Wow! Here comes Setsuden-mushi.! Chapter 5 Parents of Setsuden-mushi 5.2 Profile of the Father of Setsuden-mushi 5.2.1 Self-made timers
However, going back to the time before I joined Toyobo Co., Ltd. before 1964, about 60 years ago, I had already done something that may have had some connection to the development of Setsuden-mushi.
It was during my freshman year of high school, in 1962, when I made a timer.
When I was in high school, I was what you might call a “morning person”. I went to bed at 9 pm and had the guts (?) to get up as early as at 4 or 5 am.
Back then, entertainment at home was watching black and white TVs that were just starting to become available to the general public. Each member of the family had a job, and my mother in particular had to get up early in the morning to make lunches for my father and us children and prepare breakfast for the family. For this reason, I did not have the lifestyle pattern of watching TV until late at night as we do now.
I did not go to school in my city of Onomichi, but to an industrial high school in the neighboring city of Fukuyama, and every day I left home at 7:00 in the morning. In the early 1960s, there were not many train services between Onomichi and Fukuyama, and if I missed one train on my way back home, it would be around 7:00 p.m. in the evening from school. Because of this commuting condition, I was too tired to study at night, so I had to get into the habit of going to bed early and getting up early too. But I was young, and it was not easy for me to wake up very early naturally. So I needed something to wake me up for sure. It was a timer alarm clock.
I had set my alarm clock for 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., but it was dark outside except in summer, and even with the alarm clock, it was not easy to wake up. Then I wondered if there was a way to wake myself up without fails when the alarm clock rang.
That made me think of the idea that lighted up the bedside lamp as soon as the alarm clock rang. The alarm clocks of the early 1960s did not have a timer function. I first disassembled my alarm clock to see if there was any physical movement that could be used as a light switch.
I found a part of the clock that only operated when the bell rang (of course). By wiring it up and connecting it to a bedside lamp, I was able to complete the first timer alarm clock of my own making that would turn on the lamp at the same time the alarm clock rang.
Although completed, the electrical insulation was not perfect, and touching the metal part of the alarm clock could cause an electric shock. However, this is also a kind of charm. When I received an electric shock, I was startled and often woke up.
I remember making this type of timer electric light after I joined Toyobo, but in any case, I think this habit of (1) making it myself, (2) devising it, and (3) carefully observing the physical movement (operation) in front of me was the origin of the development of Setsuden-mushi, which later won the "Energy Conservation Grand Prize and the Energy Conservation Center Chairman's Award. In short, careful observation and a sense of purpose are the keys to the development of Setsuden-mushi. Furthermore, with careful observation and a sense of purpose, even an amateur can create something useful.
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