Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental


Grandfather clock buyers, collectors, sellers, and all horology beginners to experts – here is a new one to think about.  At least new for us and grandfather clocks.  We had a grandfather clock customer who claimed to recently have conducted a study which concluded, with what scientific framework or methodological rigor we do not know, that buyers of grandfather clocks frequently gravitate to grandfather clocks that somehow look like them.

Now while we have occasionally seen some grandfather clocks buyers wearing bonnets atop their heads, we have yet to encounter a customer with a split pediment or swans neck.  We have met some who might do well on American Idol were they to perform the major grandfather clocks chimes, such as the Westminster Chime, Whittington Chime, Shubert’s Ave Maria Chime or the wonderful Beethoven Ode to Joy Chime.  But that sounds like, not looks like!  Yet this study apparently claims that much like individuals frequently look like the dogs or cats they own, or some say come to look more like each other over time, they conclude the same can be true with grandfather clocks and their buyers.  We were told that this was discussed over in merry old England, and while only anecdotal over there, that owners and family members do sometimes look like their longcase clocks or tallcase clocks, even when those clocks have been passed through generations as family heirlooms.  We wonder, which came first — the grandfather clocks gene or the biological family genes passed on through the ages?

We requested pictures or photos of clocks and their owners, and even did some searching ourselves, and while we came up emoty, we were told that no one volunteered to be photographed to demonstrate this correlation, and sharing photos could get them in legal hot water or trouble.

Do you believe this?  We personally have our doubts.  But it is quite an interesting grandfather clocks theory, and one we thought worthy of at least documenting.  Strangely, we could find no references from the major search engines to support this kind of claim.  So if it is in fact true, remember you read it here first!  We know inquiring minds want to know as much as possible about clocks, so we strive to bring you the latest all the time.

If you have any photos and stories you would like to share on this subject, please do write to us, and we will gladly share anything that seems newsworthy or “grandfather clocks worthy”.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to go back to the clocks shop!

Grandfather Clocks Stay While Presidents Come and Go


In a post on this blog shortly after the November Presidential General Election, we featured a picture of then-President Bush talking to President-Elect Obama from the Oval Office, with a historical White House clock in the background.

After President Barack Obama took office on January 20, the pictures of him working in the Oval Office on the first day of his new Presidency show that VERY SAME Grandfather Clock in the background.  You can see the 2 pictures below.  One thing for sure we can conclude this time, is that whether a Democrat or Republican or somewhere in-between, or whether we are in “post-partisan” politics now or not, American Presidents still have great taste in grandfather clocks!

President Obama and Rahm Emanuel on Day 1 in Oval Office with Prized Grandfather Clock

President Obama and Rahm Emanuel on Day 1 in Oval Office with Prized Grandfather Clock

Now Ex-President Bush and grandfathers clock call Now President Obama

Now Ex-President Bush and grandfathers clock call Now President Obama

President Bush and grandfather clock call President-Elect Obama on Election night offering congratulations

We would also like to thank one of our blog readers for posting history about this grandfather clock, which we are repeating here for convenience purposes:

From article on the Oval Office: [courtesy of K. Nixon]
“A large case clock, commonly called a grandfather clock, built in Boston by John and Thomas Seymour, c. 1795-1805, stands in the northeast portion of the room.”

Grandfather clocks are both cool or hot, depending upon one’s terminology, and we have a great grandfather clocks selection at 1-800-4CLOCKS.

Mechanical Grandfather Clocks – To Wind or to Allow to Wind Down


The vast majority of high-end mechanical grandfather clocks, whether they have cable driven movements or the chain driven movement type, have 8 day movements.  This means the movements, when fully wound, will run for eight days.  This is true for Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, Bulova Grandfather Clocks, and the made-to-order Kieninger Grandfather Clock Collection.

One question we are asked with some regularity is whether a grandfather clock can be damaged if it is allowed to wind down completely, or if it is stopped – by stopping the pendulum – while the weights are, say, halfway down.  The short answer is no, this should not hurt the mechanism of one’s grandfather clock.  The grandfather clocks are built to both withstand the pressure of the weights if they are partially down or fully down.  When winding a chain-driven clock, it is important, as it would be all the time, not to pull the chains too hard so that the weights go higher than they should.  But this would not be any different whether the chains are being pulled up after 7 days or after the clock has stopped and fully wound down after eight days.

Many super high quality grandfather clocks in fine condition that have been owned by the person writing this post have been left more or less as decorative pieces vs. timekeepers and chimers, in some cases for years, and these floor clocks are no worse for the wear, or perhaps the lack of wear!

Grandfather clock maintenance is of course still critical, with most experts recommending a cleaning and oiling at least every 3 years, as the oil will tend to dry out over time and cause more wear on the internal mechanism if it is not sufficiently lubricated.

