Archive for the ‘Eight Day Cuckoo Clocks’ Category
In one day and eight day cuckoo clocks the cuckoo announces the time at the top of the hour. In some models, the time is also called out on the quarter and half hours. The weights in one day and eight day clocks look similar, with the eight day clocks a bit larger and heavier, accounting for the fact that those models are wound less frequently.
To keep 8 day carved cuckoo clocks ticking, you need to wind them at least once a week. That may seem like a misnomer because there are seven days in a week; however, the clocks have a built-in one day grace period, hence the term 8 day. Winding a cuckoo clock is relatively easy.
Start by opening the glass cover (if there is one) and identify the winding holes. Usually there are two winding holes, one for the time and the other for the strike. Insert and turn the winding clocks. Keep winding until you feel substantial resistance. When you reach that point your clock will be good to go for the next week.
My grandparents, like many of the other senior citizens I’ve encountered in my life, love to collect things. Thankfully they haven’t gone too overboard, but my grandma does have several china cabinets, bookshelves and curios which are chockfull of little tchotchkes. She’s been collecting little figurines and glass statuettes for decades, so her collection is extensive.
As an engineer, my grandfather is drawn to any type of machinery or mechanisms. But the one thing that interests him the most is antique clocks. He’s converted his garage into a workshop where he repairs and restores old clocks that he finds at antique stores, garage sales, Craig’s List…pretty much anywhere. You’ll find every type of clock you can imagine in his workshop—from ornate anniversary clocks to eight day cuckoo clocks.
Now that the Gregorian calendar is staunchly imbedded in cultures around the globe, any device that utilizes a timekeeping mechanism that isn’t calibrated for 12 months comprised of 7-day weeks seems a bit out of place. This is particularly puzzling when the disparity occurs with a time keeping device. So, naturally I was puzzled when I learned about 8 day carved cuckoo clocks.
Despite their name, 8 day cuckoo clocks keep time in the same fashion as any other contemporary timepiece. The moniker is derived from the fact that the clock must be wound every eight days. This level of maintenance may seem burdensome now that all of our phones and computers instantly sync up with satellites, but when the clock was first introduced, it was cutting edge technology.
New cuckoo clocks are still among of the most sought after souvenirs of vacations in the heart of Europe and especially in Germany’s Black Forest region. My suitcases are full as I conclude this trip abroad. I know that in America, many families can trace their roots to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other European localities where cuckoo clocks are traditional ornaments for the home. Consequently, there is a market in America for clocks that represent the best traditions of cuckoo clock making.
The sound making devices are attached to the top of the clock. These include the pipes and bellows for the cuckoo sound and the music box. Attachments that are usually extensions of drive chains are linked to the sets of wire hooks and metal cams and pins that activate the cuckoo and any other moving figures and the doors. The cuckoo is connected to its bellows operation, and the other figures are mobilized by the strike movement. A third movement initiates the playing of the music box. Finally, the pendulum and weight chains are connected to the movement and the lead weights are clipped to the chain ends.
The assembled musical cuckoo clocks are carefully packaged to protect the moving parts and the delicate carved framework. Individually boxed clocks are packed in cartons for shipping and distribution. It makes it very easy to get them home safely.
Even though some models of cuckoo clocks are now outfitted with quartz movements and electronics, part of the cuckoo clock’s charm may be its old fashioned mechanical movement. When paired with beautifully carved wood and rustic style, the spell of the cuckoo’s song on the hour is guaranteed to bring smiles to those who prize childlike delights and exquisite craftsmanship for years to come.
I hope you have enjoyed sharing my European travels with you. Thanks for traveling with me.
Eight-day clocks are unique in that they should be wound on a weekly basis in order to tell proper time. A one-day grace period is built into the design of the clock, meaning that your clock won’t stop if you forget to wind it one day. While some people would look at the process of winding a clock as an unnecessary inconvenience, others prefer this organic experience rather than simply “trusting” a digital clock to tell time.
There’s something reassuring about doing the job yourself and knowing that you have made a direct impact on the mechanical workings of the clock. Depending on the model of the clock, you’ll need to insert a key into a hole and turn it to begin the winding. It’s easy enough to tell if you’re attempting to wind 8 day cuckoo clocks in the wrong direction – the key simply won’t budge.
