Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Clocks, a word by etymology meaning a bell, was at first applied to such time-measuring instruments as were fitted with a bell or bells whereon the intervals of time were mechanically struck, and then, by extension, to any time-measuring instrument, and lastly to such of these instruments as are too large to be conveniently carried about the person. In these days of tiny carriage clocks it would be difficult to draw a line of real distinction between a clock and a watch. To attempt a history of clocks or a description of them would require a volume. Clock-making has formed a fascinating study for many people; and many ingenious dispositions of mechanism have been applied to them. The great clock of Strasburg is well known, and in fiction most people are acquainted with the major's clock in Wilkie Collins's Armadale. The collection of clocks at the British Museum is of great interest whether from a mechanical or ornamental point of view. The ancients used water-clocks [Clepsydra] and sand-glasses to mark the time. From an ornamental point of view French clocks hold a high place, but they are not renowned for going qualities. Among English clocks that of Westminster is one of the most remarkable, not merely on account of the gigantic scale of its accessories, but also for its wonderful accuracy, since its average deviation only amounts to a second a week. The Swiss are noted for their clock and watch-making.