Clockwork

Clockwork
Gear with escapement mechanism
Clockwork of mechanical Prim wrist watch

A clockwork is the inner workings of either a mechanical clock or a device that operates in a similar fashion. Specifically, the term refers to a mechanical device utilizing a complex series of gears.[1][2]

A clockwork motor is a mechanically powered clockwork device powered by a mainspring. Clockwork motors are generally manually energised using a key (wound up) via a ratchet device.

Contents

Overview

Often power for the device is stored within it, via a winding device that applies mechanical stress to an energy-storage mechanism such as a mainspring, thus involving some form of escapement; in other cases, hand power may be utilized. The use of wheels, whether linked by friction or gear teeth, to redirect motion or gain speed or torque, is typical; many clockworks have been constructed primarily to serve as visible or implicit tours de force of mechanical ingenuity in this area. Sometimes clocks and timing mechanisms are used to set off explosives, timers, alarms and many other devices.

Examples

The most common examples are mechanical clocks – hence the name. Others include:

  • Toys - often as a simple mechanical motor, or to create automata. These may be either key-wound, or a simpler pullback motor.
  • Most leaf shutters use a clockwork mechanism not unlike that of wristwatches to time the opening and closing of the shutter blades.
  • Mechanisms to turn the lens of lighthouses before electric motors.
  • Babbage's difference and analytical engines, and simpler mechanical calculators.
  • Astronomical models, such as orreries whose history spans hundreds of years.
  • Music boxes, which were very popular during the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th.
  • Almost all phonographs built before the 1930s.
  • Low-powered electrical equipment, such as a clockwork radio, where an energy-storing spring accounting for much of the size and weight of the device spins a much smaller electric generator; such equipment is very popular where batteries and mains power (house current) are scarce.
  • The Antikythera mechanism, an ancient clockwork calculator

References

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • clockwork — noun Date: 1628 1. the inner workings of something 2. the machinery (as springs and a train of gears) that run a clock; also a similar mechanism running a mechanical device (as a toy) 3. the precision, regularity, or …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • go like clockwork — or[go off like clockwork] {v. phr.}, {informal} To run smoothly and regularly like the workings of a clock; go smoothly and without difficulty; go on time or as planned. * /The car s motor went like clockwork after Bob fixed it./ * /The birthday… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • go like clockwork — or[go off like clockwork] {v. phr.}, {informal} To run smoothly and regularly like the workings of a clock; go smoothly and without difficulty; go on time or as planned. * /The car s motor went like clockwork after Bob fixed it./ * /The birthday… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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  • go off like clockwork — See: GO LIKE CLOCKWORK …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • go off like clockwork — See: GO LIKE CLOCKWORK …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • Stanley Kubrick — Infobox Actor name = Stanley Kubrick imagesize = 300px caption = Self Portrait of Kubrick with a Leica III camera, when he worked for Look (from the book Drama and Shadows ). birthdate = July 26, 1928 location = New York City, New York, U.S.… …   Wikipedia

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