Grandfather Clocks Recapture The Magic Build Your Own

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Every child in high school learns that a pendulum’s rate of 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 descendents of William Clement’s clock from 1670. He had discovered that a longer pendulum meant more accurate time-keeping. The long pendulum had to be enclosed to prevent children (and adults) playing with it. Hence the long-case clock was invented. 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 are certain to remember it well. Its sounding of every hour with a tremendously resonant goooooonnnngg, the way it kept you awake all night until you were used to it, the daily winding ritual, its sheer presence. How many times did you stand and watch the pendulum swinging in front of your face, safely enclosed behind a glass panel? How many times did you ask to be allowed to pull on the chains that wound it up?

These fantastic historical clocks are held in the memories of more than one generation.

Modern homes are generally too small to accommodate a grandfather clock easily. 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 amazing timepiece.

You can now buy plans or kits to make your own grandfather, or long case, clock. These clocks will obviously come at a lower cost than an antique, or any other ready made grandfather clock.

The kits come in a variety of finishes, from palest pine to darkest rosewood.

The most important thing to check out before you buy is the sound of the chime. You are going to live with this for a long time; you have to like the sound of your clock.

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