How It All Started

On May 24, 1998, launched for the first time, attracting only 24 visitors.

Today, 25 years later, millions use the website every day. Take a scroll down memory lane with us.

Illustration of a space rocket ready to launch
  • The Early Years
    Steffen sitting at a computer

    The story of starts with Steffen Thorsen, our founder and 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.

  • 1995
    Student Homepage
    Steffen Thorsen's old homepage displayed on an old monitor

    Steffen was studying computer science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim when he released some of timeanddate’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.

  • 1997
    Too Cool for School
    Picture of Steffen outside NTNU in Trondheim.

    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 and hosting for two years—quite a steep price for a university student surviving on a student loan and a part-time job.

    Development on started soon after. All the services were recoded from scratch, and only urgent maintenance was done on the student site.

  • 1998
    It’s Alive!
    Illustration of a computer screen with a map and clocks. launched online on May 24, 1998, attracting only 24 visitors on the first day.

    Several new services were introduced, including our City Pages, Meeting Planner, Date Calculators, and Event Time Announcer.

    By the end of 1998, had about 7000-8000 page views a day, reaching a first major peak of nearly 40,000 on New Year’s Eve.

  • 2000
    The Millennium Bug
    Illustration of a city outline with fireworks in the sky.

    Remember the Y2K Millennium bug? It was thought that computers couldn’t handle going from 1999 to 2000.

    Spoiler alert: they managed just fine, and as the clocks ticked down to the year 2000, we had around ten times our regular traffic on a single day.

  • 2001
    Sunrise and Sunset
    Image of sunset on a beach.

    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 much simpler version of this service was first introduced in 2001, showing only sunrise and sunset times.

  • 2004
    Converting Time Zones
    Image of New York and Sydney displaying clocks

    When it’s noon in New York, what time is it in Sydney?

    Our Time Zone Converter takes all the work out of calculating time zones, so you get your answer within seconds.

    The first version of the converter was launched in 2004 and is still around today.

  • 2005
    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 with the server running in the same room.

  • 2006
    Will It Rain?
    Illustration of rainy clouds crossing in front of the sun.

    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.

    The same year we added more Sun and Moon information.

  • 2008
    From 0 to 30

    10 years after launching, the two first employees were hired. On average, we have grown by about two people every year since.

    Today, our company has 30+ employees from more than 11 countries, all experienced and trained in their fields.

  • 2009 & 2010
    Our First Apps
    Image used for the 'World Clock - Time Zones' in the Apple Store

    We launched our first apps, including iOS Meeting Planner and the iOS World Clock – Time Zones.

  • 2012
    Moved Offices
    Image of the timeanddate staff in new office.

    With the continued success of our website, more programmers, designers, researchers, and journalists joined the team. When the Time and Date crew began to outgrow our office space, we packed up all our clocks, calendars, and countdowns and moved to our first big office.

  • 2012
    Image of the Norwegian flag.

    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

    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 our roots.

  • 2015
    Image of the German flag.

    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, is now attracting tens of thousands of visitors each day, mainly from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland—and it’s still growing.

  • 2016
    Exploring Space
    Image of timeanddate employees streaming an eclipse from the office balcony.

    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 animations that show how transits and eclipses look, we decided to try out our new in-house telescope and live stream our footage.

    Little did we know that this small step would lead to years of live-streaming eclipses worldwide.

  • 2017
    Gazing at the Stars
    Illustration of telescope in front of the night sky with a shooting star.

    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 passion for astronomy.

    In 2016 and 2017, we gradually added more astronomy services and tools. 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.

  • 2017
    First Eclipse Stream
    Screenshot from live streamed solar eclipse on Youtube.

    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 host our live stream with Anne Buckle for their very first show.

  • 2018
    We Turned 20!
    Illustration of cake, presents and a balloon that says '20 years'.

    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.

  • 2018
    Moon Streamers
    Eclipse team working

    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.

  • 2019
    We Moved Again!
    Employees sitting in office space

    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.

  • 2019
    Eclipse Chasers
    Screenshot of live streamed solar eclipse with bird passing in front.

    In July 2019, we weighed and packed up our telescopes, computers, and cameras in the mobile observatory and traveled to Argentina to live stream the wonders of a total solar eclipse.

    From the top of the municipality building of San José de Jáchal, we captured the New Moon totally eclipsing the Sun.

  • 2020
    Everyday Victories
    Illustration of two people looking at a full moon through a telescope

    2020 was the year the coronavirus challenged all of us here on Spaceship Earth.

    We like to think that we at helped people just a little with counting down the days, looking up at the sky, and celebrating the little things.

  • 2021
    API 2.0
    Illustration of people building something, using a laptop as a canvas

    We launched a sparkly new API website that is even easier to use. Our API services let developers and businesses access our high-quality databases to make tools just like our Time Zone Converter or Sun Calculator.

  • 2022
    In the News
    Illustration of a person announcing something

    We’ve been serving you Time Zone News since 2011, but 2022 was the year we ramped up our news section with both Astronomy and Calendar & Holiday News.

  • 2023
    Happy Birthday to Us!
    Illustration of people celebrating 25 years

    We made it to 25 years, and here’s to another 25.

    This year, we’re launching a brand-new version of our Calendar. We’re also ramping up our eclipse pages in preparation for the annular solar eclipse in October, which we’ll be streaming live from Roswell, New Mexico.