Clocks, Wall, Decorative, Antique, Grandfather Time Pieces

How The Antique Grandfather Clock Got Its Name

Antique Grandfather ClockAn antique grandfather clock chimes deeply and emits tones that remind you not only of the time to eat dinner but of your childhood days as well.

Long ago, it was discovered that clocks with longer pendulums worked better and this required a clock that was taller than usual. Thus, the grandfather clock was born.

Old grandfather clocks have various heights, shapes, widths and colors. Usually they are made of wood with ornamental designs on the sides and on the top. The chimes they produce often tell the hourly time and they produce a shorter version of the tune during each quarter hour. The pendulum swings from side to side, right to left, to meter the time and weight.

The grandfather got its name in a unique way. Back then, it was called a "floor clock" since it stood on the floor. It is told that long ago, in a lodge in England known as the George Hotel, a floor clock stood on the lobby telling very good, accurate time, which was rare at that time. The hotel was managed by two brothers named Jenkins. One day, one of the brothers died and coincidently, the clock started losing time as well. Several repairmen were brought to repair it but to their great dismay, the floor clock lost 15 minutes a day and lost more than an hour each day. When the other brother died at the age of ninety, the floor clock suddenly stopped working altogether. The new hotel manager did not have the clock repaired. He just left it in the lobby where it stood for more than ninety years. Then, an American songwriter came to visit the hotel in England and heard about the story. Fascinated by the coincidence of the clock stopping forever after the last brother who owned it died, he decided to compose a song after seeing the clock himself. Millions of copies were sold once the song was published. The first stanza of the song was:

"Oh my grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf so it stood ninety years on the floor. It was taller by half than the old man himself, though it weighed not a pennyweight more..."

And that was how the floor clock got its popular name "grandfather's clock."

Classic grandfather clocks are usually passed down from generation to generation. It is very rare to find anyone making grandfather clocks nowadays. Every grandfather clock has many memories stored as it is passed on, making it more valuable and important to the descendants than other types of clocks made.