The timekeeping part of all weight-driven clocks, including large tower clocks, is substantially the same. The figure shows the mechanism of a simple weight-driven timepiece with a pendulum. The frame is made up of two plates that carry the pivots of the various wheels and other moving parts and that are united and spaced by four pillars. The driving weight hangs from a line coiled around a barrel or sprocket, which is raised by turning the winding square or, in some cases, by pulling on the line. The main wheel engages with the centre pinion, on the arbor (axle) of which is also mounted the centre wheel. The front pivot of this wheel and pinion is lengthened to the right of the illustration; it carries the minute hand and part of the gearing necessary to drive the hour hand.
In the 13th century, Al-Jazari, an engineer from Mesopotamia (lived 1136–1206) who worked for Artuqid king of Diyar-Bakr, Nasir al-Din, made numerous clocks of all shapes and sizes. A book on his work described 50 mechanical devices in 6 categories, including water clocks. The most reputed clocks included the Elephant, Scribe and Castle clocks, all of which have been successfully reconstructed. As well as telling the time, these grand clocks were symbols of status, grandeur and wealth of the Urtuq State.
“This little beauty works great. I bought it when the alarm on my mobile phone began to intermittently fail me. This little travel clock is beautiful in retro seafoam green and great for travel because its bright color ensures that you will never miss picking it up from your hotel nightstand at checkout. There is a faint, pleasant ticking, the hands glow in the dark, and the nightlight button is bright when needed. The pop-up alarm button is firm and works well though I am learning not to accidentally press it and turn the alarm off when picking up the clock. Overall, a fantastic alarm clock.”
Wall clocks both help you keep time and accent your space as decor that fills an empty wall space above the mantel or kitchen counter. For a clock that serves dual purposes, consider a numberless option—the minimalist look doesn't exude obvious functionality, but the time is still obvious and the clock works as a unique piece of hanging wall art—perfect for the living room or dining room. If you're not necessarily looking to make a bold style statement but still want a chic timepiece, embossed clocks fit the bill. The numbers add interest and dimension and keep the clock looking artful—another great option for the dining room or kitchen. For a family-friendly clock, look for large faces and clean-lined, easy-to-read numbering. With form and function in perfect accordance, this type also fits in beautifully on a bedroom wall. Don't forget about the home office, where time is of the essence. Minimalist designs in handsome walnut and sleek iron can add either a throwback or modern feel to the space. Wall clocks of all designs not only keep you, your family and your guests aware of the time, but also serve as great decorative elements to your home.
The origin of the all-mechanical escapement clock is unknown; the first such devices may have been invented and used in monasteries to toll a bell that called the monks to prayers. The first mechanical clocks to which clear references exist were large, weight-driven machines fitted into towers and known today as turret clocks. These early devices struck only the hours and did not have hands or a dial.
If you've moved away from using a clock completely and instead set an alarm on your phone, consider the SmartShaker by iLuv. The device slides under your pillow and shakes you awake when your phone alarm goes off (it connects wirelessly using bluetooth). You can also have the device sound an audible alarm. The battery lasts a full month before needing to be charged.
The late Roman statesman Cassiodorus (c. 485–585) advocated in his rulebook for monastic life the water clock as a useful alarm for the 'soldiers of Christ' (Cassiod. Inst. 30.4 f.). The Christian rhetorician Procopius described in detail prior to 529 a complex public striking clock in his home town Gaza which featured an hourly gong and figures moving mechanically day and night.
A clock radio is an alarm clock and radio receiver integrated in one device. The clock may turn on the radio at a designated time to wake the user, and may also include a buzzer. Typically, they are placed on the bedside stand. Some models offer dual alarm and "snooze", a large button on the top that stops the alarm and sets it to ring again a few minutes later. Some clock radios also have a "sleep" timer, which turns the music from radio on for a set amount of time (usually around one hour). This is useful for people who like to fall asleep with the radio on.
In 1815, Francis Ronalds published the first electric clock powered by dry pile batteries. Alexander Bain, Scottish clockmaker, patented the electric clock in 1840. The electric clock's mainspring is wound either with an electric motor or with an electromagnet and armature. In 1841, he first patented the electromagnetic pendulum. By the end of the nineteenth century, the advent of the dry cell battery made it feasible to use electric power in clocks. Spring or weight driven clocks that use electricity, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC), to rewind the spring or raise the weight of a mechanical clock would be classified as an electromechanical clock. This classification would also apply to clocks that employ an electrical impulse to propel the pendulum. In electromechanical clocks the electricity serves no time keeping function. These types of clocks were made as individual timepieces but more commonly used in synchronized time installations in schools, businesses, factories, railroads and government facilities as a master clock and slave clocks.
“Great little dual alarm clock. Super easy to set the two alarms. Easy to use. It has a night light feature with adjustable dimmer, which is great. You can adjust the display completely dark so you don’t see the numbers. Then you can just hit the snooze button when the alarm is not ringing and the display lights up. It’s powered only by 3 AA batteries: no electric cord, no USB, nothing that you need. If you need a fancy alarm clock that sprays water in your face, this is not it.”