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Clocks at Winterthur Museum

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The 2016 Ward Francillion Symposium will be held October 6 – 8, 2016, at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, DE. The symposium is sponsored by the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC) and will focus exclusively on the museum’s horological pieces.

Winterthur is one of America’s top-rated house museums and boasts a premier collection of 90,000 decorative and fine arts objects made or used in the USA between 1640 and 1860.

A lineup of eminent speakers will address important clocks and watches in the collection, highlighting their makers, regions, craftsmanship, and cultural significance.

The public is welcome and registration is open to all. For more information click here.

Visit the NAWCC Museum Collection From Your Home

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Did you know…

BLOG-NAWCC-#2_explorecollectionyou can visit the entire collection at the National Watch & Clock Museum from the comfort of your own home? With a click of your mouse or a touch of your finger, you can explore the Museum’s online database containing thousands of objects and images.

You’re invited to join Museum Director Noel Poirier for a “how-to” on using the Museum’s Online Collection Database. The event takes place on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 7pm EST.  There is no charge for the webinar.

After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with details about joining the webinar. Be sure you view system requirements before logging on to confirm that you’ll be able to access the program. This information will be found in registration link and registration confirmation. If you can’t attend this webinar live, and would like to view a recording of it,  just register for the webinar and you will be automatically notified when a recording is available.

Register online here. For more Information, or to register, contact Katie Knaub: (717) 684-8261, ext. 237 • kknaub@nawcc.org

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clocks – Clock Facts Part Two

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A question opened Clock Facts Part One of this series : “If you don’t know what you don’t know, then how can you know that you don’t know it?” Well, if you’ve read part one and now know what you didn’t know before, here’s part two to start all over.

bily-2-constance-

 

1. Henry Ford offered one million dollars for this clock
In 1928, the automaker Henry Ford, offered an astounding one million dollars to the Bily brothers for the eight foot, five hundred pound American Pioneer History Clock that they carved. But, the brothers turned Mr. Ford’s offer down. They didn’t want to part with it and kept it stored in their barn with the rest of their handmade collection. They never sold any of their clocks–not even one. (see: Bily Clocks Museum and Farmer Clock Makers.)

 

 

 

2. Great discoveries would have never happened without the clock

The invention of the clock has had a tremendous impact on history. For one thing, countless scientific experiments and breakthroughs that depended on the use of a stopwatch would never have happened if time measurement hadn’t advanced past the sundial. And what about keeping our schedules in business, travel, finance, medicine, government, recreation, schools, computers, and so on? Our lives would be radically impacted if not for the invention of the clock.

 

Blenheim Palace clock tower3. Why clock dials with Roman numerals use “IIII” instead of “IV”

For centuries, clock makers have inscribed within the ring of numbers on their clock dials the Roman numeral “four” written as “IIII” instead of “IV.” Why? It’s for symmetry: the “IIII” presents a better visual balance for the number “eight” written on the other side of the dial as “VIIl.”

 

Ten-Things-#2-Tower_aip.orgclock4. This tower clock helped Albert Einstein

While riding in a streetcar in Bern, Switzerland, Albert Einstein saw the city’s 13th century clock tower passing behind him (photo on right). He knew that since he was traveling away from the clock, the light of the clock’s image would have to catch up to him. But since light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so much faster than the 20 milers per hour of the streetcar, he of course knew there could be no perceivable delay in the clock’s image reaching him.

Some thoughts entered his mind: How would the clock’s image appear if the streetcar moved faster and faster? If that were to happen, the clock hands would continue to move more slowly. And if the streetcar traveled at the speed of light, the clock’s image would follow him at the same speed but wouldn’t be able to catch up to him. The result? The clock’s image would freeze, and time would “stand still.”  It was a streetcar ride on that day that gave Einstein a clue to the flexibility of time. Eventually, it led to his theory of relativity: E=MC ².

5. Why a clock repair person is called a “clock maker”

Many years ago, if you wanted to buy a clock you would have to see your local clock maker. He made clocks one at a time, commissioned by each individual customer. You would also have to see him if your clock needed adjustment or repair. Today, even though clocks aren’t made old-world style in a local clock maker’s shop, the tradition of calling a clock repair person a “clock maker” continues.

6. The Westminster melody has words to go with it

Almost everyone has heard the Westminster melody chiming away on one clock or another. But did you know that there are lyrics that accompany the melody?TEN-#2-wikepedia-westminster-chimes

O Lord our God
Be Thou our guide
That by thy help
No foot may slide.

