When many of us think of cuckoo clocks we think of a roomful of clocks all chiming at once – the hour denoted by the sound of the cuckoo bird – in a home occupied by an eclectic – and slightly mad – clockmaker. The cuckoo clock is so a part of our cultural vernacular that it is referenced in books, movies, and televisions shows – often in this capacity. It is as much a part of American culture as any of our other perennial favorites.
The reality is, of course, that the cuckoo clock originated in Germany; first built in the late 1600s in a region known as the Black Forest. The origins of the cuckoo clock are largely unclear, but what is known is that this pendulum clock was created to mimic the sound of the cuckoo bird – the specific call that essentially defines the clock.
The mechanics of the cuckoo clock have largely remained unchanged since its inception but the popularity of the clock has remained steady through the centuries. Today, the cuckoo clock is still much beloved and placed in homes and public buildings as both a tribute to historical timekeeping and an ornate piece of décor.
Cuckoo clocks continue to be produced in traditional styles as well in more modern manifestations. Some of the traditional styles include townspeople and villages in miniature; some of the most artful designs consumers are likely to find on clocks of any kind. But whatever style of cuckoo clock that consumers choose to purchase they will find that it brings a touch of history and old world craftsmanship to their home.