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huge cock at the hour of twelve crows lustily; at the same period the Twelve Apostles appear in a procession, &c. &c. In the calendar are noted the months, days, and dominical letters; and the clock shews all the saint days in the year. The plate upon which these signs are marked revolves once in 365 days for the ordinary, and 366 for the leap-year. The moveable feasts which seem as if they followed no rule, are here obtained with a remarkable ingenuity, in the which all the elements of the ecclesiastical computation—the milesimal, the solar circle, the golden number and epacts combine, and produce for an unlimited period the results sought. twelve o'clock at night on the 31st of December, the moveable feasts arrange themselves for action during the ensuing year. The third motion produces the motion of the heavenly bodies, the globe, the sun, moon, and the small planets : each and all perform their separate parts with perfection.
Many very curious clocks were invented in the 17th century; some actuated by balls running up and down inclined planes, and swallowed up by and traversing the bodies of brazen serpents; or descending in metallic grooves, to be thrown up by Archimedean screws; one was made to go simply by means of its own weight, and by the cord like a lamp to the ceiling: the winding consisted in merely pushing the clock up to the ceiling. In another, the dial formed the brim of a plate in which swam a tortoise, turning with the hour, and indicating it by magnetic attraction,
A clock was made for George the Third, for registering the fluctuations of the barometer by means of a pencil floating upon the surface of the mercury, aud made to traverse a card divided into 365 parts, and turned upon its centre once a year. Mr. Gauntlet, of Middlesborough-on-Tees, has lately introduced something similar, but of much greater simplicity, and which is coming into general use, for registering
and indicating the temperature, for heating and drying purposes. It is in a neat case, with metallic barometer, and eight days' clock. In 1845, Mungo Ponton, F.R.S., &c., read a paper before the Scottish Society of Arts, describing an invention by him for indicating by means of photography the fluctuations of the barometer, which would register every halfhour by
means of clock-work, and which photographed upon prepared paper by means of gaslight the degree of temperature. I consider that this and many other contrivances for the purpose, have been superseded by the one before mentioned. A great many contrivances of clock-work have been invented at various times, for registering the number of paces performed by man or horse; for registering the number of miles travelled by a vehicle; the knots per hour of a ship; the revolutions of a steam engine; the number of impressions produced by a printing press; the revolutions of a turn-style ; tally machines in docks; the fall of rain, &c. Within the last thirty years, great improvements have taken place with regard to electric clocks. I believe there are at the present time some ordinary public clocks at Liverpool, the pendulums of which are all regulated simultaneously from one point by electricity.
Recent intelligence from Japan informs us that clocks are made there, which are equal in finish and performance to those made in this country; but information from that country must be looked upon with suspicion for the present, for I dare say many of you have read some of the glowing descriptions sent by a newspaper correspondent, of the manufactures, &c., of Japan, and the wonderful railway which existed in the interior; and which afterwards turned out to be nothing more than a toy, the production of some ingenious Yankee. Clocks for registering punctuality, and the neglect of it, have of late years been made in various forms. Of this description, Knight's patent may be mentioned, and de
scribed as follows :-An eight days' clock with oak case ; on the lid of the case is a small hopper for the reception of a metal check, on which is denoted by a number or otherwise, the person who puts it in. This check falls through the lid into one of a series of cells or chambers, to which is attached a weight, which being disengaged by the clock beneath it, moves each cell alternately under the hopper. These cells are numbered and arranged according to the clock; so that every check dropped in irdicates by the cell it falls into, the time at which it was dropped in. Another description for this purpose-namely, the peg clock-may be described as follows:-An ordinary clock; in the centre of the large dial is a small brass dial, with pegs inserted in its diameter, pointing towards the centre: this small dial rotates, and the pegs are placed at intervals of halfan-bour, with five minutes range. A lever is so contrived, that when a watchman or other person against whom it is registering, pulls a wire actuating cranks in connection with the lever, one of the projecting pegs is pushed down; and when the clock is inspected it will show whether the watchman has been attentive, and what half-hours and hours he has been negligent. Of course the interval for pulling the wire may be varied as required.
No description here is required of me of those flimsy gimcracks called American clocks. I consider the Dutch clock far superior to the American, as regards durability. But for correct performance, first class workmanship and material, an English clock or watch is not to be surpassed by those of any other nation. Although the price may be rather higher than the gaudy things I have mentioned, an English instrument costs much less in the end.
In consequence of the high prices charged for Turret-clocks, and the very imperfect manner in which they were made, Mr. Richard Roberts of Manchester, of the firm of Messrs. Sharp, Roberts, & Co., in the year 1832, directed his great mechanical ingenuity to bear upon this heretofore much neglected horological machine ; for it must excite considerable surprise that in this progressive age of mechanical invention, the turret-clock, an apparatus of great public utility, should have been nearly in the same condition with regard to improvements, as those made nearly a century back; and even now, there are clocks made by some makers of the class I have mentioned.
The improvements introduced by Mr. Roberts into turret clocks have increased their durability and performing powers. The following are a few of the improvements introduced by Mr. Roberts in the year 1832. The arbour carriers are attached by means of bolts and steel steady pins, in such a manner that any wheel may be taken out without altering any part of the framework. In clocks where a heavy weight is required, there is an arrangement for winding, of such a character that one shaft is entirely dispensed with; the general arrangement of the wheels, &c., in the frame is such, that the clock occupies less space; the suspension of the pedulum is also considerably improved. Mr. Roberts invented a very simple compensating pendulum, the principle of which may be seen in Peel Park Museum, Salford, a sectional model having been presented to that institution by him ; the striking trains are considerably improved; the hammer levers are raised by means of a snail motion, producing a considerable reduction in friction; the pendulum rod is regulated by means of a graduated dial upon the top end of the rod, which is much better than having the regulating nut at the bottom. Mr. Roberts was also the first to introduce cast-iron wheels into turret clocks, although the merit of this invention has been ascribed by a writer in the 8th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica to the Freuch makers.
It would be tedious to mention in detail the numerous improvements introduced into turret clocks by Mr. Roberts, but suffice it to say, that scarcely any part of a turret clock can be mentioned that has not had the ingenuity of Mr. Roberts brought to bear upon it, for in his hands the form of the turret clock has entirely changed from the old, cumbersome, and rudely constructed apparatus, into an elegant, compact, and accurately performing clock. The first clock made on the principle of Mr. Roberts, was fixed over the Atlas Works, Manchester; since that period, a great many have been made by the firm of which he was a partner, and since his retirement from business by Messrs. John Bailey and Co., of the Albion Works, Salford, with whom I am connected. Interested parties have created great opposition to the innovations introduced by Mr. Roberts, into Turret Clocks, but since their first intro. duction they have performed well in this country, and equally so in the climes of the West Indies, Pernambuco, Peru, Spain, Portugal, and Russia, &c.; and a few years ago one was made for the celebrated astronomer, the Right Honourable Earl of Rosse, F.R.S., M.R.A.S., &c. &c., and his Grace recently informed Messrs. Bailey and Co. that it performs very well, “and I believe much better than large clocks usually do.”
It may be worthy of mention that it is dangerous to fix iron cramps or brackets in the masonry of church towers, for iron as it corrodes increases in bulk, and by its expansion may cause considerable damage to the building. As an instance of this, recently the tower of St. Mary's Church, Manchester, was actually rendered so dangerous in consequence of the expansion of some iron cramps, that the spire had to be taken down; consequently, timber ought to be used as much as possible in the construction of supports for the dial work, &c., of turret clooks.