brightly light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with
aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was
lowered for the last time in 1998.
For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the
New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The new crystal
ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials. The Ball is
a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighs approximately 1,070 pounds. It is
covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that vary in size and range in
length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side.
I had seen the British-made program "Longitude" on A&E (which was probably made
from the book.) I always feel so sorry for inventors whose life's work is put down for
non-scientific reasons. According to Wikipedia, Harrison was originally given only half
of the prize's award money. It took an act by the king to give him almost all of the
award money, but the board had changed the rules and therefore Harrison was never
given the award. No one had ever received the Longitude Prize. Andy Wold
N.B. Andy is referring to Longitude by Dava Sobel. It is the story of John Harrison, a
self-taught clockmaker, who designed the first accurate clock, in response to the British
Longitude Act of 1714, in the reign of Queen Anne. The Act promised a prize of 20,000
English pounds for a solution to the longitude problem to anyone that could provide
longitude to an accuracy of 1/2 degree. http://www.sailtexas.com/long.html
Extra credit: The Colgate Clock - Clarksville, Indiana - I grew up just around the
corner from it and it is billed as "the world's 2nd largest clock". Albert Brashear
I grew up very near to this clock. Whenever we went to Louisville, seeing that clock
meant we were almost there. Another one I saw last summer was supposed to be the
largest free hanging cuckoo clock in the world at St. Goar, Germany.
This was a good one. I am glad that I did it. Delores Martin
The [Independence Hall] clock tower provided a timely clue in the fanciful adventure
movie National Treasures. The image of this clock is widely circulated throughout the
world on the reverse side of the US hundred dollar bill. Mike Dalton
I have used a number of GPS receivers from surveyor grade instruments with base
stations to little handheld units. I used to run geophysical surveys and sometimes we
used GPS to record the locations where we recorded data. I have a handheld Garmin
GPSmap sitting right here on the computer desk. Did you know that timing of the GPS
satellites uses quantum mechanics? Definitely some really cool stuff. By the way, I
have a brother-in-law that is a horologist - he cleans and repairs clocks. I should send
him a link to your website. John Chulick
While working in Germany in 1994, I was able to go to Munich and Prague and have
seen those clocks. Gary Sterne
There are many other very famous clocks throughout the world. I think I like The
Peace Clock in Ottawa Canada, mostly because of its name. Margaret Waterman
Just a note though, I did start hearing the tune "it's a small world after all," playing in
my head! Who can forget that clock. Fred Stuart
N.B: Fred is referring to the Sogo Dept Store Clock featured in
http://forensicgenealogy.info/contest_62_results.html.(Photo submitted by Judy Pfaff).
It was great fun to see how things would go when we changed to the 21st century, and
I watched all the television coverage from around the world, it was one of the best
New Year's Eves I have ever had. I'm very easily amused. Kelly Fetherlin
Yeh, well, [The Santa Barbara Courthouse Clock] "my" local famous clock anyhow.
It's well-known because the Courthouse is. (supposedly one of the prettiest
courthouses in the country... but that depends on whom you might ask. Try me. I'll
agree!) Marjorie Wilser
The Prague Astronomical Clock or Prague Orloj is a medieval
astronomical clock located in Prague, the capital of the Czech
Republic, at 50°5′13.23″N, 14°25′15.30″E. The Orloj is mounted
on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town
Square and is a popular tourist attraction.
