How-To Geek


Who Invented The Countdown?
A Filmmaker
A Rocket Scientist
A Boy Scout

Answer: A Filmmaker

It would be easy to assume the count-down came in with the space race or perhaps the tradition of dropping the New Year’s Ball in Times Square, but we have a movie maker to thank for introducing the world to the countdown.

In his 1929 work Lady on the Moon–one of the first Sci-Fi films–filmmaker Fritz Lang wanted to add a little extra suspense to the rocket launch sequence in the movie. Rather than count from one to ten seconds to mark the launch of the rocket, he used a reverse count–the countdown–to move from ten down to one. The simple reversal proved to be a hit and soon the reverse countdown was in use for everything from actual rocket tests to radio publicity events.

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