Monday, June 1, 2009

Grandpa Harry's Atmos Clock and Theme Thursday

The Mister received his Grandpa Harry's Atmos clock
recently. I remember seeing it in their home in Michigan
back when we were in high school.
The Atmos Clocks have an interesting history.
In 1928 a French engineer named Jean-Leon Reutter
constructed a clock driven quite literally by the air.
Inside a sealed capsule, a mixture of gas and liquid expands
as the temperature rises and contracts as it falls,
moving the capsule back and forth like a
tiny unseen accordion. This motion is used to constantly wind
the mainspring thus enabling the clock to run and
keep perfect time. A small temperature variation of just
one degree is sufficient for over two day's operation.
Such variation occurs naturally in normal room
temperature and thus without any additional sources
of energy, the Atmos clock will continue
to run, if left untouched, "forever".
It looks a bit like an Anniversary clock with a spinning
pendulum that changes direction every few seconds.
The name plate says
Harry Brock
Nash~Kelvinator Corp.
I'm guessing it was a retirement gift from his employers.
It's always fun to get something that belonged to
Grandpa Harry, since one of our boys is named after him!


  1. What a great photograph of Grandpa Harry...he has the most distinctive chin!!
    That clock is a treasure!! So glad you can enjoy it at your house!

  2. What a beautiful vintage photograph.;) And of course, that clock mechanism appeals to the scientist in me; I wonder whether the "Atmos" stands for "atmosphere".;))))

  3. Fascinating! I've never heard of an Atmos clock before... what a unique look and unique mechanics.

  4. Protege ~ I bet you are right! So obvious, but I never thought of that!

  5. How fascinating! That's a really great use of renewable energy!

  6. i've never seen or heard of this kind of clock but i'm so intrigued by the way it works. and it looks brand new!

  7. The clock does look brand new! Love the pic of Grandpa Harry. This week's Theme Thursday is "clock". You should link this post in for Thursday!

  8. Nice new pic of you on your sidebar, btw! :)

  9. Love the pic of Grandpa Harry and the clock, and I love the history behind it and how it runs. I've never heard of one, and I think that's neat what Protege said about Atmos maybe standing for atmosphere. Sounds like a definite possibility, and never having to use batteries or wind it up or use electricity...very cool.

  10. Chris loves clocks and the way they work... I'll have to ask him if he's aware of the way this one operates...

    love the new banner with the peoneys!

  11. What a beautiful clock!
    Love your new picture!
    Love your new header!

  12. That is a beautiful clock, it would look fantastic on my mantel in my lounge.

    CJ xx

  13. This is fascinating! I wish that we could have stuck with a technology that runs forever without batteries or electricity!

  14. what a treasure. It's so nice to have a story and the photograph to travel with the clock. Sounds like a bittersweet time at your house (no pun intended - I don't think so anyway :)

  15. I love things like this!!
    And, I just have to comment on your comment that your mom announced she pulled the plug on you - you know, I have NO idea of the situation, but I have to say I can't imagine any mom not LOVING such a sweet, "together" daughter. My own mom has begun displaying some unusual/distressing behavior patterns in the past few years, so yes, I'd have to say it's definitely possible to have prodigal parents. It sure gets hard being the mature one all the time, huh? Prayers going out to you ...

  16. welcome to theme thrusday. great play. the clock looks new and to hear how it works, marvelous. the little boy in me wants to take it apart to see how it works. but then it would end up in pieces in a box. happy tt!

  17. What a unique invention, a true perpetual motion "machine."

  18. An atmospheric clock! How wonderful. I wonder why they aren't very prevalent today. Thanks for the history lesson.

  19. I'm popping over again for TT! Super duper clock post, sis.

  20. That's a beautiful clock. (I love your picture of Lucy with the bear.)


  21. No.I hadnt heard of The Atmos Clock Either. How Do People Think Of Such Things?
    Lovely Photo Of Harry.

  22. Never heard of one of these clocks, how interesting!

  23. I used to be mesmerised by these clocks when I was little, so shiny, so pretty . . *gets distracted by shiny things*

  24. So many great clocks today, along with their stories. Loved this one!

  25. I loved the story about how the clock works. My mom had a similar looking clock and I am not sure if it is of the same type. I think one of my sisters has it, but I would have to check. If I find it I will now be interested to see what kind it is.

    Yes it does seem to make sense that Atmos is short for atmosphere, I did not even connect it until reading the comments.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

    God bless.

  26. I had fun reading this to my husband. We were watching the Pawn Shop show on the History Channel last night and they had one of these clocks! I came across this post today, I had never seen/heard of one before and now twice in 24 hours. Very neat!


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