What are German cuckoo clocks

Facts about cuckoo clocks

Every tourist knows that cuckoo clocks are typically German. Every German knows that they are a craft tradition from the Black Forest. And maybe even that the largest cuckoo clock in the world can be found in Triberg. But what else do you know about the ornate clocks with their unmistakable KUCKUCK reputation? Does the cuckoo know ...

... that nobody knows the name of the inventor? The roots of the cuckoo clock are in the Black Forest, but nobody knows exactly how deep and since when. To this day there is a dispute about who made the first cuckoo clock and when in the 17th century. Was it Franz Anton Ketterer who let a clock chirp for the first time in Schönwald? Or was it about fourteen kilometers to the south, where in picturesque Neukirch a wooden bird delighted Matthias Dilger and Matthäus Hummel with a loud CUCKOO at lunchtime? Or maybe the first cuckoo clock was created as an experiment by the Triberg brothers Andreas and Christian Herr?

... that the Saxons were nevertheless the first to go? Even if the history of the cuckoo clock is undeniably in the Black Forest, the first official mention of a cuckoo clock comes from Saxony. In 1629 the diplomat and businessman Philipp Hainhofer mentioned them on a trip to Dresden. According to his writings, the clock belonged to the Elector August of Saxony.

... that the cuckoo is in a train station? The shape of the cuckoo clock so typical today comes from Friedrich Eisenlohr. He worked as an architect in the 19th century and designed most of the buildings along the Baden state railway. The shape of the case of the clocks corresponds to the shape of the classic trainman's houses that he saw every day. It was not until the second half of the 19th century that the simple shape was increasingly deviated from and the watchmakers decorated the houses with intricately carved figures and ornaments and weights in the shape of pine cones.

... that the striking mechanism makes the difference? The cuckoo in the striking mechanism is the typical feature of these clocks. Sounds logical, but how do you get this wooden or metal bird to sing? At twelve o'clock a bellows inside the clock pushes air into two organ pipes. The shorter pipe produces the high note and immediately afterwards the longer pipe produces the lower note. In some patented cuckoo clocks only one flute is built in, which makes both tones sound. However, modern cuckoo clocks also use a tape that plays one or more KUCKUCKS every full hour.

... that the cuckoo clock was once a mass product? In the middle of the 18th century, cuckoo clocks were commonplace, just like washing machines are today. Thanks to the use of local wood and standardized production processes for the inland works, the clocks became affordable even for ordinary people. This is one of the reasons why production increased to well over half a million watches per year. Since after a certain time all inhabitants of the Black Forest and their neighbors from surrounding regions were supplied with cuckoo clocks, exports could flourish. Cuckoo clocks also conquered French and English hearts and at the end of the century merchants discovered new markets in the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and even Russia.

... that comics and animations raise false hopes? The representation of cuckoo clocks in comics and cartoons is usually wrong. Almost without exception, colorful cuckoo birds shoot out of the clock house on the hour. In 'normal' cuckoo clocks, however, the birds are not attached to a scissor arm and the mechanism in the clock only ensures that the little door behind which the bird is hiding opens. The fact that the bird at the KUCKUCK opens and closes its beak and possibly also flaps its wings, however, already agrees with the customary clocks.

... that cuckoo clocks can also be totally cool? Offenburg street artist Stefan Strumbel repeatedly transforms the traditional cuckoo clock into modern art. For years he has used the cuckoo clock as one of the many symbols of German traditions in his works of art - one of his clocks in the exhibition “What the fuck is home?” Became famous in one fell swoop when it was given to Karl Lagerfeld, who presented it with a “bouquet of flowers Nice ”compared. To the Baden State Exhibition! For 900 years, an oversized cuckoo clock, of course also made in bright colors, adorned the facade of Karlsruhe Palace.