Antique Grandfather Clock History

Clocks are an important part of our society and today, we see many people turning to antique clocks, as a means of creating character and charm that you simply cannot find with newer style clocks. For instance, antique grandfather clocks are huge sellers. Although an investment, a grandfather clock is a piece of furniture that can be passed down through generations. While you have it, you would enjoy its detailing, beauty, and of course, the chimes.

The interesting thing is that clocks have been around for more than 6,000 years. People have depended on time since the beginning of time and over the years, we have watched technology, materials, and styles change dramatically. Early mechanical cocks were used for calling monks to prayer, usually in the form of a tower clock. Synchronizing was eventually done for all the cities, which then created a standard system of time


Sometime around 1580, Galileo, a famous astronomer noticed a lamp swinging on a long chain from a tall ceiling. As he studied the swinging of the chain, he realized that the swings were equal and with a natural movement. In addition, Galileo found that the rate of the chain's motion depended on the length. Then in 1640, Galileo went on to develop a mechanism for a clock that used this same swinging pendulum concept. However, before he could complete this concept, he died. Although Galileo did not see his clock design come to fruition, Christian Huygens did in 1656. His design included the swinging pendulum, which would become the catalyst for the antique grandfather clock.

Clock Bob

To ensure the pendulum swing kept perfect time, a bob was added to the bottom. Even today, the design of the grandfather clock can be sped up or slowed down simply by moving the bob. For instance, you would move the bob to the left or right just slightly, just changing the swing. In addition, the length of the pendulum should be from the center of the shaft holding the hands in place to the center of the bob.

Clock Hands

Huygens had another invention in which the minute hand was added, which meant far more accuracy. By 1670, the second hand was added as an anchor escapement, meaning the clock would now only lose a few seconds of time each week. Keep in mind that clocks for domestic use were not introduced until the latter part of the 15th century, usually made by gunsmiths or locksmiths. Over the years, clock designs were refined, eventually leading to those held in wooden cases, and using a cast iron pendulum and weights, which would become the traditional grandfather clock.