Hot Chocolate & Genealogy
Hot Chocolate & Genealogy

Grandfather Clocks the gentleman of heirlooms

Seasons change and furniture comes and goes, but the familiar tick-tock of the grandfather clock remains.

Grandfather clocks date back to the late 18th and early 19th century long case clocks or standing clocks, as they were called.

Henry Festner, horologist in Winnipeg, explains that in Europe there were two types of standing clocks: one was tall and slim, quite stately and the other was shorter and wider. In German they were called Standuhren, but the English gave them the nickname of grandfather and grandmother clocks because of thea appearance and longevity.

Grandmother clocks are rare as their appearance did not catch on as actively as her elegant counterpart, the grandfather clock. They are still cable or chain-driven with wieghts. They do not require batteries or electricity and promise to keep accurate time for centuries to come.

Grandfather clocks have stood the test of time. Because they clocks manufactured today will last 150-300 years if properly maintained (cleaned every five years), they have also become a valuable heirloom that is passed down from generation to generation.


This article appeared in the November 1997 issue of Hot Chocolate.

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