The Early Years
The story of timeanddate.com starts with Steffen Thorsen, our CEO.
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.
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.
Too Cool for School
As the number of visitors grew and Steffen's time at university came to an end, he needed a new domain.
Steffen paid a month's worth of student income for the domain name timeanddate.com and hosting for two years—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 urgent maintenance was still done on the student site.
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 7,000-8,000 page views a day, reaching a first major peak of nearly 40,000 on New Year's Eve.
Remember the Y2K Millennium bug?
When the clocks ticked down to the year 2000, we had about 10 times our regular traffic on a single day — even though the millennium didn't even start in 2000.
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 exact position of the Sun in the sky. A rudimentary version of this service was first introduced in 2001, showing only sunrise and sunset times.
Converting Time Zones
Our Time Zone Converter takes all the work out of calculating time zones, so you get your answer within seconds.
A first version of the converter was launched in 2004, and although it looks a little dated, it's still around today.
The First Office
The company Time and Date AS was established in June 2005, and by November 2005 had its first office.
Steffen and his internal server shared the first-ever Time and Date office. With no windows to open, it got quite hot.
What Is the Weather?
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.
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 almost 30 employees from around the globe, all experienced and trained in their fields, with qualifications at graduate and post-graduate levels.
Our First Apps
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.
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 it's still growing.
On May 9, 2016, the planet Mercury passed in front of the Sun, visible to adequately equipped Earthlings as a tiny speck. 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.
Gazing at the Stars
Time is 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 astronomy stuff. This included 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.
First Eclipse Stream
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.
We Turned 20!
We had some cake, and, by the way, we're older than Google ;).
To celebrate, the whole company traveled to Iceland to go snowmobiling and take a dip in the Blue Lagoon.
We had so much fun streaming the Great American Eclipse, so we sent our mobile observatory on the road for the first time and enlisted the help of a number of notable streaming partners to bring you stunning live images of three total lunar eclipses.
We launched our Supporter service with perks like custom calendars, ad-free browsing, and Sun and Moon times precise to the second.
We Moved Again!
We decided we needed a little more room to grow so in June we moved up the street to fresh new offices and we hope to stay here for a while.
2020 was the year the coronavirus challenged all of us here on Spaceship Earth.