In 1863, four years before publishing the first volume of Das Kapital, Karl Marx wrote to Friedrich Engels that apart from “the discoveries of gunpowder, the compass, and the printing press—these necessary preconditions of bourgeois development—the two material bases on which the preparations for machine industry were organized within manufacture...were the clock and the mill.” He elaborated: “The clock is the first automatic machine applied to practical purposes, and the whole theory of production of regular motion was developed on it.”