Alarm clock - The earliest mechanical clocks were alarm clocks intended for the use of monks so that services could be held at the appointed ecclesiastical hours; all modern alarm clocks are descended from these monastic alarms. The word clock is derived from the medieval Latin "clocca" meaning a bell, and the earliest alarm clocks did not possess dials but merely sounded a bell at an appointed time.
Antiqued - finish has lines or checking that simulate age
Arch top - A simple semicircular top to the cases of bracket and longcase clocks. The design appeared in the late 18th century and continued well into the 19th. It presented a satisfyingly simple shape to bracket and mantel clocks in the Adam and Sheratron Styles, and occurred in both mahogany and painted-satinwood bracket clocks with simple brass lion-head or disc-ring handles at the sides.
Art Nouveau - The name given to a style in the decorative arts which flourished in Europe and North America during the 1890s. Influenced by Japanese are, it is characterized by whiplash lines and stylized natural forms. First introduced in architectural design by Victor Horta in Belgium, it was taken up by other artists in different media, such as the English illustrator Aubrey Beardsley and the American glass designer Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Atomic clock - Atomic and molecular vibrations constitute the most regular of motions in nature, but most are at such a high frequency as to be unusable as time standards. Radio-frequency techniques are used to generate energy at the frequency of the atomic transition from a lower frequency generated by a quartz-crystal oscillator, while the atomic vibration controls the absolute frequency of oscillation, frequency division by electronic circuits being used to obtain the low frequency required to drive the clocks indicating absolute time. Accuracy to less than one second error in 100,000 years is now available with the caesium atomic clock.
Balloon clock - In the late 18th century a bracket clock appeared with a case that was circular in the upper part, descending to a waisted center portion and then spreading out to a more stable, rectangular base.
Banjo clock - This term is believed to have been introduced early in the 20th century to describe American wall clocks of similar appearance to that originally developed by Simon Willard at Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Beat - The tick of a clock, or the time taken for a pendulum or balance to swing from its center, or dead point, to one extreme and return to center again. Most clock excapements beat twice per cycle. The beats should be equally disposed about the center or dead point of the pendulum or balance. Single-beat escapements, such as the chronometer and duplex, have one beat on each alternate swing of the balance.
Bonnet top - top is rounded
Book-matched - cut the piece of wood in half and folded open like a book so the wood pattern mirrors each other from right to left; to match the grains of (as two sheets of veneer) so that one sheet seems to be the mirrored image of the other.
Bracket clock - The terms 'bracket' and 'mantel' clocks are not synonymous. The bracket clock, was made to stand on a decorative, matching bracket fixed to the wall. Bracket clocks were introduced about 1670, but the mantelshelf as a normal feature of a fireplace first appeared about 50 years later: with it came the mantel clock. The design of bracket clocks changed with contemporary fashion. Between 1670 and 1690, square-dial clocks in ebonised pedimented cases were followed by basket-top clocks. Then came the arch dial, the inverted bell (about 1720) and then the true bell top about the middle of the century. Next came the break-arch case, the balloon clock, the lancet top, the arch top and, the chamfer top.
Break arch - A type of top for bracket clocks and longcase clocks which appeared about 1765 and is characteristic of the style of George Hepplewhite. The arch is incomplete, having a small ledge or step where it joins the sides of the case. Break-arch clocks usually had circular dials with brass bezels, but a number are known with silvered all-over, enameled or painted dials. Dials with a semi-circular top are also known as break arch.
Burls - piece of wood with more lines and pattern in the grain of the wood; Burls have to be cut from special areas of the tree; a hard woody often flattened hemispherical outgrowth on a tree
Calendar clock - Between 1860 and 1875 several patents were granted for mechanisms indicating the day of the week, the day of the month and the month of the year on a seperate dial below the time dial in the same case as the clock mechanism. The earliest patent was issued to Hawes of Ithaca, New York, on the 17th of May 1853, but it did not compensate for leap-year, although adjusting for the varying lengths of the months. Atkins & Burritt of Ithaca, New York, were granted a patent September 19th, 1854 for the first true perpetual-calendar mechanism. The mechanism was improved by the Mix Brothers, and purchased by the Seth Thomas Clock Company in 1864.
