Diagram of a pendulum clock, 1673.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Diagram of a pendulum clock, 1673.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Illustrated plate from 'Horologium Oscillatorium' (1673) by Christiaan Huygens, showing part of the mechanism of a pendulum clock. Huygens (1629-1693), a Dutch physicist, designed the first clock controlled by the motion of a pendulum. He based his clock on the observations made by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) in 1583, when he first noted the constancy of a pendulum's period by comparing the movement of a swinging lamp in Pisa Cathedral with his pulse rate.

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