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American Difference between Grandfather and Grandmother clocks...

Clockinit

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Nov 4, 2019
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Hello, and Happy New Year to all!! Can someone clarify for me the difference between a Grandfather and a grandmother clock?

Bob
 

Ticktocktime100

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Hi,

I've heard many different theories, I don't know which is true, and to be honest it scarcely matters as the term "longcase" clock is more accurate and technical, at least in my humble opinion. The names "grandfather" and "grandmother" are merely affectionate, and are derived from the song "My Grandfather's clock". Some even speak of granddaughter clocks to complete the series, referring to significantly short floor-standing clocks. However, in relation to your question, the two most probable explanations to my knowledge is that there is a slight difference in size, the grandmother clock being smaller than the grandfather clock. What is more, grandmother clocks tend to be spring-driven and not weight-driven, whereas grandfather clocks are weight-driven. However, it can be argued that this rule isn't universal.

Regards.
 

new2clocks

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the term "longcase" clock is more accurate and technical, at least in my humble opinion. The names "grandfather" and "grandmother" are merely affectionate, and are derived from the song "My Grandfather's clock".
the two most probable explanations to my knowledge is that there is a slight difference in size, the grandmother clock being smaller than the grandfather clock.
Agree 100 percent. IMHO, a concise and accurate answer.

Will add that tall case is also appropriate, depending on which side of the Atlantic Ocean one resides. :)

Regards.
 
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D.th.munroe

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N. Hudson Moore (Chats on old clocks) was said to have been the first to coin the term "grandmother clock" for a grandfather/longcase/tallcase that was under 6 feet tall.
Dan
Edit to clarify (chats on old clocks) was by Arthur Hayden who I believe said this about N. Hudson Moore
 
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Clockinit

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Thanks to all!! All replies are generally the opinion I had formed in my own mind...Was looking for a little clarity/confirmation.
Again, thanks all for jumping in!!

Best regards,
Bob
 

MuseChaser

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Feb 5, 2019
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I had always understood the difference to be that a grandfather's clock was a longcase clock with the pendulum and weights taking up the entire case, while a grandmother's clock was a longcase clock with the movement up top and room for storage and shelves in the bottom part of the case. I have no idea if that's right or not... only how it was described to me years ago. It kind of made sense... a clock with places for Grandmother to keep a few necessaries, etc.
 

D.th.munroe

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I must have remembered that wrong it was N.Hudson Moore who said that about Mrs Brownell of R.I
I dont know if this is readable.
Dan

Screenshot_20210119-135555_Chrome.jpg
 

chimeclockfan

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Got more thumbs on my foot than American dealers who refer to 'longcase' clocks.
 

Andy Dervan

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Commercialized "Grandmother" Clocks

Term "grandmother" clock is much more recent and commercially available after WWII. Trend Clock in Zeeland, MI introduced a 50" tall "Grandmother" clock in 1949, but it did not sell well, so they increased its height to 60" (5 ft.) tall and it sold very well.

Daneker Clock Co. in Fallston, MD introduced small grandfather clocks about 78" tall in early 1950s and also sold some ones about 60" that would be considered "grandmother" clocks.

Andy Dervan
 

Clockinit

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Nov 4, 2019
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I had always understood the difference to be that a grandfather's clock was a longcase clock with the pendulum and weights taking up the entire case, while a grandmother's clock was a longcase clock with the movement up top and room for storage and shelves in the bottom part of the case. I have no idea if that's right or not... only how it was described to me years ago. It kind of made sense... a clock with places for Grandmother to keep a few necessaries, etc.
I never heard that, but it's a great explanation/version...I like it!

Bob
 

Clockinit

Registered User
Nov 4, 2019
381
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Commercialized "Grandmother" Clocks

Term "grandmother" clock is much more recent and commercially available after WWII. Trend Clock in Zeeland, MI introduced a 50" tall "Grandmother" clock in 1949, but it did not sell well, so they increased its height to 60" (5 ft.) tall and it sold very well.

Daneker Clock Co. in Fallston, MD introduced small grandfather clocks about 78" tall in early 1950s and also sold some ones about 60" that would be considered "grandmother" clocks.

Andy Dervan
Andy, That's the most widely used explanation that I've heard is that they were 6 ft or under....
 
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