Oh, and to start your grandfather clock up again if it has stopped (aside from any necessary winding, of course), don’t forget to move the pendulum on your mechanical grandfather clock with gentle nudges or pushes or swings from each side until you hear it ticking away and can hear a consistent ticking sound, known in the trade as being “in beat”.

Wishing all clock collectors, admirers, and everone else in the world a happy, healthy, and peaceful 2009!

Grandfather Clocks Relevance in Modern Times


When working at your Toshiba laptop, or using your Apple iPhone, one might legitimately wonder just why would I need a grandfather clock in my home to tell time.

The short answer, which has been true since the advent of the wristwatch in the early 1900s, is that grandfather clocks are a form of, depending upon one’s perspective, art, tradition, or high quality home furnishings.  For this reason, grandfather clocks, also known as Floor Clocks and tallcase clocks, are here to stay!

They will continue to complement the homes and offices of today and the future as works of art, a means of carrying on a company or family tradition, or as ways of furnishing homes and offices around the world.

New forms of grandfather clocks will no doubt continue to be introduced, utilizing the latest in technology, such as atomic time and light projection and solar energy.  Some interesting examples of the ways new thinking and new technologies can help new design to emerge is the reasonably recent introduction of the Howard Miller Oasis Waterfall Grandfather Clock.  Who would have ever imagined a grandfather clock with a built-in waterfall?

Howard Miller Oasis Waterfall Grandfather Clock Model 615-062

Howard Miller Oasis Waterfall Grandfather Clock Model 615-062

Another trend we are seeing is the introduction of “dirt-cheap” grandfather clocks, most all likely made in the Far East, which are likely to leave many grandfather clocks discount shoppers mightily disappointed with their purchases.  From those we have seen, not only is using the word “wood” many times a stretch, but assembly may be required, and the end result will be a featherweight clock with an at best mediocre movement.

Who was it who said “Caveat emptor, baby”?

Grandfather Clocks Floor Clocks Tallcase Clocks or Longcase Clocks


Whether you call your grandfather clock a Floor Clock, or refer to grandfather clocks as long case clocks or tall case clocks has a lot to do with which side of the Atlantic you were raised, or possibly what century in time one happened to be born into.  In the USA and Canada, grandfather clocks have been known as well, grandfather clocks, for well over a hundred years, after the well known Grandfather Clocks Song, which not only swept the nation, but also the North American vernacular.

Historically, in England and Western Europe in general, grandfather clocks were and still are referred to more frequently as Tallcase clocks or Longcase clocks.  The Floor Clock vocabulary has been used on both sides of the Atlantic, and has been reinforced over the years by the major makers of grandfather clocks, including Hermle Clocks, the Howard Miller Grandfather Clock company, Ridgeway Floor Clocks, the Bulova Grandfather Clocks Collection, and Kieninger Floor Clocks.

The grandfather clock and floor clock words are used relatively interchangeably today, even by many grandfather clock shoppers today at 1-800-4CLOCKS.

Grandmother Clocks is another term which is frequently asked about, with the only major difference being the height of the clock. Other than the height, in most instances, the two terms can be used reasonably interchangably.

Oh, and grandfather clocks are sometimes referred to as granfather clocks or grandfathers clocks, or even grand father clocks.  These are just simple common misconceptions of what the correct words and terminology are.

Granddaughter Clocks are smaller, and Grandson Clocks, actually introduced by 1-800-4CLOCKS much earlier this year, are even smaller.  Keep an eye out for them at a retailer near you.

Time for Mechanical Atomic Grandfather Clocks by Best Makers


Some atomic time grandfather clocks by what we would consider to be medium to low quality makers have begun to appear in the marketplace.  All have quartz driven non-mechanical atomic movements, and clocks cases that are not very impressive.

We see two niches just waiting to be filled by the right higher-end clock manufacturers.  Most exciting would be mechanical grandfather clocks, with the usual assortment of best and most popular designs, where the internal mechanical movement would adjust the time on the clock daily based on the US atomic time clock and receiving its signal.  This would allow for a marriage of the best of the old and the best of the new.  Mechanical clocks with high-end movements offer by far the best sound quality for chiming purposes.  These could truly be heirloom quality clocks that would be treasured for generations.  Interior decorators and home designers should take note.

The other niche would be non-mechanical quart driven atomic clocks in the nicest of solid wood cases. The best mahagony, assortment of oak clocks, solid cherry would clocks and more that would be outfitted with battery driven movements that could and would sync regularly with the radio controlled atomic time of the USA’s Atomic Clock.  The only two real downsides here are that these movements do not tend to last as long as mechanical clocks, and their chime sound quality tends to be OK, but not horrible.  The real risk or variable is to ensure these clocks are housed in the proper cases, or they risk being real junk from a furniture standpoint.  Also, buying an established brand basically assures that replacement parts will be available for generations to come, whereas replacing a part of a no-name clock could be an exercise in futility.  Battery driven clocks movements tend to have a much shorter life-span than those of mechanical clocks, when looking at and comparing the better and best ones by the major manufacturers out there today.

