|Also known as a floor clock or longcase clock
(among other things), the “grandfather clock”
traces its most popular name to a 19th century
song entitled “My Grandfather’s Clock.” The
classic type is about 6 to 8 feet tall, with
a pendulum swinging inside the case and driving
the clock gears. Until the 20th century,
pendulum clocks were the most accurate timepieces
The pendulum in a grandfather
clock is made
of a combination of metals that
lengthening and shortening as
temperature changes. Otherwise,
at which it swings will vary,
clock to run too fast or too
Grandfather clocks have long
as decorative pieces for home
In choosing one, there are several
- Whether you want an antique or a modern version.
- The design and craftsmanship of the case.
- The artistry of the clock face, including
ancillary dials that may show day and night,
phases of the moon, etc.
- Whether the case for the pendulum and weights
is opaque or glass.
- How often the clock strikes and the sounds
it makes. These can be bell-like, gong-like,
and/or musical melodies.
- Its accuracy in keeping time.
- The frequency with which it must be reset,
and the difficulty in doing this right.
- The maintenance schedule, including the oiling
There are modern variations that
the look of a grandfather clock
driven by electricity. Some of
a glass-encased pendulum that
the operation of an electric
motor but does
not drive the clock mechanism.
are lacking in romance, but are