16th Century Clockmaker's Workshop

16th Century Clockmaker's Workshop

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: This woodcut of a 16th c. German clockmaker's workshop reflects the growing importance of horology at this time. By the late 16th century it had improved such that there was an increased demand for timepieces. Peter Henlein (1485-1542) of Nuremberg is credited with the invention of the pocket watch and the spring mechanism which allowed smaller and smaller clocks to be made until they could be carried personally. The practice of horology was undertaken by skilled craftsmen such as locksmiths. However, though these small clocks successfully ticked, they registered time rather badly, took a long while to manufacture by hand and were so expensive that only the rich could afford what was more decorative than useful.

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Keywords: 16th century, clockmaker, clocks, decorative, fashionable, germany, horology, nuremberg, peter henlein, pocket watch, spring mechanism, timepiece, watch, workshop

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