Carriage Clock - Some horologists consider the coach watch a very large watch usually of outstanding design and workmanship and often incorporating repeating work sounding on bells, to be the first carriage clock. Thomas Tompion made a few trveling clocks incorporating both pendulum and balance wheel control, the latter for use during the journey. The direct precursor of the carriage clock is the pendule d'officier of about 1775, though the originator of the true carriage clock was the famous Abraham-Louis Breguet. In its common form the carriage clock consists of a gilt-brass case with glass-panelled sides and top, hinged carring handle and separate platform escapement; it often has alarm and repeating mechanisms, more rarely grande-sonnerie striking. It is the most popular of all clocks and is still manufactured today.
Chapter ring - metal ring that fits over the clocks weight like a decorative bracelet
Crotch - where the limb comes off the tree (provides unique patterns of wood); an angle formed by the parting of two branches
Dentil molding - molding made out of little squares
Dial, auxillary - A small dial either of flat ring, annulus shape, or engraved or painted, which is added to the main dial to indicate subsidiary movement such as calendar work, Strike/silent mechanisms, alternative types of chimes, choice of tunes in musical clocks, moon phases, tidal readings, and so on.
Dial, brass - Although painted iron dials are sometimes found in early Gothic clocks, brass was the principal material in general use from the late 16th to the later years of the 18th century, when enamel or iron dials began to appear. Before the Industrial Revolution, when it became possible to produce sheet brass of even thickness in a rolling mill, brass dials were cut from sheet metal which had been cast and reduced to the required gauge by beating with trip hammers operated by water power.
Dial, break arch - An early form of arch dial: the top of the main, square dial is surmounted by a semicircular arch, slightly smaller in diameter than the width of the dial, leaving a small step or break at the base of the arch.
Dual Chime - plays two tunes and is a quartz-driven movement. Plays your choice of Westminster or Ave Maria. Some feature volume control and automatic nighttime chime shut-off option
Ebony - dark wood; hard heavy wood yielded by various Old World tropical dicotyledonous trees
Embossed - having a raised surface relief
Fluted - like reeded, rounded design derived from look of small flutes side by side; having or marked by grooves
Fusee - A Fusee Engine was used to make fusees. They were used around the early 1800's. Watches used a small chain drive to help keep time. The fusee looked like a miniature wedding cake inside the watch which is used to equalize main spring power which evens the rate of the watch. The tiny chain wraps around the fusee when the watch was wound.
Grandfather clock - also called tallcase, longcase, or floor clock. A pendulum clock enclosed in a tall narrow case. Traditional grandfather clocks have narrow cases. But, grandfather clocks can be as wide as 3 feet. See: Grandfather Clock
Grandmother clock - a popular name for a shorter version of the "grandfather" or longcase clock. The name usually refers to a case standing 60' to 70' high, but they aren't limited by size. See: Grandmother Clock
Keystone - semi-triangular piece of wood usually at the top center of the clock
Inlay (inlaid) - creation of added wood design
Limited edition - only one thousand of these special clocks are manufactured; Each clock is certified by number which appears on it's face.
Marquetry - decorative work in which elaborate patterns are formed by the insertion of pieces of material (as wood, shell, or ivory) into a wood veneer that is then applied to a surface (as of a piece of furniture)
Numbered edition - Each year's edition is limited and each clock is individually numbered. The Howard C. Miller Commemorative Clock is made entirely of mahogany, rare burls, and marquetry including oak from Howard Miller's home. The cornerstones of Howard Miller's life are depicted on the moon phase dial and the face bears his personal signature.