Category Archives: pendulum clock

They Ran Like Clockwork

Of course they did!  These vintage time-keepers were powered by torsion coil springs, which then drove a complex system of gears collectively known as “clockwork mechanism”.

Actually, the accuracy was controlled by the length (adjustment via a thumbscrew) of the pendulum.  As kids, we sometimes amused ourselves by shortening the pendulum, causing the clock to run many times faster, and chime every 20 minutes or so.  It was kinda fun for us.

The photo shows one of the two wall clocks that we had back in the kampong house.  This one had a face dial with Roman numerals.  Once a week, we used the Key to wind up the two springs inside.  One spring powered the timer function, while the other drove the chimes. 

This particular one chimed on the hour, once for 1 o’clock, twice for 2 o’clock, …. and 12 times for 12 o’clock.