electrostatic clock of Streizig
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electric clocks

 A history of the evolution of electric clocks

Electricity and Horology
A. Electrostatic Clocks

Relatively very little is known about electrostatic clocks and literature on this subject is difficult to obtain.

Ever since the motive power of static electricity was realized efforts were made to make full use of this property.
So probably as early as the late eighteen hundreds efforts were made to use static electricity to drive a pendulum for the purpose of keeping time.

Johann Wilhelm Ritter (1776-1810) of Germany is believed to be the first to have made a dry pile as early as 1802 showing identical effects to those of an electrostatic machine.

ZamboniGiuseppe Zamboni (1776-1846), professor of physics at the university of Verona, improved the design and construction of dry piles very effectively. His dry piles, though very unreliable due to changes of humidity and temperature of the air, were powerful enough to drive a pendulum.

Around 1817 Carlo Streizig of Verona built an electrostatic clock using Zamboni's design.

In 1815 Alois Ramis (1763-1820) of Germany also used Zamboni's dry piles for his electrostatic clock indicating the seconds while sounding a little bell.

Jean André de Luc (1727-1817) created similar dry piles, known as De Luc's columns, in England in 1809.
Francis Ronalds
(1788-1873) used these columns as the motive power to drive the pendulum of his electrostatic clock in 1815.

However, the power derived from these dry piles was insufficient to drive more complicated systems such as later developed for electric clocks. So eventually all efforts using static electricity vanished and changed to the use of electro-dynamic electricity.

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B. The first inventors





Electricity & Magnetism
Electricity & Horology
   A.Electrostatic clocks
   B.The first inventors
   C.Independency of battery
   D.Reliability of contact making
   F.Count-wheel and impulse
   G.The first free pendulum
   H.Shortt's free pendulum
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