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A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more (often four) clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. Some clock towers are not true clock towers having had their clock faces added to an already existing building. These 'false' clock towers should not be confused with true clock towers but are still significant buildings.

The mechanism inside the tower is known as a turret clock. It often marks the hour (and sometimes segments of an hour) by sounding large bells or chimes, sometimes playing simple musical phrases or tunes.

Contents

Landmarks

Some clock towers are famous landmarks. Five of the best-known are the Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster, which houses the Great Bell (generally known as Big Ben) in London, the Rajabai Tower in Mumbai, the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Campanile in Venice, Italy, Zytglogge clock tower in the Old city of Berne, Switzerland.[1]

The famous clock tower of Zytglogge, Berne, Switzerland

On New Year's Eve 2004 four 6.3-metre clock faces were added to the top of the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science building in Warsaw, Poland. This building is 231 m (757 ft) tall and is the second tallest 'false' clock tower in the world .[2] The NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building is 240 meters (787 feet) high and is the tallest 'false' clock tower in the world. The Allen-Bradley Clock Tower is the tallest non-chiming four faced false clock tower in the world.

History

Although clock towers are today mostly admired for their aesthetics, they once served an important purpose. Before the middle of the twentieth century, most people did not have watches, and prior to the 18th century even home clocks were rare. The first clocks didn't have faces, but were solely striking clocks, which sounded bells to call the surrounding community to prayer. They were therefore placed in towers so the bells would be audible for a long distance. Clock towers were placed near the centres of towns and were often the tallest structures there. As clock towers became more common, the designers realized that a dial on the outside of the tower would allow the townspeople to read the time whenever they wanted.

The use of clock towers dates back to the antiquity. The earliest clock tower was the Tower of the Winds in Athens which featured eight sundials. In its interior, there was also a water clock (or clepsydra), driven by water coming down from the Acropolis.[3] A striking clock tower was constructed many centuries later in 1154 near the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, by the Arab engineer al-Kaysarani.[4] In England, a clock was put up in a clock tower, the medieval precursor to Big Ben, at Westminster, in 1288;[5][6] and in 1292 a clock was put up in Canterbury Cathedral.[5] The oldest surviving clock tower in Europe is the Salisbury cathedral clock, completed in 1306; and another clock put up at St. Albans, in 1326, 'showed various astronomical phenomena'.[5]

Cutaway drawing of a clock tower, showing the clock movement, face, bell, driving weights, and lines linking them.

JB Joyce & Co claims to be the world's oldest tower clock maker (still in operation).[7] The company began life in 1690 and still manufactures clocks not far from its original premises in Whitchurch, Shropshire. Today it is a part of the Smith of Derby Group, started in 1856, which claims to be the largest tower clock manufacturer in the world. The company has manufactured tower clocks for St Paul's Cathedral in London and the Shanghai Customs building in China.

Line (mains) synchronous tower clocks were introduced in the United States in the 1920s by Telechron, now Electric Time Company of Medfield, Massachusetts. Electric Time Company is now the largest tower clock manufacturer in the world.

List of Clock towers

Africa

Asia
Hong Kong

India

Indonesia

Israel

Lebanon

  • American University of Beirut's College Hall Clock, Beirut
  • Place D'Etoile

Malaysia

Pakistan

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Myanmar

United Arab Emirates

America
Barbados

Canada

Mexico

United States

Argentina

Others in the Americas

Europe

Australia

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "UK Parliament - Big Ben:". http://www.parliament.uk/bigben/. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  2. ^ History of PKiN in a nutshell.
  3. ^ Joseph V. Noble; Derek J. de Solla Price: The Water Clock in the Tower of the Winds, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 72, No. 4 (1968), pp. 345-355 (353)
  4. ^ Abdel Aziz al-Jaraki (2007), When Ridhwan al-Sa’ati Anteceded Big Ben by More than Six Centuries, Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.
  5. ^ a b c Clocks, Encyclopaedia Britannica 5, 835 (1951).
  6. ^ Frederick Tupper, Jr., 'Anglo-Saxon Dæg-Mæl', Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol. 10, No. 2 (1895), p. 130, citing Archæologia, v, 416.
  7. ^ JB Joyce

External links

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A clock tower is a tower specifically built with one or more (often four) clock faces. Clock towers can be either freestanding or part of a church or municipal building such as a town hall. Some clock towers are not true clock towers having had their clock faces added to an already existing building. These 'false' clock towers should not be confused with true clock towers but are still significant buildings.

