The Early Years
The story of timeanddate.com starts with Steffen Thorsen. As a boy, Steffen was always interested in clocks, time, and calendars. Combined with an interest in programming, he soon started developing online calendars and clocks.
1995 – Student Home Page
Steffen was studying computer science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim when he released some of timeanddate.com’s early services, including the Calendar and World Clock, in November 1995.
The services were hosted as part of Steffen's home page in a Unix account on the student web server.
1995 – Key Services Introduced
November 7, 1995
November 18, 1995
A countdown to the year 2000 was added. Today, we offer Live Countdowns that can be personalized for any occasion.
November 19, 1995
The Calendar was implemented. It contained no holidays or options, except for changing the years.
The Calendar and the World Clock were soon among the top 10 most visited pages on the student web server (with about 8000 students).
1997 – Too Cool for Skool
As the student mass of visitors grew and Steffen's time at university came to an end, he needed a new domain.
Steffen paid about $600 for the domain name and hosting for a two-year period—quite a steep price for a university student financially surviving on a student loan and a part-time job.
Development on timeanddate.com started soon after. All the services were recoded from scratch and only emergency maintenance was still done on the student site.
1998 — The Big Move
timeanddate.com came online on May 24, 1998, attracting only 24 visitors on the first day.
Several new services were introduced, including:
By the end of 1998, timeanddate.com had about 7000–8000 page views a day, reaching a first major peak of nearly 40,000 on New Year’s Eve.
1999 – Time Zone Library
The Time Zone Abbreviations service was launched in January. It started as one large list, but it later evolved into separate pages for each time zone in the world.
2001 – Sunrise and Sunset
Many thousands of people visit our Sun Calculator each day to check the precise moment the Sun rises and sets, the changing daylength, and the Sun's exact position in the sky. A rudimentary version of this service was first introduced in 2001, showing only sunrise and sunset times.
2004 – Time Zone Converter
Our Time Zone Converter takes all this into account, based on our always up-to-date DST database, so you get your answer within seconds without having to worry about the infuriatingly complex world of time zones and clock changes. A first version of the converter was launched in 2004, and although it looks a little dated, it's still around today.
2005 – The First Office
The company Time and Date AS was established in June 2005, and by November 2005, Steffen had his first office. Before then, he had worked from home in his spare time. However, seeing the popularity of the website, he reduced his day job hours early in 2005 to be able to focus more on the website. By mid-November, he had started working full time on the site.
Steffen and his internal server shared the first ever Time and Date office. With no window to open, it got quite hot.
2006 — What Is the Weather Like?
By 2006, we started buying weather data to add to our services. In the beginning, the weather was just displayed on the city page, and not in great detail.
In the same year, the Sun and Moon information was expanded and presented on new pages.
2008 – From 0 to 20
10 years after launching timeanddate.com, the two first employees were hired. In general, we have grown by about two people every year. Today, the company has around 20 employees from around the globe, all experienced and trained in their fields, with qualifications at graduate and post-graduate levels.
2012 – New Offices
With the continued success of our website, more programmers, designers, researchers, and journalists joined the team. When the timeanddate family threatened to outgrow our office space, we packed up all our clocks, calendars, and countdowns and moved to our current address in Svanholmen 2, which is nestled nicely in the hills between the cities of Stavanger and Sandnes.
2012 – Back to the Roots: timeanddate.no
Although our team consists of people from around the globe, we are a Norwegian company, so we decided to launch a Norwegian version of our website, which is now ticking away on timeanddate.no. In fact, our core services, such as the World Clock, were first launched in Norwegian in 1995, so to us, it felt a bit like going back to the roots.
2015 – German Site: timeanddate.de
There are about 100 million German native speakers in the world, and in 2015, we decided to überraschen them with a German version of our website. Launched a few days before the total solar eclipse on March 20, timeanddate.de is now attracting tens of thousands of visitors each day, mainly from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland—and still growing.
2016 – timeanddate.com Goes on the Air
On May 9, 2016, the planet Mercury passed in front of the Sun, visible to adequately equipped Earthlings as a tiny spec. Although we offer realistic animations for events like this, we decided to try out our new in-house telescope and share our footage with you. Check out a recording of our first live broadcast
2017 – Great Footage of a Great Eclipse
August 21, 2017 saw the Great American Eclipse, which was probably the most watched eclipse in human history. We flew in astrophysicist Graham Jones from Japan to celebrate this momentous event with us and add his insights to our live stream. See a recording here
2016 & 2017 – Gazing at the Stars
Time and timekeeping are intricately linked to the movements of the Earth and the Moon in relation to the Sun and other stars, so we've always had a knack for astronomy.
In 2016 and 2017, we gradually added more cool astronomy stuff, including the Night Sky pages showing when and where to spot the planets as well as loads of new graphic services about the planet sizes and order, the distance and brightness of the planets, and the Moon's orbit around Earth—and there is plenty more in the pipeline!
May 24, 2018 – timeanddate turns 20!
Oh, by the way, we're older than Google ; )