An important milestone in the history of clock making in the Black Forest is the invention of the railway house clock, or Bahnhäusle Uhr in German.
But how did this design came into being? It has its origin in a design competition in 1850. The principal oft he clockmaker school in Furtwangen, Robert Gerwig, called for a competition to develop a new, contemporary clock design. The winner oft he competition was Friedrich Eisenlohr, who worked as an architect for a railroad company. His inspiration were the houses of the gatekeeper of the railways. He added a clock face to transform it into a clock. With this simple, yet genius idea, he influences the look of clocks up until today. They were the base for the rich decorated carved Cuckoo clocks that are wold famous today which were invented a little later.
You can still buy the traditional railway house clocks today. Although most people think of carved clocks when they think of cuckoo clocks, there are manufacturers such as Rombach & Haas who also produce clocks with the original design up until today.