Author Archives: Oliver Cooke - Society Member

Clockpera at the British Museum

  The pairing of clocks and opera has been a recurring theme in this blog (1, 2, 3) and I am now happy to report on another such coincidence.  Over recent years, members of an opera production company, Brolly Productions, have made several … Continue reading

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Donation to the British Museum

  I write with a foot in two allied camps; as a member of the AHS and a Curator of Horology at the British Museum.  In October last year the AHS Council generously donated sixteen interesting clocks, watches and horological tools … Continue reading

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BHI Clock & Watch Conservation and Restoration Forum, 5th September 2015

  Earlier this month the British Horological Institute hosted a day of lectures and discussion relating to horological conservation and restoration at their headquarters in Upton Hall.     The terms “conservation” and “restoration” are applied to different philosophies of approach … Continue reading

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Can bonded solid lubricants preserve the teeth of running clocks?

  Antiquarian clocks are still in widespread use.  However, like any machine, mechanical clocks wear out as they run and, to keep them running, repairs will inevitably be necessary.     The image above shows a three century old longcase clock … Continue reading

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Keeping in touch with time

          A common feature of watches and clocks of the 16th century are touch-pins. These are raised studs located at each hour position on the dial, with that at the 12 o’clock position typically being longer … Continue reading

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Look no hands!

  On the one hand we have looked at single-handed dials, on the other hand we have looked at some more unusual forms of indicator.  Here we will look at indicators with no hands at all. This watch has a … Continue reading

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…on the other hand

  On the one hand we have simple, easy to use, single-handed dials.  On the other hand, some dials are not so straightforward.   This clock has “fly-back” or “retrograde” hands.  The hands proceed clockwise as usual but when they … Continue reading

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On the one hand

  The last of the five elements is the indicator, the part of the clock or watch that conveys the time. Early clocks and watches typically only had a single, hour, hand.  This was more than adequate for indicating the … Continue reading

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Freak control

  Continuing our wander through the five elements, we come to the controller – the part of the clock which controls its rate.  Let us pass-by the major landmarks (the pendulum, the balance spring and wheel and the quartz crystal) … Continue reading

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Time and efficiency

  Last time I looked at how clocks and watches obtain and store their energy, but I thought it worth mentioning how carefully they use it. Some clocks are designed to have a surfeit of energy –  for instance turret … Continue reading

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