10 Popular Types Of Antique Clocks

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Wall Regulator

A regulator is a clock with exceptional accuracy, made possible by the invention of the deadbeat escapement in 1715. Regulators were called such because they were used to regulate less accurate clocks and watches. For example, they were used in train stations and jewelry stores, where great accuracy was essential. Over time, however, less accurate clocks were labeled regulators, so eventually the term "regulator" just became a generic name for a hanging wall clock.


Figural clocks, now known as statue clocks, feature representations of people, animals, or mythical beings. Internationally, France was the most significant manufacturer. Within the United States, the Ansonia Company was the early leader.


Porcelain clocks have cases made of glazed ceramic. While the Royal Bonn Company of Germany made many of these colorful hand-painted cases, the Ansonia Company made most of the works.


Mantel clocks, otherwise known as shelf clocks, began replacing long-case (grandfather) clocks when spring-driven movements became available. Previously, clock cases were necessarily tall and bulky because weight-driven movements required a relatively long drop in order to operate. Mantel clocks also became more popular and affordable when mass-production methods were introduced.


Grandfather clocks, also known as hall, tall, floor or long-case clocks, are weight-driven clocks first made in England in the 1660s. They were among the most common early clocks in the colonies.

because the settlers did not yet have mills capable of producing springs for spring-driven clocks. Grandfathers were large because they required a tall case to provide an adequate drop to run the clock. Those made in the colonies were copies of English styles.


In about 1853, John Hawes of Ithaca, New York, made the first simple calendar clock in the U.S. Several years later, the first perpetual calendar clocks were produced. Perpetual models are superior to simple ones because they automatically adjust for leap years and differing numbers of days in the months. Most calendar clocks have two dials, one for time and the other for the date.


Carriage clocks were designed to hang inside coaches and were often covered with leather cases to protect them. They typically feature a rectangular brass case with glass front and sides, a porcelain dial, and a bailtvpe handle on top. Many also have a smaller subsidiary alarm dial below the main dial.


Simon Willard patented his wall clock in 1802. While he called it his "Improved Timepiece," it became known as the banjo clock because of its shape. It featured a pendulum that could be screwed down so the clock could be easily moved without damaging its suspension. Unlike many clocks of that day, the banjo clock is an original design rather than a version of a European clock. Although its popularity diminished after i860, it has frequently been copied ever since.


Although the Greeks developed a water-operated alarm clock wound 250 B.C, the first mechanical alarm clock was not invented until 1787, when Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire, made a crude model. Because the alarm could only be set to ring at 4 AM., however, it was of little practical use. In 1876, nearly a hundred years later, Seth Thomas created and patented a wind-up alarm clock that could be set for any hour.


It display promotional information on their cases, dials, or tablets. Two early U.S advertising clock companies began manufacturing these wall clocks in the late 1800s. The first was the Sidney Advertiser Company of Sidney, New York; the second was the Baird Company of Plattsburgh, New York. Sidney featured a clock with advertising messages placed on a drum that turned every five minutes. Baud's early clock cases were made of papier-mache; later, they were made of wood.

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10 Popular Types Of Antique Clocks

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This article was published on 2011/10/02