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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Keeps on ticking...

Here's a neat fact. There's a growing shortage in England of technicians to adjust antique turret clocks. Since the mechanisms of some of them are over 250 years old, you don't want just anyone setting them ahead and turning them back at the time change. So they're being fitted with sensors to watch the pendulum and a radio receiver to pick up the atomic clock time signal. A small piston discretely nudges the pendulum to keep the clock accurate to 1/10 of a second a day.

When the time change comes around. The pendulum is slowed to a stop, and the clock is restarted either 11 hours later or 1 hour later, depending on the time of the year.