Every child in high school learns that a pendulum’s rate of swing (period) is proportional to its length. This is the only factor that affects the period. Galileo discovered this in 1582.
Today’s grandfather clocks are the descendents of William Clement’s clock from 1670. He had discovered that a longer pendulum meant more accurate timekeeping. The long pendulum had to be enclosed to prevent children (and adults) playing with it. Hence the long-case clock was invented. The name Grandfather Clock comes from Henry Work’s 1875 song, “My Grandfather’s Clock.”
If your parents or grandparents had a grandfather clock you are certain to remember it well. Its sounding of every hour with a tremendously resonant goooooonnnngg, the way it kept you awake all night until you were used to it, the daily winding ritual, its sheer presence. Memories of these fantastic historical clocks are held precious by more than one generation.
Modern homes are often too small to accommodate a grandfather clock easily, but it is worth the effort necessary to fit one in. It makes a much more attractive feature than a 45 inch television, and homes were never designed to accommodate one of those either.
Some people buy one to remind them of their youth, or perhaps, to give their children similar fantastic memories of the sight, sound and presence of this amazing timepiece.
You can build your own grandfather, or long case, clock from plans or kits. The kits come in a variety of finishes, from blond pine to darkest rosewood. The plans will include cutting lists for timber that is required.
The one thing you absolutely must do before you buy a clock, or kit is to listen to its chimes. If you cannot find a clock made from the kit you have chosen, then choose another kit. Clocks made from kits and plans will vary in tone, because of differences in resonance qualities caused by differing woods and construction skill levels.
You are going to live with this for a many years; you have to like the sound of your clock.