Polite Clocks

We have several old clocks in our house, and they are all scrupulously polite. Just as polite people never talk over each other, these clocks never chime at the same time. They wait their turn as if saying, “You go first.” “No, I insist, it is your turn!” I wind them regularly each week, and sometimes reset them to a strict time standard every day or so, but they immediately assert their individuality and within a few hours they once again take turns to chime the hour.

For the curious, here are some snapshots of our four polite timepieces:

This wall-mounted regulator clock is the oldest of the four, and measures about 18″ high. It has a simple chime, and keeps the best time of any of our wound clocks. The pendulum completes one full cycle per second. We think this one may have come from a schoolhouse, and guess that it is at least 150 years old.
Cut-off view of our grandfather clock, also known as a coffin clock because of its shape, or a bim-bam clock because of its chime. This clock is weight-driven and, for some reason, tends to run fast in the winter and slow in the summer. The pendulum is very slow, and makes one complete swing every two seconds.

Office clock that belonged to Dorcas’s grandfather many, many years ago. This one has a melodious Westminster chime, and brass clockworks made in old Germany, and consistently loses about four minutes per day. This clock has a short, fast pendulum that completes two full cycles per second.
Cut-off view of our grandmother clock, which was a gift for our 25th wedding anniversary. This weight-driven clock is the youngest of the lot, and has a glorious Westminster chime. Like the coffin clock, it tends to run a little slow in some seasons and a little fast at other times of the year.

3 thoughts on “Polite Clocks

  1. You are reminding us to set ahead our clocks this Saturday if they don’t do that already, right? I don’t have clocks, but do have three kerosene lamps, some pieces of furniture, an old washtub and board, as well as my dad’s “Pep” Young three finger baseball glove. I should blog on those some time.


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