Big Ben

Great Clock of Westminster

ID: 20
Address: Houses of Parliament, Westminster
London, England, United Kingdom
Origin: United Kingdom
Builder: Edmund Beckett Denison & Edward J. Dent
Model / Serial: /
Date: 1854
Installed between 1858-1859
Movement: Gigant "Flat Bed" frames.
Measures: 450 x 150 cm. The mechanism weighs about 5 tones.
Dials: 4
700 cm of diameter each. 426 cm the minute hands. 60 cm the numerals.
Escapement: Gravity
With 2 stars of 3 legs each one.
Pendulum: 439 cm
2 seconds adjustable on the weight. Temperature compensated. Also is adjusted by placing old pennies on the weight while the pendulum is oscilating (tradition of course).
Strikes: Westminster Carillon (5 bells)
Hours with 12 hours counter wheel chiming in the "Big Ben" bell (13.5 Tons). Quarters with the Westminster Carillon on 5 bells. The carillon chimes are based on the fifth bar of Handel's aria from his Messiah ("I know that my Redeemer liveth")
Weights: Timing weight: 257Kg
Carillon weight: 1250Kg
Until 1913, it was wound by hand. Since then, it has an automatic electric winding system.
History: History
State:
Notes: There is no doubt at all that this one is the most important and significative clock ever built. It represents all the advancements that horology had through its history. In its time it was a whole revolution that achieved what was believed to be imposible for a tower clock. Its designers were the developers of the most advanced escapement for tower clocks, the gravity escapement that solves the great problem for big clocks, how to drive huge hands in a windy and stormy enviroment, without decreasing acuracy and performance. This is achieved using intermediate levers that give to the pendulum the impulse it needs, and isolate it from the legs of the stars that are the escapement wheel. This is a fast and simple explanation, and I strongly suggest you to read about it in a more detailed page. Lets only say that it is acurate, reliable and was revolutionary. The clock is located at St Stephen's Tower in the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London. It is both, the symbol of Great Britain and Horology.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_be...
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