Tavern Clock
Image by Terry Hassan published under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

The Tavern Clock is a public wall clock installed in libraries, city halls, pubs, and hostels. It was a tall (36 to 40 in.) wooden wall clock consisting of two bodies, a round case that contained the wooden dial with Roman numerals and an elongated rectangular case that contained the pendulum and, occasionally, the weights. It was spring-driven or weight-driven. But why are they called the Act of Parliament? In 1797, the British Parliament passed an annual tax of five shillings on all clocks sold, which reduced sales, with people preferring to consult public clocks. Thus, it is also called tavern clocks, as many were installed in the Taverns that many English people frequented. Illustrated: a Tavern clock on display at Leeds Castle in England.

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