Jens Olsen's Clock in Copenhagen
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  1. #1
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    Default Jens Olsen's Clock in Copenhagen

    This is EYE CANDY for Gearheads.... that is why we like it!!!!!! I saw this a few days after seeing the big Diesel Engine.... wow.... what a contrast......

    Jens Olsen's World Clock or Verdensur is an advanced astronomical clock which is displayed in Copenhagen City Hall.
    The clock was designed and calculated by Jens Olsen who was a skilled locksmith, but later learned the trade of clockmaking. He also took part in the beginning of the clock's construction, but died in 1945, 10 years before the clock was completed.
    The clock consists of 12 movements which together have over 14,000 parts. The clock is mechanical and must be wound once a week. Displays include lunar and solar eclipses, positions of the stellar bodies, and a perpetual calendar, in addition to the time. The fastest gear completes a revolution each ten seconds, and the slowest will have completed a full circuit every 25,753 years.
    The calculations for the clock were made up until 1928, after which they were supervised by the astronomer Professor Elis Strömgren. The drawings for the clock were made between 1934 and 1936, and the actual production of the clock took place from 1943 until 1955. The clock was started on December 15, 1955 by King Frederick IX and Jens Olsen's youngest grandchild Birgit.

    This site which seems to be down now had a nice story about the restoration of it...

    http://www.ateliera.dk/olsen.htm

    Here a bunch of photos to gaze at.... and add this to your list of things to see next time your in DK.....










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    and more....











    and here is the building that houses it.... the Town Hall.... and in front a rare Pedersen Bike, designed by a Danish engineer who also made machine tools....


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    An elegant masterpiece, and a wonderful reason to visit DK. The ivory ornamental turnings you showed us a while back and the engine museum make it hard to resist.

    Larry

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    That's Beautiful Rivett! Thanks for posting that


    Fabulous!

    That was a LOT of work.....

    Dave

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    Wow. Now this has me a bit confused, which isn't hard:

    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    *** The fastest gear completes a revolution each ten seconds, and the slowest will have completed a full circuit every 25,753 years. ***

    This site which seems to be down now had a nice story about the restoration of it...
    If the restoration cycle is about 50 years, this clock will require 515 restorations before the slowest gear makes one revolution. That's about 1030 human generations from now.

    Wow.
    Last edited by Bob Farr; 11-29-2009 at 03:19 PM. Reason: can't do long division

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    Default Jens Olsen, astromechanist

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Farr View Post
    Wow. Now this has me a bit confused, which isn't hard:



    If the restoration cycle is about 50 years, this clock will require 515 restorations before the slowest gear makes one revolution. That's about 1030 human generations from now.

    Wow.
    There should be only one restauration. As I recall the clock was originally made from non-rustproof materials (don't ask me why anybody would do that, maybe the bean counters were responsible) and it soon showed signs of corrosion. Eventually it was decided to rectify this scandalous situation, the repairs took about five years I believe.

    I worked together with a large, strong fellow with the biggest hands I've ever seen. He worked as a machinist but was really a clock maker (we used to say it must have been tower clocks) but his hands were actually incredibly nimble. He knew about Jens Olsen but did not have a very high opinion of him, I don't remember why. I suspect there's a story hidden here but as I don't know any clock makers now I haven't digged for it.

    fusker

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    What does it do after year 9999 ??

    Lot of work there....

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    It probably has more than one function, but if not it seems impractical in the extreme to have a mechanical device which has a portion of its geartrain dedicated to displaying an event occuring only once every 25,753 years.

    However, I'll admit to spending a lot of time, over several visits, admiring this clock. Thanks for sharing the pictures Rivett. It must be even more impressive in person. It is a beautifully executed physical expression of its maker's mastery of many skills and the depth of his knowledge: the magnum opus of one man's life, especially if it was the product of both his own mind and his own hand.

    No doubt he was a focused and driven individual. Perhaps that made him difficult to work with Fusker.

    Bob


    Quote Originally Posted by fusker View Post
    There should be only one restauration. As I recall the clock was originally made from non-rustproof materials (don't ask me why anybody would do that, maybe the bean counters were responsible) and it soon showed signs of corrosion. Eventually it was decided to rectify this scandalous situation, the repairs took about five years I believe.

    I worked together with a large, strong fellow with the biggest hands I've ever seen. He worked as a machinist but was really a clock maker (we used to say it must have been tower clocks) but his hands were actually incredibly nimble. He knew about Jens Olsen but did not have a very high opinion of him, I don't remember why. I suspect there's a story hidden here but as I don't know any clock makers now I haven't digged for it.

    fusker

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    No, Bob, according to a book I just now happened on Jens Olsen was a very pleasant person. What my friend refered to was mr. Olsens mechanical skill which he found overrated. My friend was definitely a bit jealous, so maybe there's no more behind his remarks than that.
    The clock was put in motion by His Majesty King Frederik IX who pushed an electric button. A bit later the exact timing was done by an astronomer, no doubt on the basis of atomic clocks.
    The renovation consisted mainly in gold plating the gears and the other metal parts - but I do think they had to stop the works while they did this
    fusker

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    Smile

    Erm, is the Pedersen bike designed for only going down hills? I didn't know there were any hills in Denmark.

    Joe

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    Actually the Pedersen bike was first made famous for climbing the hill of Whiteway in Dursley England. It was a light weight bike, some models at only about 10 lbs. which was amazing for the 1890's.....

    I have yet ridden in on a hill for as you say there none in Denmark....... but I'll try after I bring it home sometime. You can see more about it in this thread which starts off about their cool looking micrometer...

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...light=pedersen

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    WoW!-- Superb craftsmanship, So clean &perfect, it is breath taking

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    Quote Originally Posted by rivett608 View Post
    .....I have yet ridden in on a hill for as you say there none in Denmark....... but I'll try after I bring it home sometime....
    How will you try? I have been to Denmark and been to Kansas; Denmark has bigger hills than Kansas in my experience.

    Whoops sorry, Kansas City MO, but probably Denmark still has similar hills.

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    The funny part is..... I live in one of the few hilly areas in Kansas City.......


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