The Timekeeping World of Clocks

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As we welcome 2016, I couldn’t think of a better post to start the new year off with than one about a device we use to tell time with. Now clocks have been one of the oldest human inventions to meet the need to consistently measure intervals of time shorter than that natural units such as the day, the lunar month, and the year. Such devices operating on several physical process have existed for millennia starting with sundials, hourglasses, water clocks to our modern digital and atomic clocks. A major advance in timekeeping was the invention of the escapement in Europe in the year 1300 which allowed the invention of first mechanical clocks which used oscillating timekeepers like balance wheels. Spring-driven clocks appeared during the 15th century and between that and the 16th century, clockmaking flourished. The Exploration Age saw the invention of the pendulum clock in 1656 as well as efforts to improve timing accuracy and reliability for the importance of navigation. The first electric clock was invented in 1840 while the 20th century saw clocks with no clock parts at all. Of course, there are plenty of clocks out there since there are people who make their own as a project. And there are some unique clocks that have been produced for the masses. So to open the new year for your reading pleasure, here is a collection of some truly unique clock designs you can’t miss a minute on.

  1. We begin with a rusty Steampunk clock that resembles a fish.
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Yes, it almost looks like Captain Nemo could’ve used one like this in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Still, I’m not sure if it reflects Nemo’s decorative tastes.

2. Now this is a clock that’s beneath a Grecian Urn.

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Of course, this one was from the mid 1800s, during the time of Emperor Napoleon III of France (don’t ask, it takes a long explanation). Still, probably didn’t come cheap.

3. Now this wall clock comes with some floral decoration.

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Now this was probably a DIY project and possibly by a girl. Yes, it’s a frilly clock but it’s quite pretty to say the least.

4. Some table clocks can look like anything. This one resembles a lawn chair.

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I’m sure this is fairly small and can be put in a dollhouse. And I’m sure it’s more expensive than a plastic lawn chair. Still, very clever.

5. In this clock, the analog face is a girl’s hairpiece.

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Now I think this clock wasn’t built to specifically tell time. And it some ways, it kind of looks either Steampunk or gothy. Yet, since it’s unique, it goes on the post.

6. When it comes to old muscle car headlights in a junkyard, you can give one a new life by making it into a clock.

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Yes, it looks a bit rusty. Yes, it can use some red paint. But still, I don’t think I can make a clock like that in a million years. Then again, I probably can’t make a clock, period.

7. Those who enjoy 1980s video games can now wake up with Pac-Man.

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This is a 3D Pac-Man alarm clock. I’m sure this wasn’t made in the 1980s. But if you, hit the snooze button, I wonder if Pac-Man will try to eat your head.

8. Now this clock seems to go for a more natural look.

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This one is made from a wooden panel and decorated with branches. Not sure if it fits in a hunting lodge. But hey, I like it.

9. Now I wonder whether this clock can tell you when it’s Miller time.

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Then again, not sure if I know some of these beer brands. But I think this would be a perfect clock for a bar. Yet, very inappropriate for a venue that sponsors AA meetings.

10. For old clocks, make sure it has the proper gears to work.

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Now I guess this is either an antique or some DIY Steampunk creation. For some reason, it kind of reminds me of the movie Hugo.

11. This antique grandfather clock is not impressed.

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Now this is the kind of clock you’d expect to see from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Still, I doubt that this clock has a tale as old as time.

12. Now this is a martini shaker clock is perfect for any cocktail party.

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However, I wouldn’t recommend you using to shake James Bond’s martini. It probably has a bunch of parts within. Thus, it’s most likely for timekeeping and display only.

13. This pencil clock will help any teacher start on time in the classroom.

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Of course, these pencils look like Papermates, which have shitty erasers. Still, it’s pretty ingenious even if it doesn’t list numbers.

14. Do you sometimes wish that you had a block to tell the time for you?

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Looking at this, you’d swear the clock numbers are painted on this black block of wood. Wonder how this works.

15. A clock tower clock? How original.

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Though some towns have clock towers, they don’t usually look like this. But this one is suited for indoors and didn’t come cheap.

16. Now this antique clock seems to belong in some rich guy’s hunting lodge.

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I think this might be an antique German hunting lodge clock as far as I can tell, I’ve seen a smaller one in vintage postcard. But it looked nothing like this one.

