Cuckoo clocks have the same task as any other type of clock. A cuckoo clock marks each half hour and hour with a cuckoo call. The door on the clock opens up and the cute bird moves up and down to sound the correct time. A cuckoo call is made for every hour and always sounds 1 on every half hour. For example, if the time was 12 O’clock then the cuckoo would call twelve times. If the time was 12:30 then the cuckoo will only sound once.
Whenever the bird comes out of its house or at least begins to sing, it usually makes the typical cuckoo noise. The cuckoo is a bird known for its onomatopoeic “cuckoo-cuckoo” verse, so these wall clocks are called cuckoo clocks.
Cuckoo Clocks: Brief Historical Note
Cuckoo clocks are thought to be invented in Switzerland, from the home of the worlds most respected watchmakers. In reality, these beautiful cuckoo clocks are not Swiss, they are German made.
The cuckoo clocks were invented by a German clockmaker, born in the Schwarzwald, Germany’s region, commonly known as the “Black Forest”. It is precisely in the woods of this forest, that a clockmaker heard the cuckoo sound. As it is known to bring good luck when you hear a cuckoo bird, the thought of somehow putting this sound into a clock was conjured. In the 17th century the first cuckoo clock was made by a master clockmaker and this tradition still continues today.
Types of Cuckoo Clocks and Their Working Process
There are several types of Cuckoo Clocks. The least expensive is the one-day non-musical clock, which requires winding once a day. As mechanical clocks have no batteries, the power for the clock comes from the weights which drive the mechanical brass movement. Weights hang from chains and come down when the clock “unwinds”. To wind the clock simply pull the end of the chain to bring the weights back to the top.
If a clock has three weights, then it means it has a music box which is played after the cuckoo call. Each weight has its own purpose. One weight operates the pendulum, the other operates the cuckoo sound and the third operates the music box.
Cuckoo clocks represent a great addition to any household and not only do they look beautiful they are the heartbeat to the home. The cuckoo clocks have very classic designs. The wood is usually carved, featuring animals such as, Bears, Wolves, Birds and Deer. Some of the other styles have carved leaves, flowers and fruit. The cuckoo clocks are all made from Linden wood and are hand-carved.
Some models of cuckoo clocks are limited editions and very collectable. It can be said that owning a German Cuckoo Clock will bring much joy to not only children but also adolescences who have childhood memories of growing up with a cuckoo clock.