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A Look at Grandfather Clocks

Aug 17, 2007
Grandfather clocks can be described as furniture clocks. They can be designed to suit and match you indoor décor and style. They are mostly made of wood and stand tall on the floor. Some grandfather clocks are housed in ornate and intricately designed cases. As such, grandfather clocks are memorable heirlooms. Their familiar chime and comforting sounds remind us of eras gone by. They stand tall and elegant inside foyers of many different homes.

The creation of grandfather clocks is credited to early astronomers. Starting with Galileo, he discovered that you could use a pendulum to keep time and drew designs for such a clock. Galileo's design wasn't picked up till the 1600s when a clock maker designed and built the first pendulum clock. Early clock designers discovered that Galileo's clock was not very accurate. It was loosing time, so they went to work on his design. They decided to make the clock's pendulum longer and this made the clock keep time better. As a result the longer clock pendulum had to be housed in a longer clock case. It was not before long that the pendulum clocks had to be housed in large long cases; these were the precursors to grandfather clocks.

The long case pendulum clocks were first known as tall case clocks and some people even called them coffin clocks because of their resemblance to coffins. So how did they become known as grandfather clocks? The story goes back to England about 100 years ago. There was a clock in the lobby of a small lodge. The clock kept excellent time which was rare for pendulum clocks at the time. The lodge was run by two brothers but when one of the brothers died the clock suddenly started loosing 15 minutes a day. The surviving brother tried to fix the clock but he couldn't get it to keep time. When he (the second brother) died at 90 years old the clock suddenly stopped. The new owner, romanced by the story of the clock, left it standing in the lodge. An American song writer named Henry Clay Work visited the hotel in 1875 and heard the story of the clock. When he returned to America he wrote the famous song "My Grand Father's Clock" referring to the long case clock for the first time as a grandfather clock.

Over the years the cases for the grand father clocks have become more ornate and elaborate with intricate designs. There have also been improvements to the mechanism of the clocks that have made the clocks keep more accurate time. So they started serving as both a clock and piece of indoor furniture.

They are many styles and types of grandfather clocks available. Ridgeway and Howard Miller are two most known grandfather clock vendors. If you decide to shop online for a clock consider the size and weight of the grandfather clock. Check on the warranty and reputation of the seller as grand father clocks are finicky and can be sensitive and difficult to fix.
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