Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ignatz Flying Pendulum Clocks of 1883 and 1965 - Powered by a Tetherball Escapement

Watch the video above to see the unusual way this watch powers itself (or this->link)

The original flying pendulum clock (shown above) was invented, and patented, by Christian Clausen of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1883. Clausen described it as "the craziest clock in the world" due to the motion of the tetherball style escapement with a ball and string. It was originally sold by the New Haven Clock Company (under the Jerome & Co. name) for about a year (1884-1885). It is reported that these clocks were sold to Jewelry stores to display in their windows to attract the attention of passing shoppers.

It got the name "Ignatz" from Dr. Rowell (a noted clock collector) in 1935. Dr. Rowell felt this clock had the personality of Ignatz, the mouse in the old Krazy Kat comic strip. The name stuck as it is still called this today. The original New Haven Flying Pendulum clocks are quite rare. This reproduction was manufactured by the Horolovar Company between 1965 and 1975. The movement was made in Germany and was cased at Horolovar in Bronxville, NY.

Shots of the Horolvar reproductions of 1965-1975
(some of these can be found online for around $200-300)

The tetherball escapement

Videos of other flying pendulum clocks (above; an Italian reproduction - below; a homemade wood clock)

See also;
All Watchismo Times Clock Posts

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