Last updated: December 15, T ick tock, tick tock—that's the sound we think of when we think of clocks, even though the vast majority of modern timekeepers make hardly any sound at all. Not so long ago, virtually every clock and watch made a tick-tock noise because it was completely mechanical rather than electrical or electronic. Instead of your clock being powered by a battery , you wound it up with a key and there was a long swinging rod inside, called a pendulum , that made sure the whirring gears kept good time. So how did these old-fashioned pendulum clocks actually work?
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Often a pendulum clock will stop when it has been moved, bumped or even a too aggressive push to restart a pendulum. It is not broken, only out of beat. This only takes a few minutes to readjust and all pendulum clock owners should learn how as this will happen eventually. TIP — Prevention: for wall clocks, always remove your pendulum before taking the clock off the wall. If the pendulum stays in the clock it may scratch the inside of the case as well as change the beat and then the clock may not work. It should sound steady and even like a metronome.
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