Grandfather Clocks

The Robert Mann Originals Contemporary Grandfather Clocks For Commissioning

Unfortunately, the design of the grandfather clock also stopped back in 1875. Though there have been variations, the basic shape and ornamentation has stayed the same. During the patent search for the originality of his design, Bob learned that he was the first to completely re-design the grandfather clock in nearly 300 years.

Now there’s nothing wrong with traditional grandfather clocks. They look great in period houses like Victorians, Queen Anne’s or Greek Revivals. But a traditional grandfather clock can look like a battleship sailing in a hot tub in modern custom- designed homes. A Robert Mann Originals contemporary grandfather clock blends in seamlessly with today’s décor and interior design. (Yet it also retains the classic tradition of the original; it’s made by hand by the artist and is still a work of art and functionality.)

At six feet six inches tall, Bob’s clock stands at the requisite height, imparting a sense of spatial magnitude to a room. The smooth contoured case is made of molded glass, ribbed at the sides and arched at the top, framed by exotic woods. It looks like a glass cathedral, suspended in time and space. It’s the first thing you notice when you enter the room, drawing your eye to its elegance and beauty. This effect cannot be achieved by computerized saws and cookie-cutter machines; it takes a true artist using all his creative energies to mold wood and glass by hand into what seems like a living presence in a room. As you can see from the photo*, Robert Mann has created a new work of fine art, timeless in its vision and unique in its design.

*Because of international issues with intellectual property rights, we are showing only one photo of Bob’s patented design on our website. Please contact us for more photos and information.

The Grandfather Clock Story

It was way back in 1582 that Galileo discovered that a pendulum could be used to keep time. But it wasn’t until 1656 that the pendulum principle was put to use by Dutch scientist Christian Huygens, who built the first prototype of the grandfather clock. Then in 1670, Englishman William Clement noticed that a longer pendulum kept better time, so he lengthened the pendulum to over three feet. This of course required a longer case for the clockworks, and so the longcase clock was born. From then on the clocks were variously called longcase clocks, floor clocks, and even coffin clocks because they resembled the shape and size of the simple wooden coffins of that time. So how did the coffin clock become the grandfather clock?

In 1875, American songwriter Henry Clay Work was on a trip when he stopped at the George Hotel in Piercebridge, North Yorkshire, England. In the lobby was a floor clock that didn’t work. The American was told that the hotel used to be managed by two brothers named Jenkins. When the first brother died, the formerly very accurate floor clock started losing time. Clocksmiths were called in, but they couldn’t figure out how to fix the clock. Later on, the surviving brother died at the age of ninety and the floor clock in the lobby suddenly stopped. The new manager left the clock the way it was, with the hands pointing to the time when the last Jenkins died. Work decided to commemorate the clock story by writing a song he titled “My Grandfather’s Clock,” changing the two brothers into Work’s grandfather. The song was a best seller and from that time on, the longcase clock has been known as the grandfather clock.

Ninety years without slumbering
Tic Toc Tic Toc
His life’s seconds numbering
Tic Toc Tic Toc
But it stopped, short... never to go again
When the old man died.

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