Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clockwork Universe: German Clocks and Automata

Book cover of Clockwork Universe

The book entitled Clockwork Universe: German Clocks and Automata, 1550-1650, is a comprehensive history of the golden age of German clock-making. The book explores the complex mechanisms, the exquisite artistry, and the changing world-view that contributed to their creation.

The guiding thesis of the book is a familiar but compelling one:

The mechanical clock, at least in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, with its rational design and regular running, demonstrated an orderliness lacking in almost every aspect of life at that time. The clock came to offer an explanation for the mysterious workings of the cosmos: living creatures were in fact automata, and the universe itself was an enormous clockwork.

The book features beautiful black & white and color photographs, 200 illustrations and technical drawings. These visuals supplement the detailed descriptions of clocks, automata and mechanical celestial globes from this period. There is even a short section on the famous monk automaton. This is a wonderful reference book covering some astounding mechanical creations.

Here is where you can get a copy of Clockwork Universe: German Clocks and Automata, 1550-1650.

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