We acquired our clock from a 110-year-old building in Trenton which used to be a textiles factory during the early 20th century. The clock tower overlooks the NJ transit railroad tracks, and it can be seen as you take the train from Trenton to New York!
The inspiration for the player piano came from the phonograph, which brought the songs of professional pianists into the home. When the player piano was invented, people were worried that no one would ever play music again since the machines could perform better.
Clocks run more quickly in stronger gravitational fields. This means that people who live at higher elevations than normal, for example in Boulder Colorado, have clocks that move a bit more slowly than ours here in New Jersey.*
The first mechanical wind-up alarm clock that could be set for any time was patented by Seth E Thomas on October 24, 1876. An alarm clock had been invented almost 100 years earlier by Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire, but his alarm clock would only ring at 4:00 AM! (Much like the fire alarms on the Princeton campus, incidentally.)*
And for those of you out there who like to amass gratuitous amounts of useless knowledge, have this: the word 'clock' comes from the French word "cloche" meaning bell. The Latin for bell is "glocio", the Saxon is "clugga" and the German is "glocke."*
Check back soon for more fun facts!
* From AntiqueClocksPriceGuide.com