 Ten-#2-ebay.com-rubies7. Why precious stones are put inside of watch movements?

What do you think happens inside of a watch when oil breaks down and metal rubs against metal? You have rapid wear on pivots and bearings, and the next stop is the repair shop.

To reduce wear and friction, watch makers of today use synthetic jewels such as rubies at the heaviest friction points because precious stones are much harder and longer lasting than metal.

 

8. What do the Latin words “Tempus Fugit” mean on a clock dial?

These words are often mistaken for the brand name of the clock,  but they are a Latin phrase that’s usually translated into English as “time flies”.

 

Ten-#2Grandfather-OceansBridge.com9. What does the grandfather clock have to do with grandfathers?

In 1836, American songwriter Henry Clay Work, wrote a song based on a folk story about a floor clock that stopped when its owner, a grandfather, passed away. He named the song “My Grandfather’s Clock.” Selling over 1 million copies of sheet music, it’s melody, and lyrics penetrated the hearts and minds of people everywhere and eventually the term “grandfather clock” became synonymous with this style of clock that inspired the song.

Ten-#2christies.com

 

 

10. Selling time was their family business

In the early part of the 20th century, domestic clocks were still not very reliable and regular resetting was usually needed. So in 1836 John Belville, an assistant at the Greenwich Observatory, set his pocket watch and began delivering the precise time to offices around London as part of a government program.  After he passed away, his wife Maria continued the service as a private venture. She retired in 1892, handing over control of the business to their daughter, Ruth who carried the same pocket chronometer around London each week until she retired in 1940.

Well… after we finished writing this blog, one more clock fact came to mind.  We couldn’t resist adding it to the list, so here’s clock fact #11:

11. The origin of the term “o’clock”

The term “o’clock” came into use during the early part of the 18th century. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it was a shortened version of the phrase “of the clock” which referred to the time on a clock face.

We hope you’ve enjoyed part two of our series. Please let us know!

Photo Credits:

Photo #1 – The American Pioneer History Clock – constanceore.com  

Photo # 2 – Blenheim Palace clock tower – www.timeassured.com  

Photo # 3 – Tower clock in Bern, Switzerland – aip.org    

Photo # 4 – Westminster chimes music – Wikipedia   

Photo # 5 – Group of rough uncut rubies – ebay.com  

Photo # 6 – Grandfather – OceansBridge.com  

Photo # 7 – Antique pocket chronometer – christies.com  

 

 

Why Do Clock Ads Show 10:10?

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Is it just a coincidence that most ads and product photos for clocks and watches show the time at 10:10? Not so. Clock makers have good reasons for positioning the hands at 10:10. There are four:

Ten-Ten-#2-happy-clock-.jeudego.org1. The Happy Clock
It’s instinctive to be attracted to things that make us happy. That’s why people would rather see a smiling face instead of a frowning one. And so it is that at the time of 10:10, the hands on the face of a clock bring to mind the smiling face of a person. Of course, when we see the 10:10 time, we don’t say to ourselves “this clock is smiling at me and it feels good,” but we’re likely to get the cue sub-consciously. And because feelings play such a big part in our buying decisions, many clock makers follow the same unwritten rule, and that is: photograph the hands at 10:10 to make the timepiece look happy.

The happy-photo-rule has not always been the norm in the clock industry. Just check some vintage print ads on websites like www.adclassix.com and www.vintageadbrowser.com, and you’ll find that during the 1920’s and 30’s, clocks and watches were almost exclusively set at 8:20. But during the two decades that followed, consensus had it that the downward pointing hands at 8:20 were undesirable as they resembled a frown, and eventually the 8:20 position for photo ops passed out of favor in clock ads.

Ten-Ten--Setting#2-cropped-river-city-wall-clock-1012-15-270x433_opt2. Symmetry
At the 10:10 position, the dial clock hands create a perfect visual symmetry; one hand points to ten o’clock and the other to two o’clock, putting both at the same angle. Clock makers know that the human brain tends to appreciate symmetry and orderliness and that the 10:10 setting in their ads makes their timepieces that much more appealing.

 

3. Logo placement
The perfect center spot on the clock face,  just under the 12, is an ideal place for the manufacturer’s logo. And with the hands at the 10:10 setting, the logo is clearly visible and nicely framed.

Ten-Ten-Hermle-Tellurium#2-22823_740352 (2)

4. Clear visibility of extra features

When the hands are placed at 10:10, extra features such as date windows or secondary dials, are clearly visible.

