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LUDWIG. HAINZ, PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA,  1907, serial number 503

Three train, quarter hour striking using count wheel.  Cast iron, plate and spacer frame. Pinwheel escapement, bolt and shutter maintaining power. One second pendulum with lenticular bob. 28"w x 28"h x 15"d. This clock was rented by Paramount Studios props department in 2007; shipped to the filming location in New Orleans and was featured in the 2009 Oscar nominated film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt.

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The frame ornamentation polished brass wheelwork and beautifully made pilot dial dial make this one of the nicer examples of tower clock from Czechoslovakia. Note the curious way the bushings are attached to the frame. The square bushing holding the main wheel arbor is horizontally split to facilitate the removal of the main wheel and its' barrel without disassembly of the lower frame. In the last photos the fancy weight to the left of the pendulum rod is the maintaining power weight. The main weight is hung to the right, mostly obscured by the stands cross brace.

The clock employs a safety system in the form of a ring at the top of its' pendulum to prevent the pendulum assembly from crashing to the ground in case of a suspension spring failure. The suspension spring safety system was also used in many European tower clocks of all designs. It also employs a crutchless system by which the escapement pallets are directly mounted to the pendulum rod. The reasoning was to eliminate errors due to any 'sloppiness' in the connection of the crutch pin to the pendulum.  The crutchless system was used extensively on the European continent and was almost exclusively used in connection with the pinwheel escapement. This version of crutchless escapement was invented by Auguste-Lucien Verite b. 1832 - 1887. 1. Neither of these features were ever popular in America or England. The only exception I know of is an example by Mathias Schwalbach, although he was a German immigrant and was no doubt influenced by his experience in his native country. Other examples of the ring safety system are on two other German made clocks, Horz 2 and Horz 3 train models. Note the crutchless escapement system unique to the Horz company on the 3 train model.

1. Echappements d'Horloges et de Montres, Charles Gross, pp. 62.

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