Carriage Clocks: Still Popular After More than a Century

Carriage Clocks: Still Popular After More than a Century
by Albert Kessnerr

The Carriage Clock gets its name because it was created to be used by people traveling by carriage. As you might surmise, this was a bit of a rigorous transportation method. As a result, the clock had to be tough enough to handle the rocky ride, while still keeping good time.

The Carriage Clock is not a large clock but the unique characteristic of this clock is the handle on the top. This allows the clock to be moved from place to place. They were produced from metal, normally brass. Glass covered the front of the clock for extra protection.

A Short History of the Carriage Clock

The Carriage Clock became trendy as a result of advances in the technology of clock making in the 19th century. Owning one was fashionable for the upper class. They were a common component of luggage for travel, and the train was also a widely used mode of transportation in this era. This was another rocky method of transportation for which the clock proved useful. Carriage Clocks during this period most often were housed in a leather travel case.

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Starting about the 1830s hundreds of these clocks were made and exported. They ended up in all parts of the world. The simple clock was a very well constructed clock with black hands and Roman numerals. The face was white enamel which made it easy to tell time. During this time the lighting was mostly candles so the use of the white enamel made the face of the clock very visible.

Love of the Carriage Clock

The Carriage Clock continues to be one of the most loved clocks of all time. Its popularity has continued to grow throughout the years, and many people proudly display them on mantel tops and book shelves in their homes. As little as 30 or 40 years ago it was easy enough to find an original clock, but they are becoming rarer now that they are a collector’s item. Replicas of the original Carriage Clock are available, and many of these can hardly be distinguished from the real thing.

A number of companies sell Carriage Clock replicas that are exactly like the original. These clocks have the same white enamel face and black Roman numerals that inspire memories of a bygone era. This style of Carriage Clock is called an Anglaise, and was created by the French as a nod to English tastes. Most replicas are of this type, owing to the style’s widespread popularity.

Carriage Clocks are still popular, more than a hundred years after they were introduced. Clock hunters eagerly scour estate sales and antique shops in search of an original clock. Even now, these clocks are considered a sign of elegance and good taste. When the search for an authentic clock comes up empty, many people choose to purchase a replica that closely matches the original. This clock has been incredibly popular, in spite of the passing of more than a century, and it is likely to remain popular into the foreseeable future.

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