The Orloj is composed of three main components: the astronomical
dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and
displaying various astronomical details; "The Walk of the Apostles",
a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other
moving sculptures; and a calendar dial with medallions representing
The oldest part of the Orloj, the mechanical clock and astronomical
dial, dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš
of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, the latter a professor of mathematics and
astronomy at Charles University. The Prague Orloj was one of a
number of complex astronomical clocks designed and constructed
#1. Torre dell'orologio (St. Mark's Clock)
St. Mark's Square, Venice, Italy
#2. Jens Olsen's World Clock or Verdensur
Copenhagen City Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark
#3. Rathaus Glockenspiel
Marienplatz, Munich, Germany
#4. The Clock Tower aka "Big Ben"
Houses of Parliament Building, Westminster, London, England
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
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|Congratulations to Our Winners
Sharon Martin Edee Scott
Dave Richardson Richard Murray
Delores Martin Mike Dalton
Leita Smith Spoto Ryan Selby
Jim Kiser Dennis Brann
John Roberts Robert Craig
Bob McKenna Suzan Farris
Judy Pfaff Stan Read
Anna Farris Betty Johnson
Karen Petrus Dave Doucette
Jessica Dreeson John Chulick
Mark Brzys Linda Williams
Elaine C. Hebert Mary Fraser
Gary Stern Pinky Palladino
Andy E. Wold Ton Tullis
Kelly Fetherlin Mike Sierczewski
M. L. Wilser Debi Stewart
Diane Wilson Chris Gotovac
Briana Kew Jinny Colins
Mary South Fred Stuart
Margaret Waterman Don Schulteis
Sherry Fenley Diane Burkett
Skip Brott Albert Brashear
Dawn Carlile Margaret English Dave Thompson
|Answers to Quiz #127 - September 23, 2007
|1. Where are these four famous clocks located?
2. What are their names?
Extra Points: Name another famous clock and its location.
|Comments from Our Readers
|The Colgate Clock, located at a Colgate-Palmolive factory
in Clarksville, Indiana, is the second largest clock in the
world. It was first illuminated in Clarksville on November
Designed by Colgate engineer Warren Day and constructed
by the Seth Thomas Clock Company for the centennial of
the Colgate Company in 1906, the clock served as the
original Colgate Clock at Colgate-Palmolive facilities in
Jersey City, New Jersey before it was replaced with a
larger version, now the first largest clock in the world.
during the 14th and 15th centuries, soon after the invention of the mechanical clock.
Other examples were built at Norwich, St Albans, Wells, Lund, Strasbourg, and Padua.
Later, presumably around 1490, the calendar dial was added and clock facade
decorated with gothic sculptures. The Orloj stopped working many times in the
centuries after 1552, and was repaired many times. In the 17th century moving statues
were added, and figures of the Apostles were added after major repair in 1865-1866.
Jens Olsen's World Clock or Verdensur is
an advanced astronomical clock which is
displayed in Copenhagen City Hall.
The clock was designed and calculated by
Jens Olsen who was a skilled locksmith,
but later learned the trade of clockmaking.
He also took part at the beginning of the
clock's construction, but died 10 years
before it was completed.
The clock consists of 12 movements
which together have over 14,000 parts.
The clock is mechanical and must be
wound once a week. Displays include
lunar and solar eclipses, positions of the
stellar bodies, and a perpetual calendar, in
addition to the time. The fastest gear
completes a revolution each ten seconds,
and the slowest will have completed a full
circuit every 25,753 years.
The calculations for the clock were made
up until 1928, after which they were
supervised by the astronomer Professor Elis Strömgren. The drawings for the clock
were made between 1934 and 1936, and the actual production of the clock took place
from 1943 until 1955.In autumn 1955, all 15,448 individual parts of the clock were at
last complete. After 50 years in the mind and 12 in the making, the clock was started
on December 15, 1955 by King Frederick IX and Jens Olsen's youngest grandchild
To learn about what each dial on the clock represents, click here.
|The clock in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria was created for the
1893 Chicago World's Fair. Nine feet tall, the clock weighs two tons.
Around the base of the clock are likenesses of Cleveland, Harrison,
Washington, Grant, Lincoln, Franklin, Jackson and Queen Victoria.
Every quarter hour, the clock sounds the Westminster Chimes.
|#1 - Torre dell'orologio, Venice, Italy
|#2 - Jens Olsen's World Clock, Copenhagen, Denmark
|The dial with its
rediscovered in 1896.
|The Moors, which strike
|St. Mark's Clock, Venice, Italy
|The procession of the
Magi, which takes
place hourly only on 15
days per year.