17. This jeweled gold clock is small enough that you can take it wherever you go.

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Of course, assuming any of these jewels are real, it’s possible that this clock might cost more than a car. Nevertheless, it’s quite beautiful to say the least.

18. Need a way to tell when Polly needs a cracker? Perhaps this clock will tell you.

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Yes, this is a birdcage clock. Yes, the face is on the bottom, which means you’ll have to tilt your head back to know what time it is from this clock.

19. For those who want to know when to bake some bread, there’s an electric mixer clock for that.

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Now this mixer looks as if it’s straight from the 1950s. But I don’t think it’s for actual use. Still, love the pink.

20. Of course, mornings are usually the time of say when they go to the Waffle House.

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The Waffle House is a breakfast food joint with similar heart attack inducing fare as Ihop. Yet, with a more shady reputation.

21. This sewing machine will help you determine the proper time to hem.

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Now this one seems to be a high class replica of those old sewing machines you had to power with a crank. Still, it’s quite nice.

22. This clock has a hand that tells the minute and a slit that reveals the hour.

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Now that’s one neat way to tell time. From the face, I can guess it’s about ten after 11.

23. Now this is a watch that will exactly tell you the time of day.

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Of course, the letters are all jumbled in this watch. But you get what I mean.

24. In case, you don’t know the time, day, or month, this clock will help you.

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Kind of seems like something you’d see in a Jules Verne novel. Of course, we don’t need a clock to tell us the day or the month. We have calendars that do it for us.

25. Of course, some might be partial to peacocks in terms of their clock design.

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Now this one seems to have a peacock and his feathers all over this clock. Not sure if I want it, but it’s a rather ingenious design in its own way.

26. Now this timekeeper seems to be made from a slab of wood.

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Yes, it looks like it was made from a slab of varnished wood. But keep in mind that analog clocks look easier to make than they really are.

27. Of course, public clocks can always be seen from the side of buildings.

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Now this one is said to be from Belgium. Not sure what building it is. But whenever a clock strikes a certain hour, one of these figures jumps out of their holes.

28. Now this clock is sure to tell you when you need to whip out your old kitchen utensils.

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I don’t think those utensils will help you in the kitchen. Seems to go well with the previous electric mixer clock I put up. Then again, it’s in the same color.

29. Nothing makes a more beautiful clock face than cardinal in winter.

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Now that’s a pretty cardinal and a well painted one, too. Still, this still doesn’t mean that it should be the bird symbol for 7 US states. I mean find a bird more original.

30. For all you music lovers out there, this clock is for you.

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Now this one shows the kind of scales and how many sharps and flats you should use. Perfect for any music classroom.

31. Of course, we all remember this old Kit-Cat clock.

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Correct me if I’m wrong. But I kind of find this cat’s moving eyes a bit unsettling whenever I see this in movies or cartoons. Why it’s so familiar, I have no clue.

32. On this wall clock, any time is pizza time.

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Of course, you can say that for some people. Not sure what to think of this. But it’s unique so it goes on this post.

33. When it comes to waking up in the morning, this alarm clock makes you shoot the snooze button.

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Of course, using this alarm clock has been responsible for sleeplessness in Imperial Stormtroopers. Those familiar with Star Wars know that Stormtrooper marksmanship is appalling.

34. Now this is a commemorative clock that’s courtesy of the British Department of Silly Walks.

 

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You have to bet since that famous Monty Python sketch came out, that such a clock would soon exist. Of course, you’d never be able to tell when John Cleese is at his silliest here.

35. For all you space lovers out there, this clock shows the phases of the moon.

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Not sure if this clock depicts moon phases by the hour, day, or month. But I’m sure some space nerds would want to get their hands on one if they could.

36. Now this is a digital clock that tells time from a roll of film.

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Of course, some of my younger viewers under a certain age (like children) may have no idea that we once used film to take pictures with. And that we had to send that roll away to develop them. And no, you couldn’t preview the picture on your screen because that didn’t exist. You had one shot to get it right and that was it.

37. These old license plates give this clock an interesting  face.

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Now theses are US license plates. But each one is of a different state and gives a number of the hour. It’s not colorful but it’s cool in its own way.

