Tompion long case clock, c 1700.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This long case clock in a walnut case was made by Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), one of the finest English clockmakers. Long case clocks were first made in England about 1660, soon after the pendulum was applied to clockwork. The early pendulums were short and only the driving wights hung down within the case, but after 1671 a seconds pendulums a little over three feet long was usually employed and this was also swung in the long case. By this date, the dials of longcase clocks had become standardised in general layout, with concentric hour and minute hands, a smaller seconds dial above the centre of the main dial, and an aperture below the centre through which the day of the month could be seen. The clock runs for eight days after each winding.