St Mark's Clock is the clock housed in the
St Mark's Clocktower, on St Mark's
Square in Venice, adjoining the Procuratie
Vecchie. The first clock housed in the
tower was built and installed by Gian
Paulo and Gian Carlo Rainieri, father and
son, between 1496 and 1499, and was
one of a number of large public
astronomical clocks erected throughout
Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries.
In 1493, the Venetian Republic
commissioned Giaovan Paulo Rainieri to
make a clock movement. He had already
constructed clocks in his home town of
Reggio Emilia in 1481. Construction of
the tower started in 1496, and by December 1497 the great
bell had been completed by Simone Camponato and
installed on the top, with the two bronze figures of
shepherds, each 2.5m high, who hit the bell with hammers.
These figures are referred to as Moors because of the dark
colour of the bronze patina. Paulo died in 1498 and his son
Gian Carlo completed the work.
The clock was inaugurated on February 1, 1497. Driven by
weights, with a foliot escapement, the clock controlled both
the bell-ringing shepherds on the tower, who would have
rung the bell between 1 and 24 times to sound the Italian
hours, and a carousel which showed the procession of the
Magi, preceded by an angel blowing a trumpet.
The dial was a concentric-ring astronomical clock similar
to the Padua clock of 1434, rather than the astrolabe type
with offset zodiac dial, as found at Prague. The 24 hours of
the day were marked, in Roman numerals, around the edge,
with I at the right-hand side, and marked Italian hours. The
relative positions of five planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars,
Venus, and Mercury) were shown, as were the moon's
phases and the position of the Sun in the zodiac. The four
circular windows around the dial may have contained
astrolabe-type devices or orreries.
The Venetian Government paid Raineri and his family to live in
the Clock Tower and maintain the clock in good order. He
was the first clock-keeper or 'temperatore', and this post
continued to be filled, often by different generations of the
same family, until 1998.
Repairs and restorations have been frequent. In 1550 there
were accusations that some of the gears had been stolen and
The last clock temperatore, Alberto Peratoner, who lived in
the Tower, wrote a critique illustrating the errors made during
the [most recent] repair work. He also made a website on the
Clock: L'Orologio della Torre di San Marco in Venezia.
|#4 - Big Ben, Westminster, London, England
|#3 - Rathaus Glockenspiel, Marianplatz, Munich, Germany
The Clock Tower is the world's largest
four-faced, chiming turret clock. The
structure is situated at the north-eastern
end of the Houses of Parliament building in
Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It
is often mistakenly called "Big Ben" —
which is actually the main bell housed
within the Clock Tower. The Clock
Tower has also been referred to as St
Stephen's Tower or The Tower of Big Ben
or Big Tom. However, St Stephen's
Tower is actually towards the middle of
the Palace, and is the main point of entry
for attendees of debates and committees.
The Peace Tower is part of the Canadian Parliament
Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. It is joined to the Centre
Block, which contains the House of Commons and
Senate chambers. The Peace Tower is the tallest and
most prominent symbol of the Canadian Parliament
Buildings. It replaced the 55-metre (180 foot) Victoria
Tower, which burned down in the 1916 Parliament Hill
fire. The current tower is 92.2 metres tall (300 feet).
Built to commemorate the end of the First World War,
the foundation stone was laid by His Royal Highness
Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) in
1919, during his wider royal tour of Canada. The Tower
contains the Books of Remembrance, listing all the
Canadians who died in service of Canada or allied
countries in foreign wars. The wars represented are: the
Nile Expedition and Boer (South African) War, the First
World War, the Second World War, and the Korean
War. The Newfoundland Book of Remembrance was
added to the Memorial Chamber after Newfoundland
entered Confederation in 1949. In 2005 a book was
added with the names of all Canadians who lost their
lives as a result of service in the Canadian Forces since
1947 (excluding deaths attributable to the Korean War).
A book commemorating the Canadian merchant seamen
who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars
was unveiled in 1997 — these are the only non-military
names found in the chamber. Pages are turned
according to a perpetual calendar during a ceremony
every day at 11 o'clock. The books are housed in the Memorial Chamber, a room
originally built to chronicle the events of the First World War, which has been modified
to represent a broad overview of Canadian armed conflict, both foreign and domestic,
since Confederation in 1867. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_tower
St Peters church in Zurich
boasts the largest clock
face in Europe, at 28 feet
|Probably the accurate clock in the world is the
NIST-F1, or the Cesium Fountain Atomic
Clock. It is the primary time and frequency
standard for the United States and the World.
