(Photo courtesy of Jeff Flora)
The inner workings of a Dutch windmill, as shown above, employ the use of large wooden gears. These machines were used to pump water and grind grain. On a windy day they could generate up to 300-horse power and have been doing so in some cases for more than 300 years. It seems incredible that such powerful machinery could be made out of wood and have endured for so long.
Eli Terry, Chauncey Jerome, and others, manufactured wooden gear clocks in America in the early 1800's.At the time, wood was primarily used for the gears largely because brass was scarce. The revolution had left the British bitter, which resulted in brass being hard to come by.Today these clocks have become collector’s items and are appreciated for the beautiful workmanship in wood.With proper care, many of these timepieces are still running even as we enter the 21st century.
The arches used in architecture were the inspiration for the contemporary application in the clock "Arches". The above two photos are of homes in the Gates Center area of Buffalo, NY.