Coronavirus (COVID-19) While museums are closed, the Science and Society Picture Library prints site is fully operational and we have added an FAQ page here.

Iron chamber clock, probably German, 16th century.

Iron chamber clock, probably German, 16th century.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm


This clock is a smaller version of the type of large striking clocks used in bell-towers and turrets from the beginning of the 14th century. Probably made by a German blacksmith, it is constructed entirely of iron and held together with wedges. The clock has a single hour-hand as was usual at this time; minute-hands were not generally added until the advent of the pendulum in 1656 improved time-keeping sufficiently to make the indications of such a hand of some value. The timekeeping is controlled by a verge escapement and foliot balance, and the striking mechanism is in the shape of a bell hammer on the outside of the bell, which delivers the blow by its own weight.

Image Details

Image Ref.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

buy a print

Select size
Select finish
How many prints?

buy a framed print

buy a canvas

buy a framed canvas