We always find something new to see and experience at The Henry Ford Museum (of American Innovation, if we use the new, fuller name). On our last trip, we found this permanent timepieces exhibit:
Personally, I feel we have become slaves of time. I hope for a day when we can enjoy a slower pace without the heightened sense of urgency that almost everything has these days.
But I digress. On to the timepieces in this exhibit:
No. They don’t play Dixieland music.
One of the first truly American clock designs coming from the early 1800’s.
Gallery Clock: 1800-1805
This brass clock would have been displayed in a church or public building, as most common people of the day would not have had personal timepieces. It features 8-day weight-powered movement. And… it has an eagle!
The railroad was one of the major reasons people needed a more exact way to tell time. If you were late, the train would leave without you! We got the time zone system because of the need for standardizing time between cities, and to avoid disastrous collisions due to time discrepancies.
Enlarge and read the many reasons why New England became a major clockmaking center.
Pendulum swing like a pendulum do!
Someone should put that line to music. Did you know that Galileo helped to develop the pendulum? The test above is designed to show that no matter where you start the swing of the pendulum, it will take about the same time to swing back and forth. I tried it and it’s true!
COOL FACT: Christian Huygens was the first to use pendulums to regulate clocks in 1657.
Inside that Grandfather Clock
This featured an 8-day weight-powered movement and was used in a variety of tall clocks. It also had an hour strike and a quarter chime. The example pictured was manufactured between 1682 and 1709.
Telling time old-school
This one only lasted 5 seconds (I guessed 6 seconds).
COOL FACT: Signage for this item also mentioned that our inner sense of time is not as accurate as many animals.
More Cool Facts
This exhibit also covered sundials and many other traditional forms of timepieces. Even one digital alarm clock that many of us may still punch every morning. Love that snooze feature!
I hope you enjoyed this brief visit to The Henry Ford Museum. It can be found at 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, Michigan.