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Who invented the Cuckoo Clock?

Published: 07/21/2015 by Birgit Eisenbeis

© Bergwerk Marketing

© Black Forest

The cuckoo clock belongs to the Black Forest just like the famous ham and the Bollen hat. Hardly anyone travels the region without purchasing one of the special clocks as a souvenir. Strictly speaking, the Cuckoo clock is not an invention of the Black Forest region, though. It was there where it received its present day style and became world famous.

Clock production has a long history in the Black Forest and started already way before the introduction of the Cuckoo clock. In the middle of the 17th century, the local clock industry had its beginnings and started to grow. But it is also documented for example that August of Saxonia owned a Cuckoo clock in 1629 already.


© Black Forest

During the 18th century, the clock makers of the Black Forest started to manufcatur Cuckoo clocks as well. Inseperably connected with that developemtn is for example the name of Franz Ketterer of Schönwald. He was one of the first Black Forestians to design and construct a clock with a cuckoo. They were more like regular clocks though, equipped with a cuckoo call.

A competion in the mid-19th century brought the distinctive design that the Cuckoo clocks are famous for. The competition was won by architect Friedrich Eisenlohr with the design of a rail road house. His typical house design was developed into todays chalet clocks and carved clocks, the two most popular types of Cuckoo clocks.

The invention of the Cuckoo clocks is more a development that took two centuries and included several influences. The original Cuckoo clocks are inseperably linked tot he Black Forest today. When purchasing a Cuckoo clock, it is important to make sure that it is an authentic product from the Black Forest, recognizable because of the Vds-certificate. This gives you a guarantee that you purchase not an inferior plagiarism but an item of quality and value.

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