It is in the National Institue of Standards and
Technology (NIST) Laboratories, in Boulder,
Colorado. Calibrated last in the summer of
2005, the uncertainty of the accuracy of the
clock was reduced to about 5 x 10 to -16
power; which means that it would neither
loose nor gain a second in more that 60 million
years! All that and they do not even have to
wind it! Bob McKenna
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock conveys how
close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative midnight--
and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First
and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass
climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life
sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.
|Zeitglockenturm, Bern, Switzerland
The Clock Tower (Zeitglockenturm)
was Bern's first western city gate (1191 -
1256) and formed the boundary of the
first city extension. Today it is one of
Bern's most important sights. The ornate
astronomical calendar clock was created
The tower clock was the city's main
clock and therefore had an authoritative
function in Bern. It was from there that
The Eastgate Clock is a turret clock built
above the Eastgate of the ancient walls of
Chester, north-west England. Although the
gate was built in medieval times, the clock
wasn't added until the Victorian era to
celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.
The clock is considered a landmark of
Chester, and is the second most photographed
timepiece in the United Kingdom after the
Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster,
popularly known as Big Ben.
|The World Time Clock is one of the Alexanderplatz's
[Berlin's] most well-known features. It was constructed
in 1969 as part of the square's redevelopment and has
become a popular meeting point.
Weighing 16 tonnes and 10 metres tall, it features a
revolving cylinder with the world's 24 time zones
bearing the names of major cities in each zone. The
mechanism constructed in a way which enables the
current time in each zone to be read.
The clock is topped by a simplified model of the solar system,
which revolves once a minute.
"When in Georgia's
your watch with the
Old Town Clock.
Everyone else does,
because if your timing
is different, you're
likely to be late or
early as the case may
As global leader of the bizarre world of
upscale development, Dubai has yet
another feat of both engineering and
excess in the works. The latest spire to be
added to the desert landscape will be the
Time Residences building in the City of
Arabia, a 200-unit apartment tower - that
will rotate! The complex will turn a full
360 degrees over the course of a week,
utilizing stored solar energy to power the
Sitting on a high-tech bearing system, the 80,000 ton building will rotate using solar
power that will be stored and distributed from a power plant in the base of the building.
In addition to the 5mm/second rotation, it will also feature a timepiece down its length,
allowing onlookers to gauge the hour by studying the constantly-changing façade
Although this is one more example of Dubai pushing extravagance for extravagance’s
sake, we are somewhat consoled that the uniqueness of the project is derived from a
renewable energy source; it’s just too bad that sustainable power will be wasted on
such a superfluous feature. The $109 million dollar project is expected to start in June
|How They Solved the Puzzle
Each year, millions of eyes from all over
the world are focused on the sparkling
Waterford Crystal Times Square New
Year's Eve Ball. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball
begins its descent as millions of voices
unite to count down the final seconds of
the year, and celebrate the beginning of a
new year full of hopes, challenges,
changes and dreams.
In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with
an aluminum ball weighing a mere 150
pounds. This aluminum Ball remained
unchanged until the 1980s, when red light
bulbs and the addition of a green stem
converted the Ball into an apple for the "I
Love New York" marketing campaign
from 1981 until 1988. After seven years,
the traditional Ball with white light bulbs
and without the green stem returned to
The tower was raised as a part of Charles Barry's design
for a new palace, after the old Palace of Westminster
was destroyed by fire on the night of 16 October 1834.
The tower is designed in the Victorian Gothic style, and
is 96.3 metres (315.9 ft) high. The first 61 metres (200
ft) of the structure is the Clock Tower, consisting of
brickwork with stone cladding; the remainder of the
tower's height is a framed spire of cast iron. The tower
is founded on a 15 metres (49 ft) square raft, made of 3
metres (10 ft) thick concrete, at a depth of 7 metres (23
ft) below ground level. The four clock faces are 55
metres (180 ft) above ground. The interior volume of the
tower is 4,650 cubic metres (164,200 cubic feet).
