The piezoelectric properties of crystalline quartz were discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie in 1880. The first crystal oscillator was invented in 1917 byAlexander M. Nicholson after which, the first quartz crystal oscillator was built by Walter G. Cady in 1921. In 1927 the first quartz clock was built by Warren Marrison and J. W. Horton at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Canada. The following decades saw the development of quartz clocks as precision time measurement devices in laboratory settings—the bulky and delicate counting electronics, built with vacuum tubes, limited their practical use elsewhere. The National Bureau of Standards (nowNIST) based the time standard of the United States on quartz clocks from late 1929 until the 1960s, when it changed to atomic clocks. In 1969, Seiko produced the world's first quartz wristwatch, the Astron.Their inherent accuracy and low cost of production resulted in the subsequent proliferation of quartz clocks and watches.
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