We encourage the development of Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks along these lines, Bulova Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Floor Clocks, and Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, among others.

1-800-4CLOCKS believes consumers would benefit from these added choices, and to a great extent preempt the introduction by some low quality brands out there that are beginning to think about clock and timepiece introductions along these time lines.

Time to Reevaluate Grandfather Clocks


In this difficult global economic climate, money and spending it is on the minds of consumers more so than it has been in the last 20 plus years.

So why think about purchasing a grandfather clock at this moment in time?  The answer is that high quality grandfather clocks are heirloom quality timepiece investments that can and will be cherished by several generations.  These grandfather clocks, such as the J H Miller Limited Edition Grandfather Clock, are built to withstand the test of time.

They also make spectacular gifts either to mark milestones in one’s own life, or a very special family event, such as a new marriage or to mark a special wedding anniversary.

Clocks are an investment in time.

The Many Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Grandfather Clock, Part I


Buying a grandfather clock is a very big purchase, one that should be considered carefully. After all, if done right, this should be the only purchase you will ever have to make (unless of course you love your grandfather clock so much that you decide you need an additional clock to place somewhere else in your home). Grandfather clocks are purchases made for a lifetime, as a clock made by top manufacturers can last for generations.

Online consumers will find the ability to purchase grandfather clocks from suppliers that are authorized dealers for some of the most renowned clock makers in the world, including Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Kieninger grandfather clocks, and Ridgeway grandfather clocks. Once you find the site and the manufacturer that you want to work with, it comes down to choosing the grandfather clock that works best for your home. To this end, be sure to consider:

* Size. This is the most important consideration of all, as you would hate to choose a grandfather clock only to later determine that it won’t fit in the room. Before you begin looking at grandfather clock sizes, you need to first determine the room and exact spot your grandfather clock will occupy. Perhaps you have a living room with cathedral ceilings – which would make your height consideration very different than if you choose to put your grandfather clock in a low ceilinged room. Choose your spot, measure accurately, and then choose your grandfather clock.

* Style. Just as important as choosing a grandfather clock that physically fits the room is choosing a grandfather clock that fits the room in terms of its style. Everything from contemporary to country style grandfather clocks can be found through online suppliers; be sure to choose a style in line with the room in question and the home overall.

In the next post, we’ll list some more things to consider when purchasing a grandfather clock.

Give the Gift of Melody This Upcoming Holiday Season with Grandfather Clocks


Sure it’s August and the weather is hardly something that reminds us that fall is coming. But the truth is that in just a few short weeks it will indeed be fall, followed quite closely indeed by the coming of the holiday season. While it makes no sense to panic about the December holiday while summer is still upon us, it does make sense to at least keep an open mind in terms of planning for special gifts in advance – especially if those gifts are something that will require some careful selection and planning in terms of shipping arrangements.

For that special someone in your life – or even just to delight yourself and those visiting your home this holiday season – why not consider a grandfather clock? Today, more than ever, shopping for grandfather clocks has become easy and convenient. Online grandfather clock suppliers offer extensive selections of grandfather clocks in all styles including country, contemporary, traditional, and others. Better yet, these suppliers offer grandfather clocks from some of the most reputable clock manufacturers in the world including Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Kieninger grandfather clocks, and Ridgeway grandfather clocks.

While grandfather clocks may be tricky to purchase as gifts they could easily be the perfect present for someone very close to you and whom you know very well. Choose a grandfather clock that is in keeping with the person’s style (if they like antiques then a contemporary grandfather clock won’t make much sense) and account for the space they have in their home (what good is a great grandfather clock if there’s nowhere to put it?).

In the end, a grandfather clock that is given as a gift will likely always hold a special place in the recipient’s heart and could very well become the family’s next important heirloom.

Grandfather Clocks Stand Up to Time


There are those pieces that we purchase in our lifetime that we know will last until we are old and gray. In fact, we anticipate giving said pieces to our children after our passing, considering them to be more than just things that we enjoyed but family heirlooms that will far outlast their purchase.

Grandfather clocks are just such pieces; built to stand the test of time and serve our purposes as well as the purposes of future generations to which they will be passed. Some families already have a grandfather clock in their midst – having had one passed down to them from an older generation. But for those of us who would like to get the tradition started now for our own families, there is nothing stopping us from finding the grandfather clock of our dreams online where there are many styles available to us.

Through online suppliers, consumers are able to seek out those grandfather clocks that suit their home’s style – everything from traditional and classic to contemporary and modern. In this day and age, there is literally nothing that we cannot find when it comes to grandfather clock styles. High end clock manufacturers such as Howard Miller and Kieninger are sure to supply their customers with the high quality grandfather clocks they expect but in styles they may be unaware existed.

Once purchased, grandfather clocks will hold up well under a variety of circumstances – adding a high level of sophistication and elegance to the homes they grace; and, more importantly, offering that same level of elegance to the homes of future members of the family.

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