Ball Clocks – A fleeting History of a Wonderful Clock

Ball Clocks – A fleeting History of a Wonderful Clock




Ball clocks serve many purposes:

– They can be used as decorative items due to their antique look

– They can be given to children to teach them the basics of mathematics

– They can be kept in offices

– Can be used as gifts on any event

Ball clocks have the look and feel of an antique item. These clocks were invented by Harley Mayenschein. He later on established the Tyme Corporation to manufacture these surprise clocks. He had patented the clock under the name of Tyme Corporation. Tyme Corporation used to manufacture these clocks for 20 years. And after that the rights were sold to Arrow Handicraft. This company called Arrow Handicraft now manufactures these clocks under the traditional name “Electric Ball Clock”.

The working of these clocks, as the name indicates, is based on balls. The balls inside the clock are used to indicate the hour and minute. There are three rails inside the clock. These rails have certain numbers written on them. To know the time we have to combine the readings on all the three rails. Reading in the sense, from each rail we have to take the numeral where the last ball is. The first rail indicates minutes. The readings on this rail are fro 1-4.The readings on the second rail are written on a 10 minute interval. That is 5, 15, 25 etc up to 55.And the reading on the last rail shows hours. So to know the time we have to look at the balls that are on all the three rails. And we have to read the time starting from the bottom rail.

In ball clocks, there is no mechanism to show the time in seconds. This is one of the main drawbacks of this clock. This is due to the fact that these clocks were invented long ago when there wasn’t any significance for seconds, when the inaccuracy of time didn’t matter at all. Later on accuracy had become a factor but Tyme Corporation was unable to introduce the concept of seconds into those clock, because the new concept of suggesting seconds, would never fit into the old architecture. And if they tried to introduce the concept of seconds into this old architecture then they would have to introduce one more rail to indicate seconds. And that meant a bigger clock. This meant that they won’t be able to keep the mythical size of the ball clock. So Tyme Corporation dropped the idea of making those clocks more accurate. Rather they started to promote these clocks more as an antique piece than a clock which showed accurate time. And from then onwards people also began to call these clocks as antique clocks.

Is this not a really fascinating history of these wonderful antique clocks? Just think, who wouldn’t want to have the dignity of keeping these clocks in their offices or homes? Won’t your clients be enthralled to receive these wonderful gifts and that too promotional free gifts from you? I am very much sure that I have given you more than enough reasons for using ball clocks as promotional gifts.




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