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Humorous Book Title/WorldCat Great Source

Girl59

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Oct 31, 2021
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Spotted the below today (see photo) and got a chuckle as I was looking for horological works on WorldCat. The title of this centuries-old book struck me particularly because I'm a novice:

The artificial clock-maker: a treatise of watch and clock-work, wherein the art of calculating numbers for most sorts of movements is explained to the capacity of the unlearned [emphasis mine] ; also, the history of watch and clock-work, both antient and modern: with other useful matters never before publish'd...

If you're not familiar with WorldCat, it's the world's largest library catalog. Librarians use it to look for titles and their availability for borrowing. You can consult it from any device, and if you set a login and password, you can research, track, and review titles on your favorite subjects. WorldCat has already been useful to me as members here have recommended books; sometimes, these can't be found online or don't fit a budget.


Book_FunnyTitle.jpg
 
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gmorse

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Hi Girl59,

This is an example of the way words can change their meaning over time. In this instance the archaic meaning is 'skillful' rather than its current meaning of 'not natural'. It's derived from the Latin 'artificium', meaning skill or handcraft. William Derham's 1696 book was one of the earliest ever published on horology and is a fascinating insight into the craft at the time.

Regards,

Graham
 

Girl59

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Hi Girl59,

This is an example of the way words can change their meaning over time. In this instance the archaic meaning is 'skillful' rather than its current meaning of 'not natural'. It's derived from the Latin 'artificium', meaning skill or handcraft. William Derham's 1696 book was one of the earliest ever published on horology and is a fascinating insight into the craft at the time.

Regards,

Graham
Graham, yes! I was wondering, though didn't mention it here, about use of "artificial" (was focusing mainly on "unlearned," LOL). Words do indeed change meanings and usage. Would reading this work enhance my understanding, i.e., would I be able to understand enough of it for it to help me with horology -- whether my aim is "practical" and/or "philosophical?" I said on another thread that I never imagined thinking, "Don't tell me what time it is. Tell me how to make a watch."

My 99-year-old father-in-law just passed away, and he had lots of Latin starting in childhood. He loved it. And I've found that even a small bit of familiarity with a very small bit of Latin comes in handy in everyday life. I love word roots. I'm an active and fairly skilled amateur genealogist, and when I found a Revolutionary ancestor's tombstone, was able to decipher the epitaph: "Sic transit gloria mundi." (That's a pretty easy one, isn't it?.)

Thank you, Graham. It's a pleasure to have the benefit of your presence here. I hope to keep crossing paths.
 

gmorse

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Hi Girl59,
Would reading this work enhance my understanding, i.e., would I be able to understand enough of it for it to help me with horology -- whether my aim is "practical" and/or "philosophical?"
If you can, read chapters 1, 6, 7 and 8 first; chapter 1 contains the preface, table of contents and a glossary, (some of the terms have changed over the centuries), chapters 6, 7 and 8 are specific to watches but all the rest deal with clock work and the calculation of wheel trains.

However, you must bear in mind when it was written and that Derham's watches differed quite widely from anything you're likely to handle now. Consider that when he wrote it, the invention of the balance spring was only some 20 years old and the only escapement in use was the verge. Having said that, I'd also express the hope that you'd be attracted to English watches from the 18th and 19th centuries at some point, if only because they were the starting point for the American industry!

Regards,

Graham
 
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Girl59

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Hi Girl59,


If you can, read chapters 1, 6, 7 and 8 first; chapter 1 contains the preface, table of contents and a glossary, (some of the terms have changed over the centuries), chapters 6, 7 and 8 are specific to watches but all the rest deal with clock work and the calculation of wheel trains.

However, you must bear in mind when it was written and that Derham's watches differed quite widely from anything you're likely to handle now. Consider that when he wrote it, the invention of the balance spring was only some 20 years old and the only escapement in use was the verge. Having said that, I'd also express the hope that you'd be attracted to English watches from the 18th and 19th centuries at some point, if only because they were the starting point for the American industry!

Regards,

Graham
Graham, will look forward to reading these chapters. I did look at some material recently about verge, cylinder and lever escapements (do I have that correct?) and would like to understand at a high level the differences among these. Am hoping the work's opening will set a good frame for a novice to understand time measurement a little better. Will keep you posted. Thank you!
 

Girl59

Registered User
Oct 31, 2021
62
45
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Hi Girl59,


If you can, read chapters 1, 6, 7 and 8 first; chapter 1 contains the preface, table of contents and a glossary, (some of the terms have changed over the centuries), chapters 6, 7 and 8 are specific to watches but all the rest deal with clock work and the calculation of wheel trains.

However, you must bear in mind when it was written and that Derham's watches differed quite widely from anything you're likely to handle now. Consider that when he wrote it, the invention of the balance spring was only some 20 years old and the only escapement in use was the verge. Having said that, I'd also express the hope that you'd be attracted to English watches from the 18th and 19th centuries at some point, if only because they were the starting point for the American industry!

Regards,

Graham
Graham, will look forward to reading these chapters. I did look at some material recently about verge, cylinder and lever escapements (do I have that correct?) and would like to understand at a high level the differences among these. Am hoping the work's opening will set a good frame for a novice to understand time measurement a little better. Will keep you posted. Thank you!
 

Girl59

Registered User
Oct 31, 2021
62
45
18
60
Country
Graham, will look forward to reading these chapters. I did look at some material recently about verge, cylinder and lever escapements (do I have that correct?) and would like to understand at a high level the differences among these. Am hoping the work's opening will set a good frame for a novice to understand time measurement a little better. Will keep you posted. Thank you!
Graham, forgot to say that yes, I think it would be easy to develop an interest in English watches -- maybe especially those of the 19th century -- as they had so much influence on American watchmaking. In addition, I'm a mild to moderate Anglophile with many British ancestors. Right now, I'm researching the English origins of a fairly early immigrant ancestor. While it seems unlikely, would be thrilled to find a watchmaker in any branch of my family tree!

Related question: As I was looking through the 1995 edition of Shugart's price guide, noticed a list of known early American watchmakers. Skimming quickly, I saw the names of only two who were readily identifiable as women: Mary Nicolette (working 1793-1799 in Philadelphia) and Margaret Seddinger (working 1846 in Philly). Does either of these names sound familiar? It would be fascinating and fun to learn more about them or about others well known to American horologists.
 

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