Electric clock made according to Alexander Bain's patent of 1847

Bain electric clock, c 1850.
Alexander Bain was a pioneer of electrical horology and the first person to produce electric clocks commercially. This is an example of one of his later designs with a magnetised pendulum which swings into coils attached to the side of the case. A sliding switch, operated by the pendulum, causes current to flow through the coils so that one attracts the bob while the other repels it. This maintains the motion of the pendulum and enables it to drive the hands of the clock by means of a ratchet and pawl mechanism. The clock proved to be unreliable, mainly due to defects in the switching mechanism.
Currently on display in:
Measuring Time
Year made :
Inventory number :