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[Tidbits] Clocks...a personal view

Clocks…a personal view.

Many years ago…alas…too many many years ago…I was an avid
Science Fiction lover. You could take Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and
Kafka and Zola…and you could eat them for all I cared…none of them
could hold a candle to an Azimov. I remember one story. A musical
contest was being held on a neutral planet. To the
winner…incredible prizes. And so they came…all the musicians from
all over the Universe…each one outdoing the other…each bringing
in turn tears and laughter to an audience that was privileged enough to
be there to hear them. And then…a last musician came on stage to
play. A humble being from who knew what primitive galaxy…who had
been shipped here gratis at the expense of the Federation because his
planet had not yet developed the technology of Space Travel. He was a
nothing. He was a loser…a “nebbish”…which…in Yiddish means
someone innocuous and ineffectual, a hapless unfortunate. And he came
on stage…and he took out his single stringed instrument… and he
played one note. And the audience tittered at his silliness. But he
won first prize…he won because he used what he had to it’s
fullest…while the others…with all their technology and
sophistication…did not come close to using all they had.

And so how does this relate to clocks you may all well ask? Not a bad
question. Ah…if only I had an answer. Heh heh. Just kidding. This
would be the end of this week’s article if that were the case. Here’s
my view. When man first started creating time pieces…I feel he used
his ingenuity to it’s fullest. From the simple stick partially buried
in the sand and sticking straight up in order to create a shadow as
the sun crossed the sky…to Big Ben…to our government’s atomic
clocks…man continually surpassed himself. For me…it was the early
clocks that grabbed my attention. They were magnificent in their
systems of execution. I bring you all such a one this week. It was a
seventeenth century creation…a gravity powered machine…an Inclined
Plane clock if you will. Here’s how it worked.

Our clock…in the shape of a wheel…was placed at the top end of an
inclined plane and let go. As the clock rolled to the low end of the
plane…under it’s own power…slowly and almost imperceptibly…it
gathered its driving force from its descent. When the clock reached
the bottom of the incline… it was lifted and placed at the top end
again to re-trace its worn path. I do believe our little clock was
German in origin…my source is not clear on that matter.

What is clear however…is the cleverness of the creation. I don’t
think I would have been able to think of this device if I lived back
then. However…if I had had a computer back then…or even a lowly
typewriter…or maybe an old plain pencil…I would have given the
writers of Das Clock und Der Click magazine a run for their money. The
publication of Das Tyler und Das Adam periodical…written by one Herr
Benjamin Mark thank you very much…would have done much justice to
our clock. Lacking that my friends…I have one avenue left. To show
you the Inclined Plane clock of yesteryear.

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the table menu till you get to the box that says
Tidbits…and inside the box where it says Tidbit Graphics…click on
the link that says: Clock…where you will see a rendering of the
Inclined Plane timepiece.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks. Catch you all next
week. Benjamin Mark

TYLER-ADAM CORP.–Jewelry Manufacturers
Tel: 1-800-20-TYLER
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