Banjo Clockswall clock that is usually associated with the US. It's named because of its pasing resemblance to the shape of the banjo musical instrument.
What Is A Banjo Clock?
TraditionalA banjo clock is a wall clock with a shape resembling a banjo. The traditional dsign has a large, circular dial and a long thin trunk stretching down. At the bottom is a smaller base, either circular or rectangular, which held the pendulum bob. Sometimes this arrangement is reversed with a larger pendulum base and a smaller clockface. The trunk often has curved supporters to the sides ("sidearms").
In early banjo clocks the trunk and/or the base were sometimes glass fronted to expose the swinging pendulum. Later on the base and sometimes the trunk were often covered with decorative panels, frequently of a patriotic, religious or inspirational nature. There was usually a "finial" on the top - a decorative ornament such as an eagle.
ModernModern quartz banjo clocks don't need the pendulum and often turn the entire design upside down with the large circle at the base and the narrow trunk extending upwards. Many of those you can buy today double as weather stations with the neck holding a thermometer and one or more of the circles holding meteorological instruments such as barometers.
HistoryThe original banjo clock design was invented at the beginning of the 19th century by Simon Willard of Massachusetts who received a patent for the design in 1802. Only a limited number of original Simon Willard banjo clocks were made, however once the patent expired many other clockmakers started producing them.
The original antique Willards are, of course, highly collectible. Somewhat confusingly, Willard-style clocks made by other companies are often described as "Willard Banjo Clocks" simply because they share the basic design elements.
Later notable producers of banjo style wall clocks included New Haven, Sessions and Seth Thomas.
Both traditional Willard style and modern weather station style banjo clocks are still being made and are available to buy today online and in specialist stores.