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The Clockmaker's Workshop

1850-1950: A Hundred Years of Change

Clocks and watches being mechanical devices, require attention from time to time, and every town in Britain had several 'watchmakers' - actually repairers - until present times when their numbers are declining as we move out of the mechanical age.

This gallery contains two such historic workshops separated by just one hundred years. There are many similarities between the two; for example the workbench with its many handtools has not changed for centuries.

Watchmaker's bench and assorted tools, 1850.

That most important piece of equipment, the lathe, is also a feature of both workshops; mounted on its own bench and pedal-driven in 1850. By 1950 a smaller Swiss-style lathe had appeared, driven by a small electric motor.

Every workshop needed a regulator clock as its official timekeeper and in 1850 this was a fine precision instrument. By 1950, this was likely to he a synchronous electric clock,' but the home-made electric master clock - made in 1935 - performed just as well. Another major additional item by 1950 was the wireless, important for hearing the radio time signals.