mechanical clocks make me happy… clock happy. while you can see (most of) my collection at https://clockhappy.com this blog allows me to tell the story behind each clock and add additional perspectives and information.
i don’t love all mechanical clocks, though. by 1880, the seth thomas company (later purchased by tandy corp., who owned radio shack) had over 800 employees and was churning out over 10,000 clocks a month. and, there were a bunch of companies doing the same. and, let’s just say that tastes varied. AFAIC, there were some butt-ugly clocks made over the last couple of hundred years. that said, though, there were many i find gorgeous, both inside and out. most of my clocks are 8-day clocks between 100 and 240(!) years old, designed to be wound once a week and run untended. they were constructed of brass gears spinning on steel arbors, designed without access to computers, based on science, physics, and metallurgy knowledge going back to leonardo da vinci, gallileo, and even further back in time.
when i was a kid i was fascinated by the foucault pendulum at the griffith observatory. i will write about my first pendulum clock another time, but here’s a cool fact: for a mechanical clock to tick once per second the pendulum has to have an effective length of 39.14″, aka a meter. i always thought that was just an incredible coincidence until the day i was reading a clock book and the author mentioned that the french coined the word ‘meter’ based on the length of a ‘seconds’ or ‘royal’ pendulum. 😎
consider this: most of my clocks are accurate to within seconds every week… week after week. more than half of my clocks have ‘seconds’ pendulums, ticking 60 times a minute, 60 minutes every hour, 24 hours every day… which works out to 86,400 times a day. over a year, that’s 3,557,600 ticks. one of my more recent acquisitions (as of this writing) is a tall case clock made in shropshire, england, in 1780, that keeps perfect time. that means that it has ticked approximately 857 million times over its lifetime… hand made brass gears and parts, a couple of lead weights and, of course, a pendulum.
more to come… thanks for stopping by.