Pendulum clock designed by Galileo in 1642 and made by his son in 1649, model.

Made:
1642-1649 (original); 1883 (model) in Florence and Italy
designer:
Galileo Galilei
maker:
Vincenzo Galilei
and
Eustachio Porcellotti
illustrator:
Vincenzo Viviani

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Model showing the first idea of the application of the pendulum to the clock designed by Galileo in 1642, made his son Vincenzo in 1649 and illustrated by Vincenzo Viviani, Italy. This model is by Eustachio Porcellotti, Florence, Italy, 1883.

This 19th century model is based on a drawing made by Galileo's (1564-1642) friend and biographer Viviani (1622-1703) of a pendulum clock, which Galileo designed just before his death and which was partly constructed by his son Vincenzio in 1649. It represents the first known attempt to apply a pendulum to control the rate of a clock. Galileo had observed that the time taken for a pendulum to complete one swing was almost independent of the arc through which it swung and he had used a freely swinging pendulum to time various astronomical events. He recognised the potential of using a pendulum to control a clock but died before his work could be completed.

Details

Category:
Time Measurement
Object Number:
1883-29
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy) and steel (metal)
type:
pendulum clock
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • timepiece
  • clock
credit:
Royal College of Science