How Did the Grandfather Clock Get Its Name?
The tall grandfather clock got its name from the old ballad “My Grandfather’s Clock,” which was popular in the 1880s. Written by Henry C. Work, the song describes a clock that stood 90 years on the floor.
It had been purchased on the day grandfather was born, and it stopped ticking on the day he died.
Henry C. Work’s song lives on. It was recorded multiple times in the 20th century, and as recently as 2004 by the R & B act Boys II Men. It’s a song that, like grandfather clocks, keeps on ticking.
The previous term for “grandfather clock”, the rather un-catchy “longcase clock”, was dropped almost immediately by the public in favor of the new moniker for the clocks.
The grandfather clock is a kind of old-fashioned weight and pendulum clock. These clocks are powered by the gradual falling of a weight, which is hung from a long cord.
As the long pendulum swings back and forth, it regulates the speed at which the hands move.