Grandfather Clocks Recapture

Every child in high school learns that the speed of a pendulum’s swing (its period) is proportional to its length. This is the only factor that affects the period. Galileo discovered this in 1582.

Today’s grandfather clocks are descendants of William Clement’s clock from 1670. He had discovered that a longer pendulum meant more accurate timekeeping. The long pendulum had to be closed to prevent children (and adults) from playing with it. That is why the long case watch was invented.

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The name Grandfather Clock comes from Henry Work’s 1875 song, “My Grandfather’s Clock.”

If your parents or grandparents had a grandfather clock, you will surely remember it well. His hourly sound with a wildly resonant goooooonnnngg, the way he kept you up all night until you got used to it, the daily sinuous ritual, his sheer presence. How many times did he stand up and see the pendulum swing in front of his face, safely encased behind a pane of glass? How many times did he ask to be allowed to pull the chains that wound him?

These fantastic historical clocks are kept in the memory of more than one generation.

Modern houses are generally too small to easily accommodate a grandfather clock. Some people buy one to remind them of their youth, or perhaps, to give their children similar fantastic memories of the sight, sound and presence of this incredible watch.

Now you can buy blueprints or kits to make your own grandfather clock or long box. These clocks will obviously cost less than an antique clock or any other ready-made grandfather clock.

Kits come in a variety of finishes, from the palest pine to the darkest rosewood.

The most important thing to check before buying is the sound of the doorbell. You are going to live with this for a long time; you have to like the sound of your watch.

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