It’s not a cuckoo clock… but it is… What is it?!
It’s a railroad clock!
Railroad clocks are considered cuckoo clocks. In fact, without them, the cuckoo clock would not exist as we know it.
Railroad clocks are shaped like rail houses as that was their inspiration. The design was the winner of a major clock making contest held by Robert Gerwig, the director of a Clockmaking School in Furtwangen.
The designer was Friedrich Eisenlohr, and he got the idea from working on the new railroads that were cropping up throughout Germany.
Ironically, the only feature that was missing from the original design was the cuckoo bird. Today the cuckoo is often included in the design.
The Railroad cuckoo clock is characterized by its boxy shape and often features ornamentation around the frame of the clock.
You can see the similarities in the clocks today. Below to the left is a carved cuckoo clock and to the right is the Railroad cuckoo clock. Notice the similar box shape and decorative ornamentation around both frames. Both also feature leaf themes of the Black Forest as well as the musical dancers.
The Railroad cuckoo clock also can carry an authentic Black Forest Seal. Some have cuckoo birds, but some retain the original design that lacks the cuckoo bird. Either way, it is still a very popular design among clock enthusiasts.
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