Clocks and Time Sync

I find past technology and innovations fascinating. A lot of past technology provides the foundation for what we have now or has influenced it.

Self Winding Clocks

Background on Clocks from Self Winding Clock Company

  • Back in a time where the telegraph system was operational and time synchronization was important for people in a variety of activities the Self Winding Clock (SWC) was a thing.
  • The SWC winds the spring hourly using 3 Volts from batteries. This happens by a pair of solenoids and a chattering arm that ratches the spring tighter.
  • The SWC also has a second pair of solenoids used once per day at noon when telegraph signals stopped for the daily clock sync pusle. This is essentially the clocks listening to a master clock circuit/signal.
  • If the clock is within +/- 2 minutes of the hour when the time sync signal happens it will be electromechanically corrected to the hour. You actually will see the minute hand move!
  • The clock is mechanically locked out by a lever arm and can't sync if it is too far off from the hour mark when that sync signal happens.
  • Ever have a pendulum clock? It is a lesson in patience, precision, and minor adjustments of the pendulum weight to tune it faster or slower to keep time.
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