Similar to the renowned ham and the Bollenhut, the cuckoo clock is a product of the Black Forest. Hardly anyone travels to the region without taking home one of the special clocks as a souvenir in their luggage. In actuality, the cuckoo clock is not a Black Forest invention. However, it was here that it was transformed into the form we know today and thus achieved world fame.
Clock production was a tradition in the Black Forest long before the introduction of the cuckoo clock. Since the middle of the 17th century, the watchmaking industry emerged and grew in the region. At that time, there were already reports that, for example, Elector August from Saxony already owned a cuckoo clock around 1629. In the middle of the 18th century, cuckoo clocks were also built in the Black Forest clock region. The name Franz Ketterer from Schönwald is inseparably linked with this development. He was one of the first to make cuckoo clocks in the Black Forest. Today, a monument in the town commemorates the famous son of the town. At that time, however, the only significant feature of these clocks was the cuckoo call.
The cuckoo clock was finally brought into its concise form through a competition in the middle of the 19th century. Architect Friedrich Eisenlohr won the competition with his design of a railway house. The typical house shape was further developed and redesigned over the years adding elaborate carvings or various figures. As a result, the most well-known varieties of the cuckoo clock today, including the carved clock variation and the chalet-style clock, were developed.
The invention of the cuckoo clock is therefore a development that took place over two centuries and came together through several influences. Original cuckoo clocks are now inextricably linked with the Black Forest region. Therefore, when buying a cuckoo clock, it is important to make sure that they are marked with the VDS certificate of authenticity. This guarantees that it is not an inferior plagiarism, but a quality product that you will enjoy for a long time.
Source: Birgit Eisenbeis / Black Forest Palace