38. Seems like this clock gives you the time as if it’s keeping score.

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The numbers on here are depicted like tally marks. Numbers 1-5 don’t take up much space. But 11-12 certainly do.

39. If you didn’t know how to read a clock, you wouldn’t be able to tell the time by some of these hand signs.

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Now the numbers on this clock are depicted as seen in American Sign Language (ASL). From what I can tell on this. it’s about 25 till 8.

40. Now if you have an old lantern that’s obsolete, make a clock out of it.

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Wonder if this clock was made from an old railroad lantern. Because it sure looks like it.

41. For the morbid sort, you might want to get the time from this skull.

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Of course, this might make some of my viewers squeamish. But I assure you, it’s most likely made out of wood. At least I hope it is.

42. Of course, you can make your own clock from a tree slice, if you find one big enough.

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Now from the rings, it seems that this tree was very old when it fell. And it seemed to have suffered from heart rot. So I guess it was going to die anyway.

43. For Captain James T. Kirk, it’s always time to go where no man has gone before.

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Now this is a clock depicting the spacecraft you see on Star Trek. I’m sure the 12 o’clock ship is the Enterprise. All the others I’m not so sure.

44. I don’t know about you, but I could’ve sworn that this clock was owned by Salvador Dali at some point.

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I don’t know why I suspect it. Perhaps it’s because this clock’s face looks pretty surreal. And we know that Dali was a leading artist in that movement, particularly when it came to melting clocks like this one.

45. Did you ever get the feeling you were being watched?

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Now this is a Steampunk DIY clock that’s made to look like an owl. Uses gears, pieces of metal, and CDs. Still, I think it’s pretty cool.

46. I don’t know about you but this clock makes me feel that time is going down the drain.

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Yeah, this clock makes it seem that all the hours are in some state of flux like a death spiral. Still, looking at it too long kind of makes you feel dizzy.

47. This pool cue ball clock is sure to delight any game room.

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To some, this might be a wonderful work of art. To me, it appears more appropriate decoration for a bar, particularly one with a pool table.

48. A bedazzled alarm clock like this is sure to wake you up in the morning.

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I’m sure those gems are fake or this clock would be very expensive. Still, it’s incredibly tacky for my taste. Yet, I do love the diamond ring around the face.

49. This wall clock seems to have time on the ball.

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Not sure how this clock works. Does the clear one denote the hour while the red denotes the minute? Or is it the other way around?

50. Now this is the kind of clock that makes a good stove timer.

 

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Well, it looks like an old fashioned stove. Not sure if I want it in the kitchen. But it sure looks so quaint and whimsical.

51. This guy seems happy that he’s arrived just in time.

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Now that’s adorable even if it’s more suited for a kid’s room. Also, doubles as a bookcase as you see.

52. When I see this clock, it seems to remind that my time on earth is limited.

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I don’t know about you. But I don’t think I’d want to use this clock to count down to my inevitable mortality. Besides, I’ll be 26 in a couple of weeks.

53. With Atomic Age clocks, they can be in almost any shape or form.

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Now these clocks come in all kinds of weird variations. But for some reason I like this one the best. Still, interesting taste.

54. I don’t know about you but is this clock watching me or the time?

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Now this is creepy as hell. Not sure why someone would make this. Still, certainly wouldn’t want that in my living room.

55. I’m sure this clock helps tell you when it’s a good time to rock n’roll.

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Well, this was probably not made from a real electric guitar. Still, I think it would be perfect for any rock n’ roll room.

56. If you want to find the time of day, I suggest you look in this book.

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I’m sure there’s a bunch of gears and machinery inside. But it does look like a real book that tells time.

57. I’m sure you’ve seen a clock design like this on your dashboard. Oh, that was a speedometer but you get the idea.

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Now this would be perfect for someone who likes cars. Wonder which gauge indicates what. Then again, they each stand for 3, 6, and 9.

58. This clock will certainly be perfect for any bookshelf.

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Now this clock does consist of a stack of books together. Wonder if anyone would notice it if you put it within a bookshelf among other books. Probably.

59. For artists in you, this pallet clock will help you decide when it’s time to paint.

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I think that pallet might be made from an old vinyl record. But it does look quite classy if you ask me. Love it.

