Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

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Do You Know?

From The American Horologist magazine, April, 1936

Do You Know?
Directed by 
W. H. Samelius, Chairman
Science of Horology and Technical Board

The first really portable watch or clock was made by Peter Henlein, a young blacksmith, of Nuremberg about 1504. It was made entirely of iron, spring driven, the dial of the watch was about six inches. Timepieces were usually carried by shoulderstrap or handle.

The Waterbury Watch Company in the early days used the Duplex Escapement in their watches.
That the mainspring in the early Waterbury watches were nine feet long.

The Hamilton Watch Company was founded in Lancaster, Pa., in 1892.

Our first wheel-cutting machine was invented by Dr. Robert Hooke of England.

Second hands on clocks were first used by Tompion of England about 1676.

The Greenwich Observatory at England was founded in 1675 for promotion of astronomy and navigation.

That the overcoil hairspring was introduced by Abraham Louis Breguet about 1775.

That adjusting a pocket watch for temperature errors, the corrections are made by relocating the· balance screws closer or farther away from the cut end of the balance wheel rim.

In the marine chronometer adjustments for temperature errors are made by sliding a weight which is attached to the rim of the balance wheel.

In some of the finest cylinder escapements, the cylinder was made of ruby.

The cylinder and duplex escapements are known as frictional escapements. 

The lever escapement is known as the detached escapement.

In 1898 Radium was discovered by Mme. Curie of France, a pitch blend derivative is used in making the hands and dials of watches luminous in the dark.

All time is calculated East or West of the meridian at Greenwich, England.

The first enamel watch dials were produced in 1635 by Paul Viet of Blois, France.

The first public clock in Spain was set up in the Cathedral of Seville, about 1400 A.D.

The anchor escapement was invented by Dr. Hooke of England, about 1670, the pallets were designed so as to greatly reduce recoil of the escape wheel.

The large clock movement, or Big Ben in the Tower of Westminster, London, was designed by Lord Grimthrope of London, England. It is controlled by means of a gravity escapement, also of his designing. Webster's definition of Horology-the science of measuring time, or the principles and art of constructing instruments for measuring and indicating portions of time, as clocks, watches, dials, etc.

Long before the Christian era, clepsydra or water clocks were in use, but the name and inventor of these instruments have not been reliably recorded. It is said Censor Scipio Nasica was the first to measure the hour by water, by night as well as by day, in the year of 595 B.C. 

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