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Cuckoo Clock History

Cuckoo Clock History


Cuckoo Clock History

by Rick Baker

The quirky and irreplaceable cuckoo clock is a design that seems pulled right out of childhood imagination. Its whimsical carvings, flapping wings, and almost comical chirpings delight many of us even today. It seems a design that has not been lost to the modern era of sleek fashions and "less is more" styles.

The cuckoo clock as we know it today originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. Thats right, its a German design that we normally think of not Swiss! Although the popular wall clock was made in the Swiss area shortly after becoming popular in Germany. Even before the Black Forest clocks there were earlier versions of the humble cuckoo. It seems there has always been a desire for this creative timekeeper.

Some designs of singing clocks have been dated back into the sixteen hundreds and it is believed there are earlier clocks then these. These would have been few and far between though as clock making was still a developing and expensive craft. Early clocks were of a flat panel design with a painted face and of course two tiny doors for the ever crowing bird to sing his song from. Later versions of Black Forest clocks were intricately detailed to match the Victorian period styling of homes and furnishings.

The Swiss also developed their own twists to the clock. When we think of the cartoon clocks of modern generations this seems to be there styling. It is a shame that the glory of a finely detailed wall clock such as this was diminished through the years but many still see the value in them. These versions were made in stunning detail and were meant to replicate the cottages of Switzerland. The Germans actually enjoyed this idea so much that they started designing their clocks this way also. One last feature that the Swiss can take credit for is the addition of the music box into the clock. This surely has brought joy into many homes!

Modern cuckoo clocks are of course a far less hand built and quality product for the most part. Alas they have almost been exclusively delegated to the ranks of tourist traps. They are still as quirky as ever though and can now be bought at cheap prices and with a much greater variety then times of past. Indeed if you are looking for an individual statement nothing will bring greater character and individuality then a Cuckoo Clock!

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