Grandfather clocks

Imagine a world without grandfather clocks time

09.10.09

When I asked a customer today who was clearly looking for the best grandfather clock sale prices and grandfather clocks discount, what might be a good subject for a blog post for this blog, he gave a ready answer.  I was shocked and impressed both by the clocks topic and the firmness and swiftness with which he responded: “Imagine a world without grandfather clocks, or a world where wall clocks and mantel clocks had never been invented”.  Now those are 2 big points packed into one concise statement.  But it did get me thinking …..

Upon reflecting on some of the most significant advances in the 1600s and 1700s, and before the industrial revolution, timekeepers and clocks in general may well have helped paved the way for both the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution.  When thinking about standardization, globalization, precision engineering and manufacturing, thinking about uncharted territories both on the Earth and in the Skies, not to mention industrial engineering and design, timepieces do stand out as perhaps one of the greatest leaps forward during this these Centuries.

Long case and tallcase clocks, which later came to be known as grandfather clocks, we prized and used by those that could afford them in their residences, those that could use them as an anchor or feature in their establishment, and in many cases used by those who worked for the most wealthy and had somewhat less sophisticated models of the very same devices their owners so treasured.  Farmers also used grandfather clock moondials to help them predict when the next full moon would appear (every 29 1/2 days) and plan and plant their work schedules and crop management accordingly.

There was a time in England, separate from the handy timekeeping of Big Ben in London’s Parliament, where by law public clocks had to be placed in selected Establishments and Places so that everyone could have equal access to the most available correct time.  Seems somewhat akin to the discussions in recent years of equal access to all for the internet and for wireless wifi or broadband connections being available to all.

While it would on the one hand be easy to make light of the above, the more one thinks about it, the more one may well be able to convincingly make the argument that the clock and pocket watch revolution went hand-in-hand with the industrial revolution and the giant steps forward in manufacturing.

Only yesterday I was holding a 110 year old pocket watch in my hand, and remarking to a family member that it looked as if it were made yesterday and was as in good, which was excellent, operating condition as it had been over 100 years ago when it was manufactured.

Too bad they don’t make anything quite like they used to!

7 comments so far

‘Too bad they don’t make anything quite like they used to!’

Good point you made. I am a passionate watch collector and have hundreds at home – my mother is going crazy because of this btw. – but when I picked up for her one veeery old used watch I bought at a flee market, she almost melted. By coincidence, it was exactly the same model her father used to have when she was small and she just remembered everything within one single look at this watch. That is I think a story confirming that watches have a soul. Unfortunately not all of the people today understand and some watches they produce … well, we know how it is.

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