The "Corpus clock" is the brainchild of inventor John Taylor, who used his own money to build it, in part to pay homage to the genius of John Harrison**, the Englishman who in 1725 invented the "grasshopper" escapement a mechanical device that helps regulate a clock's movement.
Making a visual pun on the grasshopper image, Taylor has designed a fantasy version of a grasshopper at the top of the clock face, and uses this beast with its long needle teeth and barbed tail as an integral part of the clockworks.
Its jaws begin to open halfway through a minute, then snap shut at 59 seconds. The creature's eyes, usually a dull green, occasionally flash bright yellow. The oversize grasshopper is called a chronophage, or "time eater." "Time is gone, he's eaten it," Taylor said. "My object was simply to turn a clock inside out so that the grasshopper became a reality." At the unveiling, Hawking predicted the creature atop the clock would become "a much-loved, and possibly feared, addition to Cambridge's cityscape."
The chronophage stands atop the clock face, which is four feet (1.2 metres) in diameter. It displays time with light a light races around the outer ring once every second, pausing briefly at the actual second. The next ring inside indicates the minute, and the inner ring shows the hour.The lights are light-emitting diodes, or LEDS, which are constantly on. The apparent motion is regulated mechanically through slots in moving discs. Weirdly, the pendulum slows down or speeds up. Sometimes it stops, the chronophage shakes a foot, and the pendulum moves again. ... (read more here)
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