In 1730, the cuckoo clock was invented in Germany. These clocks house a small cuckoo bird figure that emerges from a small door at the top to announce the hours and half hours with it signature call of ‘cuckoo’. This call is usually accompanied by a gong. In 1802, Simon Willard of Roxbury, Massachusetts, patented the clock that became known as the banjo wall clock because of its shape. The figure eight wall clock was the direct descendant of the banjo clock.
The Waterbury Company, now known as The Timex Corporation, made perpetual calendar clocks, and beginning in 1881, these clocks were available in Italian, German, Swedish, German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish as well as English. The difference of the perpetual calendar clocks and simple calendar clocks is in how they keep track of the days for a year. Perpetual clocks include the year as well as month and day and allow for a leap year, while the simplistic calendar clocks need to be adjusted manually on occasion in order to remain accurate.
An American clock with a wave-like or s-shape molding around the front of a rectangle case is an ogee clock. It usually has a door in front with clear glass in front of a dial and a stenciled or reverse-painted tablet below. These were produced mainly between 1830 and 1914.
The pendulum is one thing all antique wall clocks have in common. The pendulum of a clock has three parts, the pendulum rod, the pendulum ball, which is often ornamental and the wire loop, which is threaded for the regulating nut, which is the pendulum bob.
Clocks made during the Victorian age, from the late 1830’s to early 1900’s, reflected the Victorian style of wooden furnishings with curved carvings and moldings. Wall clocks were occasionally made in the Mission style, which was oak and had straight, sturdy lines. This style continued from the early 1900s through the late 1920s.