Tag Archives: history

Grandfather Clock: Scribble Picnic

This week’s Scribble Picnic’s prompt – Grandfather Clock.

As I write this I am listening to the bong on our own grandfather clock chime the half hour. Hubby built the cabinet and assembled the clock a couple of years ago. He had plans spread out on our dining room table that would compete with house plans. Pages of details. So much detail I couldn’t even look at it. Our clock is a replica of a Mission Grandfather Clock.

grandfather clock

My first drawing of the clock was done – yes you guessed it – at 2 am. This is the poem I wrote at that time:

The Clock

There stood the clock
It bonged the hour
Time went by
Tick Tock Tick Tock

She could not sleep
But in the silence
She could sense
The stillness

Because of this prompt
I began to be interested in the history of grandfather clocks.

These clocks used to be called Longcase Clocks and were invented to keep better time with a pendulum rather than weights and springs.

The story goes that a man named Henry Clay Work in 1875 visited a hotel where there stood a Longcase Clock that had stopped.There had been two brothers who lived there. When the first one died the clock stopped keeping perfect time and stopped working as soon as the second brother died. Fascinated Work wrote a song called My Grandfather’s Clock in 1876 which sold over one million copies in sheet music (crazy number back then).

I recall hearing ‘My Grandfather’s Clock” from my school days.
Do you remember it? (tweet this)

Here is the first verse and chorus. To read all the verses click here.

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself, Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born, And was always his treasure and pride;

But it stopp’d short – never to go again – When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick),
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick),
It stopp’d short – never to go again – When the old man died.

Because I write children’s books I couldn’t help think about Hickory Dickory Dock. My picture is based on that nursery rhyme. It’s done with watercolour pencils.

Grandfather clock

Join us at Scribble Picnic.

grandfather clock

WHAT ARE MY ROOTS – Five-Minute Fridays

What are My Roots – Five-Minute Fridays

Roots – Make them Firm

Friday – the time for a 5 minute post – no editing – just write. Linking to Lisa-Jo. Today’s word is ROOTS.

I never tired hearing my Dad talk about Ireland. He came with his family in 1921 when he was 11 years old. I loved hearing the old songs, my Grandma’s lilting Irish broque as well as my Aunt Edna’s, and about how green Ireland was. I knew my grandparents left Ireland because their business took place on one side of the line and their home on the other (Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland). I can still sing “Phil the Fluter’s Ball”. But I never asked enough questions.

My Dad passed away in 1993 and I never had the questions I have now. What was life like? What did you do as a child? I do know that he read Guliver’s Travels when he was 6 years old. This is where I get my love of reading. I can’t get enough – I read and read.

My Mom’s family is Canadian – Toronto – small shop owners. Maybe that’s where I get my love of marketing and sales. I love to tell others about Christ. Always on my mind – how awesome is our God. But I didn’t ask her enough questions either. She died at the age of 94 in January 2012.

But the best roots of all come from our connection with God. He is our ROOT. Jesus is the root of Jesse who hails back to Adam. Isn’t that wonderful!

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—
 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:1-3 NIV).

Let’s build firm roots – in our families, with our friends and co-workers. In order to grow in Jesus we need firm roots.



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Tadeo Turtle – Written and Illustrated by Janis Cox