Since Victorian times, many Long-case Clocks have often been known as Grandfather Clocks, with smaller versions referred to as Grandmothers or even Granddaughters.
There are two main types of long-case clocks, a 30-hour movement and an 8-day version.
The 30-hour movement is generally rope or chain driven and needs to be wound every day, by opening the front door and returning the single weight to the top of the case.
The 8-day movement has two weights suspended on gut line from two barrels and is wound once a week, by a key through the dial.
Because 8-day movements were much more expensive than 30-hour clocks there are examples of clocks with false keyholes in the dial etc, which gave the impression that the owner could afford the more expensive variety.
The earliest examples are from 1658 with a short pendulum and a verge escapement. From 1670 onwards, this changed to a longer pendulum and an anchor style escapement. ( The pendulum is attached to the escapement, which controls how fast the clock runs. )
Early dials were relatively small at around 10 inches, growing bigger until they reached about 12 inches wide by the early 18th century. White painted dials appeared on the scene around 1770.
Often the original wooden cases were attacked by woodworm or were damaged from standing on a damp floor. ( This was sometimes caused by over-enthusiastic maids washing the floor too frequently and soaking the bottoms of the cases. ) This made the base of the case susceptible to wet rot. Many cases were shortened and modified when this occurred.
A Member of the British Watch & Clockmakers Guild