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Geshichte der Kuckucksuhr

The History of the Cuckoo Clock

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The first cuckoo clocks were made around the year 1730. Historical records of the cuckoo clock and its original inventor are scarce and often contradictory. The exact beginning will forever be unknown.

It is believed that they were first invented, designed and made in a small snow covered village called Schonwald, in the depths of the Black forest. The Cuckoo Song from the forest meant good luck to any person who hears it. This sound is reproduced in the clock by the clever use of bellows and whistles producing two different notes. The original idea to make the sound came from the wind bellows of a church organ.

The first clock made in the Black forest dates back as far as 1640. The clocks were initially made under houses in the long cold winter months when the farms where snowed in. People put their imagination to use creating finely handcrafted cuckoo clocks of many styles with varied and rich carvings. The clocks were then sold in summer all over Europe by Clock Peddlers wearing traditional smocks and carrying large racks on their back. Today the carvings are still handmade by skilled masters of the trade as they were 300 years ago. Old clocks, and original drawings of the first clocks are still used and modified as patterns for new models, but the cuckoo clock remains in its basic form. Cuckoo Clocks are made from the wood of the Linden tree, a hardwood that grows in the Black Forest.

The Cuckoo Clock symbolises the past, present and the future

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Clock peddler

A Clock Peddler

History

Black Forest Clockmaking in Neustadt. Original etching in the collection of Herr gerd Bender, Furtwanger, Germany

cuckoo_historyWood Carving workshop Triberg area about 1895

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Modern cuckoo clock carving and woodwork

Old Cuckoo Clock Movements

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..........original

One of the oldest best preserved cuckoo clocks made circa 1750 - Painted paper face, three plate wooden gear movement

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1950's cuckoo movement

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Black Forest Cuckoo Clock - 1810

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