The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Wurttemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 meters (4,898 ft). The region is almost rectangular with a length of 200 km (120 mi) and breadth of 60 km (37 mi). Hence it has an area of approximately 12,000 km2 (4,600 sq mi).
It looks quite small, however, from the air.
The main industry is tourism. In addition to the towns and monuments, the Black Forest is crossed by numerous long distance footpaths. The clock peddler is a character that has all but disappeared from our lexicon of memories.
German Cuckoo Clock peddlers in the Black Forest used to carry their wares on a large backpack. After toiling the winter months away in a crowded workshop over his wares, a clock peddler greeted warmer months by wandering over the hills and through storybook forests hundreds of years ago, matching painted dials and interesting animated scenes to the customers’ choice of mechanisms. The cuckoo clock is much older than clock making in the Black Forest. As early as 1650 the coo coo bird with the distinctive call was part of the reference book knowledge recorded in handbooks. It took nearly a century for the cuckoo clock to find its way to the Black Forest, where for many decades it remained a tiny niche product.
There is one style of clock that hasn’t evolved much over the past few hundred years, and they are handcrafted cuckoo clocks. They still have the swinging pendulum, the pipes that count off the hour and sing the call of the little coo coo bird. The parts have changed a little, but the essence remains cemented in the style of the original clock made in the mid eighteenth century. There are two types of cuckoo clocks. One is an eight day clock that cuckoos every hour and the other is the one day cuckoo clocks which cuckoo every half hour.
Most handcrafted cuckoo clocks are made in the Black Forest of Germany. There are over a hundred clock makers there and many have been there since the beginning. The styles have changed to meet the trends of the time, but several of the manufacturers of the Black Forest cuckoo clock keep with the tradition of hard carved, ornate facades of the originals. There are other cuckoos from around the world and they include the Chalet cuckoo clocks from Switzerland. These are recognized by the deeply sloping roofs and figurines that move when the clock sounds. Most popular are the axe man and beer drinker. The coo coo is replaced by these figures and music plays instead of the cuckoo. Time marches on … but the cuckoo clocks continues to stand tall.
Do you have a favorite?
8 day Carved cuckoo clocks have nature-inspired themes carved out of wood attached to the case. Eight day cuckoo clocks only have to be wound once a week because they have bigger gears inside, making them more convenient. Clocks are wound by pulling the un-weighted end of the chain until the weight moves up near the clock’s case. The outer worked wood case is usually made of beautiful dark wood that is intricately carved with folk and forest scenes.
The Deer-head or Hunter Clock is a squarish shaped box which displays a traditional hunting scene. This style is not my favorite, although it is very popular. In the center at the top of the clock is the head of a buck deer complete with carved antlers. Often there are crossed shotguns and dead game animals arrayed around the dial of the clock. As with the other cuckoo clocks the Hunter Clock has a pendulum along with weights beneath the clock.
You literally can find a cuckoo clock that will fit in any room for any taste and will truly become a focal point and conversation piece. The price depends on the quality and what materials were used in the construction of the clock. You can find 8 day carved cuckoo clocks prices starting under one hundred dollars and going up to thousands of dollars depending on the artwork, the mechanical features involved and whether or not the cuckoo clocks plays music or not.
Eight Day Cuckoo Clocks work completely the same as the one day clocks. 8-day cuckoo clocks are pendulum driven, but need only to be wound every eight days. The size of the weights are much heavier in the eight day clock versus the one day clock. These will be more expensive, but in my opinion are worth the difference.
Musical eight day Cuckoo Clocks have a third weight added under the clock for the tunes that are played. On the hour the cuckoo bird will announce the hour with the correct number of calls, and then a melody plays. Two tunes are offered with the aid of a Swiss music box where the notes are plucked on a rotating drum. On the half hour the bird will “Cuckoo” one time only and then a second melody will play. Most often the melodies produced in the clock are “The Happy Wanderer”, or “Edelweis”. Musical cuckoo clocks often have animated figures which move when the music box plays. Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks from Germany are the world’s finest. These hand-carved masterpieces feature precision mechanical movements, detailed craftsmanship, moving figurines, and music to delight you.
What’s your favorite style?