Automatons in Clocks

by Jubal Freeman

Most people probably know what a cuckoo clock is either from real life, or from movies. That is just one example of clocks with automatons built into them. The Prague clock in the post before this had statues that would move around and ring bells, and some clocks were much more elaborate.

Here’s a fairly sophisticated cuckoo mechanism. Skip to 0:50 seconds if you just want to see it run.

And here’s an example from the Renaissance.

The mechanisms for clocks like this were usually pretty simple, but they laid the groundwork for sophisticated stand-alone automatons.

We’ll take a look at those next.


Jubal Freeman