The mechanism inside the tower is known as a turret clock. It often marks the hour (and sometimes segments of an hour) by sounding large bells or chimes, sometimes playing simple musical phrases or tunes.

Contents

Landmarks

[[File:|thumb|220px|right|The famous clock tower of Zytglogge, Bern, Switzerland ]] Some clock towers are famous landmarks. Five of the best-known are the Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster, which houses the Great Bell (generally known as Big Ben) in London, the Rajabai Tower in Mumbai, the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin, the Torre dell'Orologio in the Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy, Zytglogge clock tower in the Old city of Bern, Switzerland.[1]

On New Year's Eve 2004 four 6.3-metre clock faces were added to the top of the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science building in Warsaw, Poland. This building is 231 m (757 ft) tall and is the second tallest 'false' clock tower in the world .[2] The NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building is 240 meters (787 feet) high and is the tallest 'false' clock tower in the world. The Allen-Bradley Clock Tower is the tallest non-chiming four faced false clock tower in the world.

History

Although clock towers are today mostly admired for their aesthetics, they once served an important purpose. Before the middle of the twentieth century, most people did not have watches, and prior to the 18th century even home clocks were rare. The first clocks didn't have faces, but were solely striking clocks, which sounded bells to call the surrounding community to prayer. They were therefore placed in towers so the bells would be audible for a long distance. Clock towers were placed near the centres of towns and were often the tallest structures there. As clock towers became more common, the designers realized that a dial on the outside of the tower would allow the townspeople to read the time whenever they wanted.

The use of clock towers dates back to the antiquity. The earliest clock tower was the Tower of the Winds in Athens which featured eight sundials. In its interior, there was also a water clock (or clepsydra), driven by water coming down from the Acropolis.[3] A striking clock tower was constructed many centuries later in 1154 near the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, by the Arab engineer al-Kaysarani.[citation needed] In England, a clock was put up in a clock tower, the medieval precursor to Big Ben, at Westminster, in 1288;[4][5] and in 1292 a clock was put up in Canterbury Cathedral.[4] The oldest surviving clock tower in Europe is the Salisbury cathedral clock, completed in 1306; and another clock put up at St. Albans, in 1326, 'showed various astronomical phenomena'.[4]

JB Joyce & Co claims to be the world's oldest tower clock maker (still in operation).[6] The company began life in 1690 and still manufactures clocks not far from its original premises in Whitchurch, Shropshire. Today it is a part of the Smith of Derby Group, started in 1856, which claims to be the largest tower clock manufacturer in the world. The company has manufactured tower clocks for St Paul's Cathedral in London and the Shanghai Customs building in China.

Line (mains) synchronous tower clocks were introduced in the United States in the 1920s by Telechron, now Electric Time Company of Medfield, Massachusetts. Electric Time Company is now the largest tower clock manufacturer in the world.

List of Clock towers

Africa

Americas

Argentina

Aruba

Barbados

Brazil

Canada

Mexico

Peru

United States

[[File:|thumb|right|220px|The Ferry Terminal Clock Tower, Hoboken, New Jersey.]]

Asia
Hong Kong

India

Indonesia

Israel

Lebanon

  • American University of Beirut's College Hall Clock, Beirut
  • Place D'Etoile

Malaysia

Pakistan

Philippines

Singapore

Sri Lanka

Myanmar

Saudi Arabia

United Arab Emirates

Europe [[File:|thumb|right|220px| On New Year's Eve 2004 four 6.3-metre clock faces were added to the top of the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science building in Warsaw, Poland. This building is 231 m (757 ft) tall and is the second tallest 'false' clock tower in the world .[7]]]

Albania

Denmark

Greece

Finland

Poland

Romania

Russia

Serbia

File:Kralj
The Clock Gate or sahat kula (clock tower) at the fortress wall of Kalemegdan, Belgrade, Serbia.

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom

Australia

See also

References

  1. ^ "UK Parliament - Big Ben:". http://www.parliament.uk/bigben/. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  2. ^ History of PKiN in a nutshell.
  3. ^ Joseph V. Noble; Derek J. de Solla Price: The Water Clock in the Tower of the Winds, American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 72, No. 4 (1968), pp. 345-355 (353)
  4. ^ a b c Clocks, Encyclopaedia Britannica 5, 835 (1951).
  5. ^ Frederick Tupper, Jr., 'Anglo-Saxon Dæg-Mæl', Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, Vol. 10, No. 2 (1895), p. 130, citing Archæologia, v, 416.
  6. ^ JB Joyce
  7. ^ History of PKiN in a nutshell.

External links


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