Who invented the Snooze Button? (Invention Timeline Explained)

Anyone who deals with work-related responsibilities will know the dread of the alarm clock — and the saving grace of the snooze button. It’s so strange to think that one of the most hated gadgets also happens to be one of the best, simply because of the nature of the snooze button.

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the snooze button? If it’s the kind of question that makes you think you’ve come to the right place!

Who invented the snooze button?

The inventor of the snooze button is Telechron, a company well-known for its development of various electric clocks.

The snooze button’s key contributors (and evolution)

  • Yi XIng
    Ancient Chinese inventor of the very first alarm clock

    To talk about the snooze button is to talk about the first alarm clock, and Yi Xing is credited as the first inventor of the alarm clock, though it was built extremely differently from the clocks of today.

  • Levi Hutchins
    Inventor of the first mechanical alarm clock

    The alarm clock that Levi Hutchins invented — interestingly enough — would only be set for 4 AM. Levi Hutchins was an early riser, and his mechanical alarm clock reflected how he wanted to tackle his days.

  • Antoine Redier
    Inventor of the adjustable alarm clock

    As great an invention as the first mechanical alarm clock, it was not patented and could not be adjusted. Antoine Redier developed a mechanical alarm clock that could be adjusted to any time.

  • Telechron
    Inventor of the snooze button

    The Telechron company, well-known for developing various clocks, was responsible for the General Electric Telechron Snooz-Alarm clock, which came with the snooze button.

When was the snooze button invented?

Despite the early invention of the alarm clock, it took quite a bit of time for the concept of the snooze button’s invention. The first snooze button was part of the Snooz-Alarm clock setup, released in 1956.

A brief history of the snooze button

Like many other inventions, talking about one thing will naturally lead to the origins of why such an invention was created in the first place. In the case of the snooze button, it’s all about the invention of the mechanical alarm clock. Way before the invention of such a thing, Yi Xing was tasked with improving calendars in ancient China. His response was to develop the first alarm clock, in which a water wheel would turn the gears in the clock. It was a gadget that measured time and the distance of planets as well. There were gongs set to ring at specific times.

Levi Hutchins, the inventor of the first mechanical alarm clock, was the next inventor of note on the road to the snooze button. However, there was only one specific time the alarm clock would ring — 4 AM. It was based on how Levi wanted to tackle his days, which meant anyone who wanted to use his clocks had to deal with the 4 AM alarm.

Next up came Antoine Redier, who improved Levi’s design by making it adjustable, allowing anyone to set the time they wanted. After that, it didn’t take much longer to eventually get to the concept of the snooze button. Telechron worked with General Electric to develop the Snooz-Alarm clock, making it much easier to get the alarm clock to stop and wait a moment before going back to alarm mode.

While people might not fondly remember the alarm clock or the creation of the snooze button, there’s no denying that the alarm clock is as useful as it is frustrating, and the snooze button offers a merciful, albeit temporary reprieve.

The snooze button timeline

  1. 725 AD
    The year Yi Xing created the first alarm clock

    The very first alarm clock wasn’t just used to measure time but also the distance between planets. It was quite the invention considering the early period.

  2. 1787
    The invention of the first mechanical alarm clock

    The very first mechanical alarm clock was created in 1787 by Levi Hutchins, and the designs matched his sleeping habits. It would only ring at 4 AM.

  3. 1847
    The invention of the first adjustable mechanical alarm clock

    While Levi Hutchins invented the first mechanical alarm clock, he didn’t patent the design. This allowed Antoine Redier to improve upon it and adjust the alarm.

  4. 1956
    The invention of the very first snooze button

    Once the adjustable alarm clock was invented, it would only be a matter of time before the concept of the snooze button popped up. Telechron developed the first snooze button in 1956.

Where was the snooze button invented?

The concept of the snooze button started with the Snooz-Alarm mechanical clock, invented in Ashland, Massachusetts.

The importance of the snooze button

  • A necessary evolution for the alarm clock

    It took plenty of effort to get an alarm clock to stop ringing back in the day. Thanks to the invention of the first snooze button, people were allowed to choose whether to keep sleeping for just a few more minutes or finally get up.

  • A love and hate relationship in the modern era

    There’s no denying that the modern alarm clock is necessary for most people to get up at the right time. Considering that most people have to work for a living, it’s only natural that the alarm clock sees plenty of use. The snooze button is there to help ease the blow somewhat.

  • The potential for growth within the industry

    Aside from the snooze button, it’s not easy to figure out how else one might evolve the uses of the alarm clock. However, the presence of the snooze button shows that there’s at least a bit of potential for growth.

  • Giving you more freedom overall

    The thing about the snooze button is it helps give you choices when it comes to getting up. It lets you figure out if you want to rest for ten more minutes or start the day.

The snooze button by the numbers

  • 45The first alarm clock with the snooze function would run the alarm for 45 minutes straight unless you hit the snooze button or turned it off.
  • 3The average number of times people hit the snooze button before getting up is 3. This is because most people like to rest for just a bit longer before starting the day.
  • 1920The year when alarm clocks got popular to the point where people no longer hired others to wake them up at specific times. The knocker-upper job was quite popular back in the day.
  • 1932The year the alarm clock was patented.

Five facts about the snooze button

  • A groggier wake-up cycle

    One of the disadvantages of using the snooze button is it often doesn’t result in more restful sleep. Depending on how quickly one can fall back asleep, the snooze button could just be causing more problems than it solves.

  • How to potentially avoid using the snooze button

    Typically, the snooze button is only necessary for those who don’t give themselves enough time to rest. One way to potentially avoid using the snooze button altogether is to plan your sleep schedule better.

  • Fully enjoying the snooze button

    Contrary to popular belief, it’s fully possible to enjoy the snooze button. Setting your alarm to a time where you feel comfortable getting up is a good way to make the snooze button feel more palatable.

  • Comfort in freedom

    One of the advantages of the snooze button is it gives you the choice of whether you want to get up or rest for just a little bit more. There’s some comfort in that freedom, and it can often lower stress levels and make you feel less robotic when it comes to working.

  • Avoid the snooze button, or use it?

    Some will claim that avoiding the snooze button is better, while others say the opposite. The important thing is how you personally feel about it. Don’t feel ashamed to go one way or the other!

FAQ about the snooze button

  • How do you use the snooze button the right way?

    There’s no real method to using the snooze button the right way. All you have to do is ensure that you’re getting enough sleep, or at least have given yourself as many hours as possible to get a restful sleep. 

  • Is the snooze button really needed?

    The thing about the snooze button is it offers the user a choice. Unlike the usual alarm where you have to set it or turn it off, the snooze button is a convenient way to choose whether you want to start the day or get a few more minutes of sleep. It seems like a small thing, but it’s well worth it.

  • Do I have to use the snooze button?

    No, you don’t have to use the snooze button if you don’t want to. You can wake up as soon as you set the alarm, and it’ll be fine so long as you’re used to it. All the snooze button offers is a choice, and many people appreciate the option.

Leave a Comment