clocks that made history join a collaborative project engaging activities teaching resources about the authors Franklin InQuiry Attic

   Frick Clock


Glossary of Terms and Definitions

| return to Informational Article |

Frederick (Fred) Frick Inventor of the Electric Program Clock. He lived in Waynesborough, Pennsylvania. He was awarded two patents for his invention.
Class A or Class B There were two grades of Frick Program Clocks - Grade 1 and Grade 2. Grade 1 had two types, a Class A and a Class B. Grade 2 clocks were the economy version. Find out more in the Classes and Clocks article.
coach watch A portable timekeeper or clock (90-140 millimeters in diameters) placed inside early land coaches, often with a swivel ring attached for hanging. Most had an alarm feature so travelers would not oversleep.
design patent A patent granted based on the unique and new look of an item.
Greenwich Greenwich England is where East meets West at the Greenwich Meridian (0 Longitude); World Time is set to Greenwich Mean Time.
horology The science or art of measuring time. It's a science that started back in the days of the Babylonians, who came up with the idea for the 60 second minutes and 60 minute hours we use now. Now scientists measure time in billionths of a second with atomic clocks. The first time keeping device was probably a stick in the ground, and someone noticed that the stick's shadow moved as the sun moved. From that came the present sundial. Other devices were the water clock, in which a bowl was either filled or emptied within a certain period of time, marked candles, oil lamps that would burn a measured amount of oil, or a stick of incense that burned at a measured rate, and would drop a thread-suspended metal ball on a bell. Sound interesting? Find out more about horology at the What is Horology? page or see Horology -The Index.
invention A new idea or item created by someone using their original ideas and imagination.
patent There are 3 types of patents: utility, design and plant.
programs A pattern of pins set up on the Frick Clock's program disk which would ring bells according to the schedule needed by the users of the clock.
program disk A circular 12" diameter piece of the Frick clock. The front face looked like a clock dial with figures from 1 to 12. A series of groves around the circular piece held the metal pins which determined when the bells would be rung. See Figure 2 for more detail.
utility patent A patent granted for the process or the way an item is used and works.
United States Patent Office The U.S. Government Agency in charge of researching and issuing patents to inventors in our country. Learn more by visiting the U.S. Patent web site.

.| return to Informational Article |

| clocks | collaborations | activities | resources | about us | InQuiry Attic |


Carla Schutte, Mike Lipinski, Susan Silverman
Gail Watson, Tammy Payton
March 2000