 

 

 

Now the next time you see a clock ad and the hands at 10:10, you’ll know why.

Image and Photo Credits:

1. Happy clock drawing – jeudego.org

2. River City Indoor-Outdoor wall clock

3. Hermle Tellurium II mantel clock

4. Wristwatch by Basilika

Born in the Winter: Black Forest Clock Making

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Wood-Clocks-Millet#2-hoocher.com

When  time, incentive, and patience come together, something great can happen. And it did. The tradition of Black Forest clock making began with those three ingredients, some farmers, and the craft of wooden gear clock making, back in the last half of the 17th century.

 

During the long winter months when sowing, tending, and reaping were at a standstill, the farmers had plenty of time on their hands. And in that pause, a need was filled.

How? In the Black Forest, it was customary for a farmer’s oldest son to inherit the farm–-the younger son or sons were given only a small parcel of the farm. That created a need. Looking for additional ways to earn their living–here’s where the incentive comes in–some of the younger sons began crafting wooden clocks during the winter months to supplement their income. There were also cottagers and poorer farm families who took up the craft.

Clock making was a likely choice for their new venture, as linden wood was abundant in the region. The wood was soft enough to carve, yet hard enough to support the structure, and there were plenty of rivers and streams to power the lumber mills. The rocks that were used to power most of the weight-driven “Waaguhr” clocks, as they were called, were also in abundance.

Now for the patience: Farmers know that seeds grow at their own rate, and that mother nature can’t be rushed. Farmers know how to wait. Knowing how to be patient prepared them well to be clock makers. For long hours they could sit at their benches using their skill,Wood-Gears#2-uh.edu inventiveness, and the simplest of tools. The movements of the clocks, including the gears, were all made of wood. Without the benefit of electric-powered jigsaws, they had to hand-cut, file and shape every tooth on each gear, one at a time, carefully, slowly and precisely.

How many gear teeth did the average Waaguhr have and how long do you think it took to make such a clock? Based on our research, we estimate that the movement had, more or less, 140 to 150 gear teeth among its three gear wheels. As for how much time it took to make one of these timepieces…we can only guess! But the winters were long, and it was good that they were.

When spring came it was time to, so to say, “harvest” the clocks and bring them to market. The farmers gathered them up, and had traveling clock peddlers find eager homes for them. These were the first, the simple Waaguhr clocks, which were followed some decades later by the immensely popular cuckoo clock. Artisan clock makers steadily developed their own styles in the designs of the cuckoo clocks, and the Black Forest gained a worldwide reputation for producing timepieces of great beauty and craftsmanship. What had begun as a small cottage industry, in the pause of winter, grew and flourished throughout the region and beyond. In time, the clock making tradition of the Black Forest gained worldwide recognition.

So, great things did happen…when time, incentive, and patience came together.

Below is the “Hohenzollern”, a 17th century replica by Rombach and Haas. Click here for more details.

Waaghur-#2-Rombach-7640

Photo credits:

Photo # 1 – Potato Planters by Jean-François Millet – hoocher.com

Photo # 2 – 17th century replica of a Waaguhr style wall clock – uh.edu

Photo # 3 – 17th century replica  ” Hohenzollern” – Waaguhr style clock by Rombach and Haas

 

 

The Hohenzollern Rock Clock by Rombach and Haas

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For a time, it was chocolate cakes, glass products, and lumber for which the Black Forest of Germany was best  known. But in 1640 that began to change. It was the “Waaguhr” clock that did it, the first affordable mechanical clock for the new and growing middle class of the European society. Waaghur-#2-Rombach-7640People were taking up a trade in the new industries. Farmers became millers, bakers, and craftsmen of all kinds, and they began to buy, sell, and trade with other middle class tradesmen. The Waaguhr helped them keep better track of the starting and stopping time for the breads they baked, the grains they milled, and the products they crafted. (Photo: Rombach and Haas antique reproduction Waaguhr style clock.)

Before the invention of the Waaguhr, people had estimated the passage of time by using the sun’s position, unless they lived close enough to a church clock tower to hear its bells ring at special times during the day. Some may have used candle clocks or flipped over their hourglasses. But when the Waaguhr came along, it must have been a big relief for them, for it was easier to know when to take their breads out of the ovens and to time all their other tasks.

