as obviously seen in the implantation of the punctuality ethics in the citizen's mind.






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