Due to ground conditions present since construction, the
|The World Clock was the toughest to
figure out. I used the fact that the signs on
the walls showed English, German, and
French translations. Since Russian wasnt
included and the script didnt look like
Cyrillic, I assumed it had to be in a western
Europe country other than Britian,
Germany, or France. Then I made out the
name Olsen on one of the signs - that led
me to the answer. John Chulick
Big Ben was recognizable enough, but I
searched for it online to be certain I was
right. For the Venitian clock, I
concentrated on the Zodiac symbols. I
searched for "Zodiac" and "clock" and
found myself in a "Buy stock photos of
foreign sites" webpage. The category was
"large clocks," so I surfed through them
until I found the Venetian and Munich
The Olsen clock was tough. The photo's
resolution wasn't good enough to read
"Jens Olsen" on the wall poster. I could
determine that the first name was short and
started with a "J." The surname began
with a curved letter like "C." I found
clockmaker John Clark and tried to make it
fit. No luck. I then tried searching on
collections of nouns and adjectives -clock,
weights, brass, dial, planets, lunar, and
"glass case." Even this was too general.
Recognizing that this was not your average
clock, I searched on "Horology"
(timekeeping) and "Masterpiece." Then I
had the answer in minutes. John Roberts
The most challenging one was #2. I was
stumped by it for a while. Then I brought
the image into Photoshop and sharpened it
some. I noticed the picture on the wall on
the left, and that it had a name at the top.
It was hard to make out, but I guessed the
last name might say Olsen. Assuming that
was the name of the clockmaker, I did a
search on "Olsen clockmaker", and found
it in Wikipedia. Tom Tullis
The Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich is the most famous
glockenspiel in the world, and a major tourist attraction in
Munich. Part of the second construction phase of the New
Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. (as
well as 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. in summer) it chimes and
re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the
bemusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It
consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. The top half of
the Glockenspiel tells the story of the marriage of the local
Duke Wilhelm V (who also founded the world famous
Hofbräuhaus) to Renata of Lothringen.
In honour of the happy couple there is a joust with life-sized
knights on horseback representing Bavaria (in white and
blue) and Lothringen (in red and white). The Bavarian
knight wins every time of course. This is then followed by
the bottom half and second story: Schäfflerstanz (the coopers' dance). In the 16th
century a particularly bad period of the plague hit town and everyone went into hiding.
The first people to dare back onto the streets were barrel makers who performed a big
dance to show that it was okay to come out again. The Duke of Bavaria was so happy
about this that he actually ordered them to re-enact this every seven years, a custom
which continues to this day. The dance can be seen during Fasching (German Carnival)
but the next one is not until 2012. The whole show lasts somewhere between 12 and 15
minutes long depending on which tune it plays that day. At the very end a very small
golden bird at the top of the Glockenspiel chirps three times, marking the end of
|Big Ben at Dusk with
London Eye in the
|Clock Tower, Houses of Parliament
Westminster, London, England
|Cleaning the Face of Big Ben
|tower leans slightly to the north-west, by roughly 220
millimetres (8.66 in) at the clock face, giving an
inclination of approximately 1/250. Due to thermal
effects it oscillates annually by a few millimetres east and
The clock faces were once large enough to allow the Clock
Tower to be the largest four-faced clock in the world, but
have since been outdone by the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The builders of the Allen-Bradley
Clock Tower did not add chimes to the clock, so the Great
Clock of Westminster still holds the title of the "world's
largest four-faced chiming clock." The clock mechanism
itself was completed by 1854, but the tower was not fully
constructed until four years later in 1858.
|The clock in the Café des
Hauteurs in the Musee
d'Orsay in Paris. The clock
overlooks the Seine.
Submitted by Tom Tullis.
|The flower clock in the
Jardin Anglais in Geneva.
(The water-spout in the
background is a clue that
Submitted by Tom Tullis.