The first mechanical clocks, which did not have pendulums were developed at the end of the thirteenth century, probably by monks in order to tell them when it was time to attend their offices, or hours of worship. These very first mechanical clocks did not have dials or any way to show the time. They were usually placed in bell towers to strike the church bells.
It was the astronomer Galileo who designed the first pendulum clock in 1640. About 1656 the very first wall clocks began to be used and were called ‘wags-on-the-wall’ because they were mounted high on the wall in order to have room for their long pendulums. Wag-on-the-wall clocks were first made in the United State in the late 1700’s.
In the U.S., most of the early wall clocks were made in Connecticut. They were used in schools, churches and offices. In 1845, large eight-day clocks were first manufactured and they became very popular because of their large faces and easy to read dials.
One type of extremely accurate clock was called the regulator for the fact that the other clocks could be set by their time, which was extremely accurate. ‘Railroad time’ which many towns set their clocks by due to its accuracy was accurate because of the regulator clocks that the railroads used. Later on, this term was applied generically to wall clocks without regard to their accuracy.
From around 1895 to 1900, the company of Edward Baird from Plattsburgh, NY and the Sidney Advertiser made advertising clocks for various businesses. If you find a clock named Queen Ann, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Charlotte, Queen Jane, Queen Isabelle, Queen Mab, Queen Victoria or Queen Mary, You have probably found a clock manufactured by the Ansonia Clock Company. The clocks were first available in the early 1900’s and had wood cases of black walnut, oak or mahogany.