The Grandfather Clock: What Is It And Where Do They Come From?

The grandfather clock is a new name for something that dates back hundreds of years. They are a familiar sight, although you don’t often find them a lot in homes or places of business. The original name for these styles of a clock was the longcase clock, and if you have ever wondered why they look like they do and why they are called grandfather clocks, carry on reading below.

What Is A Grandfather Clock? 

A grandfather clock is a floor clock that uses pendulums to keep accurate time, which is one of the reasons that they were so big. The earliest clock of this style dated back to 1670 and was designed by the British clockmaker, William Clement. The pendulum was the most accurate way to keep the time with clocks, and before the floor-standing design, they were mounted on walls. However, these machines were solidly built and heavy and could be awkward to fix securely, so the first longcase clock designs were welcomed with open arms. Being able to track time accurately had a significant impact on the working lives of everybody in society, especially the working class.

Where Does The Name Come From?

The name grandfather clock was coined by the American Henry Clay Work, who was a singer and a songwriter. He visited the UK and was inspired to write the song “My Grandfather`s Clock” when visiting the George Hotel in North Yorkshire in 1875. Henry was intrigued by the non-working clock in the hotel and the story that was attributed to it, and he penned the song and released it in 1876, which went on to become a huge success. In those days, it was sheet music sales which dictated the success of a song or not, and the popular tune created by Henry would go on to have over a million sales, which was unprecedented for those times.

The Name Sticks

With the massive popularity of the song, soon people started to call them grandfather clocks rather than longcase clocks, and it is a term that we still use over one hundred years later. These clocks can be highly accurate when keeping time even today if they have been well taken care of and serviced regularly, and if you would like to look at purchasing one, there are many for sale with reputable antique dealers. Trusted and reliable antique dealers sell the antique grandfather clocks at from throughout Europe, so it is an excellent place to start when looking to purchase one.  

They Bring Character To A Room

One of the reasons that people still love these enigmatic timepieces so much is the character that they can bring to a room. Many grandfather clocks have a history that can not only add character to the item but also value. Even a clock that does not work can be an excellent addition to a room, and after all, it is not pointless as it still tells the right time twice a day. If you are looking for that finishing touch for a room in your home, a grandfather clock could be the perfect addition.


Social Media Manager | Digital Creator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *