Archive for the ‘German Cuckoo Clocks’ Category
There are many different types of clocks out there to match many different potential preferences. Many people these days forget about the convenience of clocks, since so many people have clocks on their phones and on their computers or on their cable boxes. Yet there are still many reasons that one would want a clock that you can easily glance at.
I enjoy analog clocks much more than digital clocks because I find them to be quite a bit more elegant. My favorite time of analog clock is the cuckoo clock and even with these, there are many different sub-categories of cuckoo clocks. Personally, I prefer 8 day cuckoo clocks to one day cuckoo clocks, because you can wind them much more infrequently.
Time is very important; it’s essentially become a commodity in and of itself. As the saying goes, ‘time is money’ and this often rings true to people who are paid by the hour (or even by the month). When one is not paying attention to time, it’s easy to lose track of time and end up wasting time, and ultimately, completely wasting one’s time is not exactly something to strive for.
In this day and age, everyone’s got a clock on their cell phone or their iPod or whatever device they might be carrying around. But it’s nice to have back-ups in order to make sure you don’t get caught up doing nothing and wasting your own time. If you’ve got grandfather and cuckoo clocks in every room of your house, you’re likely to have all of your bases covered.
My older brother’s always been a bit of a prankster. He was behind the big senior prank at his high school and was always pulling ones over on me and the rest of my family. He loved pulling his biggest pranks when there were a lot of family members around, like when we’d visit our grandparents.
My grandfather was a cuckoo clock collector. When we were kids, he would set all the German Black Forest cuckoo clocks in my grandfather’s house to go off at the same time; it wouldn’t be on the hour or anything, it’d be a random time and suddenly the whole house would erupt with noise and the only thing you could hear other than the cuckoo clocks was the sound of my brother’s wild laughter generated from how amused he was with himself.
There’s a village in Tuscarawas County in Ohio called Sugarcreek that’s currently working on plans to restore one of the world’s largest cuckoo clocks. The clock stands at over twenty-three feet tall and was used as an attraction for a restaurant initially. Since its initial creation, the clock has been sold and moved around a number of times. Currently, it is in the stages of being restored and moved to a new location as an icon of the local Swiss culture in Sugarcreek.
It’s the largest cuckoo clock in the United States, with the only other contenders for the world’s largest being found in Germany, Russia, Argentina, and Italy. They’re each far larger than any cuckoo clock anyone could fit inside a household. Personally, I think I’ll stick to the regular-sized grandfather cuckoo clocks for my home.
For several years now, my cousin and I have been tracing our family’s ancestry. This is no small task given the immense size of our family. (Our grandmother had six children and she in turn was the youngest of eight). We finally pinpointed the birth place of our great-great-great grandfather to a small village in Germany.
My cousin and I decided to take a week’s vacation to visit our ancestor’s birth place and to do a bit of touring. I wish we hadn’t told the rest of the family because as soon as we did, everyone started requesting gifts from the motherland. I was surprised that there were more requests for German cuckoo clocks than for beer steins or other German tourist-y items.
Some may argue that the Swiss are the best time keepers, but I think that when it comes to cuckoo clocks, German-made clocks are superior. After all, the German cuckoo clock, featuring a chirping bird, did originate in the Black Forest. Yes, the Swiss are excellent woodworkers, but the intricate wood and paint details on Black Forest clocks are equally impressive.
Some of the most notable examples of German cuckoo clocks are currently housed in museums. Exemplary by Johannes Wildi crafted in 1780 is currently housed in the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum. Other cuckoo clocks dating back to the mid 1700s are also on display in the same museum.
This past summer my fiancé and I visited a friend of ours in Colorado. He’s a bachelor and his home overwhelmingly reflects his single status. By that I mean he has little art on the walls and very little furniture. He joked that other than a bed, a place to eat, and a desk for his computer he didn’t need much else. Plus, he didn’t want to put in the time or effort to make it homey.
Always the busybody/den mother, I told him that if he gave me free reign I would happily add some nice touches. He said have at it – he didn’t mind his place being decorated so long as he didn’t have to do the work. While he and my fiancé went out to do some sport fishing, I took the liberty of going through his belongings for pieces to go on the walls. I made some surprisingly nice finds, including a Black Forest cuckoo clock and some posters that I had framed at a local store. There was more I wanted to accomplish, but hanging those few pieces on the walls was a good start that even my friend agreed made an impact.
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.
On a recent trip to the UK, I paid a visit to the Cuckooland Museum. Just as the name implies, the museum is dedicated to preserving 300-plus years of cuckoo clock history. It was started by two brothers, Roman and Maz Piekarski, who were trained as clockmakers from a young age.
At first, the collection was comprised mainly of antique German Black Forest cuckoo clocks. Some of the rare clocks in their collection include the “cuckoo and echo” clock that is one of only six in existence. Timepieces by Black Forest clockmaker Johan Baptist Beha are also on display. For me, the most fascinating clocks were those that reflected more modern styles like Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
In our modern world of atomic clocks and satellite-transmitted time signals, regulator wall clocks are definitely like an antiquated timekeeping mechanism. When they were first put into production at the end of the 18th century, however, they represented the gold standard in timekeeping accuracy. In an effort to make them as precise as possible, they were stripped of all of the non-essentials, such as calendars, allowing each hand to move off a discrete mechanism.
Over the years the design of regulator wall clocks has changed dramatically, including innovations allowing for the space-saving wall variety. Although there are more accurate options on the market today, pendulum-style one day cuckoo clocks are still utilized as a traditional piece of home décor.