Grandfather clocks

Howard Miller Floor Clock Collection

01.19.11

The terms Floor Clocks is essentially synonymous with grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks.  Longcase clocks, as they are also known, have a free standing case, with rectangular shaped waist, almost always in wood, with a swinging pendulum and one to three weights.  The chiming mechanical grandfather clocks play Westminster chimes most frequently.  Floor clocks with triple chimes most frequently also have a choice of the Whittington Chimes or the St Michael’s Chimes.  In recent years, Howard Miller has introduced mechanical grandfather cl0cks that also play the Beethoven Ave Maria and Schubert Ode to Joy Chimes in addition to the Westminster Chimes, also known as the Big Ben Chimes.

Grandmother Clocks, simply put, are simply shorter versions of grandfather clocks, which may also include signature designs such as being thinner.  Yet grandfather clock height, with the dividing line we generally use being eighty inches, in where one may cross the height line between grandmother and grandfather clocks.  It is worthy of note that many other experts may use different height, or even trait, definitions of the distinctions between Floor Clocks known as grandmother clocks and grandfather clocks.

Granddaughter Clocks, which are generally much much smaller, maybe two to four inches in height, have also been popular at different points in clock and horological history.  At the time of this writing, it is really only antique granddaughter clocks that one is likely to find for sale.  None of the major high-end grandfather clock makers, including Hermle Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, Bulova Clocks, and Howard Miller Clocks offer granddaughter clocks for  sale.

It is worth noting here that 1-800-4CLOCKS introduced successfully Grandson Clocks™ a couple of years ago.  In some ways these may be similar to miniature grandfather clocks, but are generally larger than most all of those miniature floor clocks.

Which term do you prefer?  One of the above?  How about Hall Clocks, also used by many high-end makers including Herschede Grandfather Clocks, or Tall Case Clocks, a term used particularly in England and to a lesser extent in Western Europe in general.  Let us know your thoughts.

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