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LOCATION:
We are located on the north end of Cheshire Bridge Road, one block south of the I-85 overpass,  between the cross streets of Sheridan Road and
Chantilly Road.

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GRANDFATHER CLOCKS


Grandfather clock diagram.Tall case clocks first appeared when noted astronomer and physicist Christian Huygens developed a pendulum-style floor clock in 1656. Employing a pendulum in clocks revolutionized clockmaking and brought to timekeeping a more accurate method of timekeeping than any other timepiece of its day. By 1660, London clockmakers had perfected Huygen’s invention and began making long-case clocks, or Grandfather Clocks as they’re known today, standing in a six-foot-tall wooden case with an enclosed pendulum and weights suspended by chains or cables, which needed to be adjusted periodically to keep the proper time. Grandfather clocks are very accurate and can keep time to within one minute per month.

But it was the invention of the anchor escapement in 1671 by English clockmaker William Clement, using a "seconds" pendulum, 39 inches long and vibrating through a small arc, that helped make the tall case clock practical. This invention plus another, the dead beat escapement, invented by George Graham in 1715, plus the elongation of the pendulum for greater accuracy, an enhanced case and added chimes that made the Grandfather Clock what it is today.

Grandfather clock face diagram.While the most popular model was the larger Grandfather clock, a smaller and less-expensive version, known as the Grandmother clock, was also available. These clocks often had 12-hour faces with a sweep second hand. Only one of the winding holes, the one on the right, was functional. The other nonfunctional one presented a point of balance.

Seventeenth-century clockmakers decided that the beginning and end of a week was a time that people wouldn’t likely forget. But, just in case, they added one day for good measure–thus, the 8-day clock. They made sure there was enough room in the tall case to permit the weight a full drop for that length of time without complicating matters with additional wheels. A polished disc called a bob, attached to the lower end of the pendulum or suspended by cables from a fixed support that swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity, operates the clock and ensures accurate time.

Moon dial of a Grandfather Clock.Heavy lead weights, that had to be wound up daily by pulling on a chain or using a winding crank, provided the power to move the cogs and wheels of this type of clock. Clockmakers encased the movement in a wooden cabinet, originally made by coffinmakers, with a dial that told the time. Many of the dials track the phases of the moon through the 29 1/2 days of the lunar month. As the rotating moon dial passes behind the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, the phases of the moon–new moon, waning crescent, half moon, and full moon–appear at appropriate times during the cycle. The dials also displayed the month and sometimes the day or the week. Sweep-second hands weren’t common on earlier Grandfather Clocks.

The number of key holes in the dial of a Grandfather clock indicate the clock’s type of movement. One winding hole indicates that there’s only a time train. A second one indicates a strike train, and a third allows for winding a chime. Today’s Grandfather clocks have either 30-hour or 8-day movements.

The crown is generally referred to as being the top portion of the grandfather clock. The most common crown styles are the split pediment and the bonnet, which has a full arched facade. Other common styles are arched, flat top and federal crowns.

A decorative ornament, called a finial, usually in wood or brass, appears on top of the clock cabinet between split pediment crowns on grandfather clocks. Access doors or panel inserts, on the upper sides of clocks, allow access to the movement.

Today’s Grandfather Clocks come with one of four styles of chimes:

  • St. Michael Chimes - The melody of the chimes in St. Michael's Church in Galveston, South Carolina.
  • Westminster Chimes - The melody of the chimes in the Clock Tower at the House of Parliament in London.
  • Whittington Chimes - The melody of the chimes of St. Mary Le Bow Church in London.
  • Winchester Chimes - The melody of the chimes in the cathedral in Hampshire, England.

Read the complete history of Grandfather Clocks.
Learn what you should know before purchasing a Grandfather Clock.
Read set-up instructions for Hermle Clock Movements.
Read operating instructions for Hermle Clock Movements.

Read about replacing Hermle Clock Movements
.
Learn how to safely move a larger clock.

We offer house call service for large floor clocks.
Download or print House Call Questionnaire

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We carry  a complete selection of winding cranks and keys.

Grandfather clock dial.

We sell Hermle Quartz Chiming Movements

Download complete clock instructions.

All repairs guaranteed for 6 months on parts and workmanship.

Michael Bowers standing next to a large floor clock at the National Clock and Watch Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania.

To maintain your Grandfather Clock, 
make sure you have it professionally cleaned and oiled every 2-3 years.

Early clock face.

To many people, clocks are like members of their family.

 

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