The clock went over big in spite of one shortcoming, its accuracy. Having a movement made of all wood instead of metal parts had a lot to do with its lack of precision. By today’s standards, losing, let’s say, fifteen minutes a day, would be unacceptable. But think of it, compared to how people had been measuring the time, the new and affordable Waaguhr was a great and practical convenience, even if it wasn’t perfectly accurate.

Not only did this clock make life easier, but it also added eye-catching interest to any home and shop. Why? Because of what powered the clock’s 12 hour, weight-driven movement–and that was usually a heavy rock. Some clocks, had a glass vile filled with pebbles or sand, instead of a rock. Adding to the Waaguhr’s unusual appearance was its curious looking yoke-shaped balance which continuously twisted back and forth. (Waaguhr means “Foliot”, which is the name of the type of movement of the clock.)

Over time it became known that the Black Forest had more to offer the world than delicious chocolate cakes, lumber, and glass products. The production of the Waaguhr began the tradition of Black Forest clock making, a tradition that just kept on growing and growing.

So, sit down and relax German-style with a piece of chocolate cake, a glass of schnapps,  and a Waaguhr style clock hanging on your wall. Check out an antique reproduction model of the Waagur clock on our website. Be sure to also see our related article “Born in the Winter: Black Forest Clock Making”.

See this video of how the foliot works. (The clock shown in this clip is for demonstration purposes only).

 Photo:  Waaguhr style antique reproduction wall clock – Hohenzollern #7640 by Rombach and Haas

 

Before The Alarm Clock

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before-#2--rooster-commons.wikimedia.orgBefore modern alarm clocks, nature took care of things: crowing roosters, morning light and singing birds did the trick. These were just some of the ways to wake up without an alarm clock in olden times. And there’s more. We’ve collected an assortment of the clever methods used over the centuries to rouse sleepers out of a slumber, from candles, to water to incense and more.

1. Candles

Candles and clangs? Here’s how they went together to get snoozers out of bed. Candles were already used in olden times as a way to measure the passing of time. The method was simple: intervals were before-#2-candle-www.raumgestalt.netmarked along the length of the candle, each interval representing a certain amount of time. As the wax melted, the elapsed time could be measured by the interval mark that the candle had reached as it grew shorter. All it took to change a candle clock into an “alarm clock” was to embed one or more metal balls into the candle at one or more interval markings. As the the candle shortened, the melted wax released a ball which dropped onto a metal plate with a “clang” loud enough to wake you up. Some candle clocks used nails instead of metal balls. My guess is that nails made more noise. Hmm, now that’s creative!

2. Incense

Here’s a sort of sister to the candle alarm. The incense clock originated in ancient China and marked the passage of time with a burning stick of incense (some clocks used powdered incense). The sticks wereBefore-#2-www.japanese-incense.com-time.htm specially made to burn evenly and slowly at a predictable rate.  Along the length of the incense stick, intervals were marked. Each interval represented a certain amount of time it would take for the stick to burn down to reach it. In the alarm clock version of the incense clock, threads with small metal balls attached to their ends, were embedded into the stick at the interval markings. As the stick burned and reached an interval, the thread would break and the metal balls would drop onto a bell, gong or metal platter. Spiral sticks took longer to burn than straight ones and were used for longer range alarm planning.

3. The Knocker Up
What? A long stick as an alarm clock? How on earth…this is how it would go. An early morning riser, maybe a constable walking the morning beat, or a lamp lighter who extinguishedbefore-#2-knocker-bigpicture.ru the street lamps, or a retired person who wanted to earn a few extra pence a week would take up this part-time job. They would be called a Knocker Up, a profession that emerged in the early years of the Industrial Revolution and which last into the 1920’s before alarm clocks were affordable and reliable.

The job of a Knocker Up was to rouse his or her sleeping clients so they could wake up in time for work. Using a long stick, often made of bamboo, with an attached wire at the end, a Knocker Up would tap on a window to rouse customers at a predetermined time. Sleepers could rest assured knowing that theirbefore-#2-knocker-pea-bigpicture.ru Knocker Up wouldn’t stop tapping until they signaled their Knocker that they were awake. Some Knocker Ups worked directly for their client sleepers, other were hired by factories to make sure their employees got to work on time. Not all Knocker Ups used a long pole-type knocker. We know of at least one that used a rubber tube as a pea shooter Pretty clever!

 

Before-#3x--steam-whistle4. The Factory Whistle

This was a wake-up call that was hard to miss. In the time of the Industrial Age, it was common for people to live near the factory in which they worked. Maybe one of the reasons they lived so close was to hear the whistle each morning. To rouse their workers from sleep, some factories would blow piercingly loud steam-powered whistles, announcing that it was time to come to work. What a way to start the day. Which would you prefer, the tap of the Knocker Up or the shriek of the whistle?

Before-water-www.artelista.com.htmljpg5. Bladder Control

Estimating how long it took for a few glasses of water to “inspire” a jaunt to the rest room, was an effective wake up technique when timed right. The earlier you needed to be up, the more water you would drink. The “alarm” was quiet…no loud noises, and with a little practice the technique was dependable. It was allegedly used by Native American Indians well into the 20th century.

6. The Water Clock (Clepsydra)

It is said that the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, invented the water-powered alarm clock. He did it by modifying a water clock, an ancient device used for thousands of years by the earliest civilizations. One account describes Plato’s clock as having lead balls that hit a copper platter, sounding the alarm. Another account describes how siphoned water, rising, forced air through a whistle, which certainly got a sleeper’s attention. Plato also made a version that played flutes, a more pleasant way to wake than lead balls and whistles.

Check this video to see how a water alarm clock works.

Let’s pretend…

for now that the modern alarm clock, and I mean the nice, compact, little one you place on your night table, had never been invented. Which wake-up method would you choose if you had to?  Let us know which one and why.

Photo Credits:

Photo # 1 – Rooster – commons.wikimedia.org

Photo # 2 – Candle clock – raumgestalt.net

Photo # 3 – Incense alarm clock – japanese-incense.com

Photo # 4 – Knocker Up tapping on window – bigpicture.ru

Photo # 5 – Knocker Up with “pea-shooter” device – bigpicture.ru

Photo # 6 – Steam whistle

Photo # 7 – Glass of water  – artelista.com

Video Credit – kotsanas.com

The History of Hermle Clocks–Made in Silence

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history-cuckoo#2-BRN-burtonlatimer.infoImagine you are a clock maker sitting at your bench, assembling the intricate parts of a clock–and there is noise all around you. Distracting, isn’t it? Now, imagine how it would be if it there were silence. Less distracting, right? So, here’s a question: in which environment could you do the best job: the noisy or the silent? My guess is that you chose the silent.

 

Yes, to produce timepieces the right way, it takes…silence. Franz Hermle knew it. That’s why the serene and small town of Gosheim, nestled in the Black Forest region of Germany, was his likely choice for the founding of the Hermle Clock Company. That was over ninety years ago. Hermle-#2-history-archaeology.about.comToday the Hermle Clocks is located in the hush of the Swabian

Alps,  still far away from the distractions of a city. In those mountains, Hermle workers can immerse in an environment that’s most conducive to the meticulous and focused art of clock making. Silence is one of the key elements that ensures the high accuracy and perfect precision of every Hermle component, and it’s one of the reasons why Hermle clock movements are among the world’s best.

“Nothing is more useful than silence.”  –Menander of Athens

Silence is one important ingredient, and tradition is another. “We’re bound by tradition and committed to maintaining a traditional approach in our company” said Rolf Hermle, the current owner of Hermle. Part of that tradition Hermle-#2-history-22864_070340-darkis maintaining a family owned and operated business, now in its third generation. In 1953, the operation was passed on to Franz’s four sons who continued to build the business into the world’s leading manufacturer of mechanical clock movements.

Since it’s beginning in 1922, it took only a decade for Hermle to gain worldwide recognition. Since then, they’ve been masters in hand crafting clockwork mechanisms. In 1977 Hermle opened an additional plant in Amherst, Virginia, USA, to serve the North American market.

When you buy a Hermle clock, you’re not just getting the precision and quality and tradition, you’re getting the hush as well.

Have a look at this an excellent video produced by the Hermle clock company. It’s filled with history, fascinating closeups of clock workings, and clock makers working their craft.

 

Click here to view our large selection of Hermle clocks.