60. Not sure if you can listen to tunes on this record player. But it’ll give you the time of day.

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Now this is a record player clock. For a long time people used to listen to music with these things. Vinyl records came with your basic LP and a Singles. This is single. It only has 2 songs on each side.

61. Seems like there’s a tie for every occasion and every hour.

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Well, that’s one thing to do with all the neckties your dad doesn’t like. Of course, from here, it’s about 5 till 2.

62. Of course, this is the clock you have if you want to spend every second with the ones you love.

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Of course, I wonder if these are real photographs or stock photos. Probably the latter. But some of these kids are so adorable. And I can tell some people might wants this.

63. A wall clock like this will certainly look good hanging in any kitchen or dining room.

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I guess this clock was made with some cutlery. I’m fairly sure they’re black plastic. But still, I think it looks quite classy.

64. Now this clock tends to tell time by shifting gears.

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Well, it tells the hour and the closest 5 minute approximation. But still, may not be something you’d want in your living room. But it does its job.

65. Now who says you can’t tell the time of day from an old tire?

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Yes, this is a tire clock as you see here. Not sure if the tire is flat but I don’t think it matters. Because here it’s just used for decoration.

66. Now I’ve never thought I’d see an analog clock with no numbers or hands.

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Now the hands on this clock are lasers. Yes, they’re lasers. Not sure if it’s the future. But it looks pretty neat. Never seen that before.

67. As this clock moves, the more the hands expand, contract, or possibly change color.

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Now this is a folding clock as you see here. Its two hands are connected by a cloth that’s different on each side. Not sure if I’d want it. But it’s unique so it goes on this post.

68. Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, this clock tells time in all kinds of weather.

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While this is a normal clock, it’s also said to have some qualities of a sundial. See how the light casts a shadow on the numbers and hands.

69. Now this one is a digital clock and tells the time with dominoes.

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Now according to this clock, it’s 10:29. Nevertheless, it does give you an adequate description in layman’s terms.

70. This clock seems to look as if its face is out of this world.

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Basically this is a clock of our solar system. It’s not drawn to scale. But I’m sure this is the kind of clock Neil Degrasse Tyson would want on his wall.

71. This is outdoor can tell the time as well feed the birds.

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Yes, this is a birdhouse clock. And yes, it has a pendulum. Not sure if it’s actually used for birds, but I like the simplicity of it all.

72. Of course, if you know the notes, you can guess the numbers on this clock.

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Now the numbers on these are determined by how many beats each note gets in basic 4/4 time. So a quarter note = 1. A half note = 2. And a whole note = 4.

73. Of course, a clock with all the bright colors is bound to brighten your day.

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Not sure if all these colors on the clock represent the different colors of the rainbow. But they’re definitely colors you’d certainly see in Lisa Frank.

74. You can make a clock face out of anything, even things you might find at the beach.

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As you see, the face is made from driftwood or flotsam and jetsam. The numbers are represented by shells. Nevertheless, wouldn’t mind having this.

75. Now this clock is situated on this lovely painted kettle.

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Seems to depict a Roman scene as as I see it. Still, from the gold and laquer on this, I think this isn’t used for the kitchen and is more expensive than an actual kettle.

76. Now this is a clock only mathletes would have in their abodes.

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I’m sure you can solve many of these problems since the answers are 1-12 as you go along clockwise. But math nerds will adore this.

77. I’m sure this clock hate’s being referred to of the grandfather variety.

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Yes, this is a female clock and it’s an antique as well. Don’t ask me where this came from. I just found this on Pinterest.

78. Clock or paint splat? You decide.

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Now that really looks like a splat of paint on the wall. However, it’s probably made from black plastic. Still pretty neat though.

79. I don’t know about you but this looks like it’ll go off any second.

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Relax, it’s a clock. Trust me it’s a clock that just looks like a bomb. And no, I don’t think it was designed by some Muslim teenager in Texas. Seriously, I don’t.

80. Of course, sometimes people just want to have their eggs over easy first thing in the morning.

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Now this is a skillet clock with an egg on it. And the hands are a knife and fork. This would be perfect for Rob Swanson from Parks and Rec.

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2 responses to “The Timekeeping World of Clocks

  1. If you really want to be a writer, you need to stop opening every fifth sentence with the words “now” and “of course”.

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