 

Photo Credits:

Photo # 1 – Clock maker in his shop – nawcc.org

Photo # 2 – The Swabian Alps – archaeology.about.com

Photo # 3 – Hermle mantel clock – TheWellMadeClock.com

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clocks – Clock Facts Part One

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If you don’t know what you don’t know, then how can you know that you don’t know it? This article is about things you never knew about clocks. And if you really don’t know about them, you will after you read this blog. So here we go, here’s our first “I never knew that” fact:

Sundial-#2U-of-So-Florida

1. Who would ever think that the ancient sun dial has everything to do with why our clock hands move clockwise and not counter clockwise? Here’s the tie-in: long before the invention of the mechanical clock, people used the sun dial to tell time and in the Northern Hemisphere, and the shadow on the sun dial moved clockwise as the sun went across the sky. So, the medieval clock makers of Europe, naturally designed the clock hands to move in the same  familiar direction as the shadow on a sun dial. If the sundial had been invented in the Southern Hemisphere, maybe our clocks would now be turning counterclockwise; and if that were so, we’d probably be calling that direction “clockwise.”
Comment: Can you imagine reading a clock if the hands went the other way?

2. Who “nose” about this one? In the old days, some people used to place kerosene soaked rags inside of their grandfather clocks, thinking that it would prevent rust from forming on the metal parts.
Comment: But how did that smell?

3. This one is one of those “no–no’s”. As a general rule, never move the hour hand independently of the minute hand on a chiming or striking clock. Without your having to touch the hour hand, it naturally moves when you move the minute hand. Uh oh, if you do move it, that will probably throw the strike out of sync with the hands.
Comment: Oops!.. off to see the clock doctor.

4. AA_coloredGFCmillersville.eduFor this one we go back about 400 years. Galileo Galilei was attending a church service and noticed a swinging lantern. That led him to the discovery that the pendulum could be used to accurately measure time. Comment: What a brain.

5. Now for, guess what? Telephone companies. These days they have their own atomic clocks to keep their computers in sync with one another. When you call someone hundreds of miles away your words are broken up and transmitted between computers at both ends. Every second these computers jump back and forth thousands of times between one call and another. For that to work, the computers have to stay in perfect sync, and the atomic clocks make that possible. They’re what make your phone conversations comprehensible.
Comment: I’m glad something does!

6. Ten-Things-colored-eb3experience.comUgh! In the late 18th century Great Britain imposed a hefty tax on every clock in use, even in private homes. It was known as the “Parliament Clock Tax”. The new tax was resented by most. So clocks and watches ceased to be bought and droves of clock makers literally went out of business. Within a year the burdensome tax was removed.
Comment: Hey, what about a tax refund?

 

7. We thought we were done with “no–no’s”, really, but we just had to squeeze another one in. Never give a clock as a gift in China. The Chinese word “sòng zhōng” means “clock”. But it’s pronounced the same as another Chinese word which means “terminating” or “end”. That’s why, in the Chinese culture, clocks are often associated with funerals, and giving someone a clock as a gift, signifies the end of relationships or even the end of the gift receiver’s life.
Comment: Whew, I’m glad I found out now!

Ten-shp3x--bulk-pennies8. Would you have ever expected this? Old penny coins are what keep London’s Big Ben clock of the Palace of Westminster accurate. Each coin added to or taken off the pendulum makes the clock go faster or slower by 4 tenths of a second in a 24 hour period.
Comment: Is this what they mean by penny-wise?

9. Some people just don’t like to sleep late. Levi Hutchins was one of them. Because he believed in starting his workday on time and early, the 26 year old clockmaker, in 1787, invented the very first mechanical alarm clock to rouse him from sleep. But it would only ring at 4 a.m., and that’s the way he wanted it. His sole purpose for inventing the clock was to avoid oversleeping. He never patented or mass-produced his invention.
Comment: Is 4 a.m. before the rooster crows?

10. Did life’s daily work and play eventually become more precise because of this invention? It sure did, after the world’s first minute hand was invented in 1577 by Jost Bürgi, a mathematician, Swiss clockmaker, and a maker of astronomical instruments. Burgi’s invention was part of a clock made for Tycho Brahe, an astronomer who needed an accurate timekeeping device for his work.
Comment: Wait a minute! What about the second hand?

So, now you know what you didn’t know. So what?…

Well, you won’t have to go to the clock doctor, and you know who not to give a clock to as a gift, and who to thank for the minute hand and the alarm clock, and why the hands of your clock go in the direction they do, and why you might catch a whiff of kerosene around an old grandfather clock and those other handy tidbits. But, I bet there’s still plenty that you don’t know…well, I guess you can’t know everything, can you?

Check out part two of this series: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Clocks – Clock Facts Part Two

Photo Credits:

Photo # 1 – Sun dial – University of South Florida

Photo # 2 – Diagram of pendulum motion – millersville.edu

Photo # 3 – Tax time clock face – eb3experience.com

Photo # 4 – Penny coins from Great Britain