Escapement

My friend Charlie said the clock has a worn escapement and that he will have to find a replacement or fabricate one from a “blank” gear. Charlie is a retired clockmaker/watchmaker. He only works on a few jobs each year. Charlie said he’d work on my antique clock because it was a simple repair that would take only a few hours to do. My friend said he had a couple of jobs ahead of mine, so my clock will be ready in a few weeks.

The escapement is a fairly straightforward part found in mechanical clocks and wrist watches. Basically it’s a toothed gear and lever setup that controls the stored energy of the wound-up spring or weights in a gravity powered clock. Without the escapement, the spring would unravel quickly or the weights in a grandfather clock would drop instantly to the bottom of the case.

When the timepiece is wound and working, the escapement in a watch or alarm clock produces a rapid ticking sound. In a pendulum clock the escapement is larger and makes the familiar “tick tock” sound. The escapement is essential because it portions out the stored energy of the wound-up spring or the gravity weights of a clock to power the gear mechanism of the timepiece.

While envisioning the works of my old clock, I pondered the escapement mechanism. It is an analogy to the human act of escape. If we work and worry day after day without pausing, we can feel “all wound up” and tense. So we take a break or relax on the weekend. In other words, we escape for awhile. In that we feel compelled to work and relax in cycles, we might say that we each have the mental equivalent of an escapement. Our mental escapement can regulate our stored physical and mental energy.

Just as every old clock has a unique escapement, so every human has her or his own unique escapement or energy release cycle. Our escapements help keep us “tick tocking” through life.

We have a limited amount of time to live out our lives so it’s important that we work or provide some sort of service and that we balance our efforts with some sort of positive escape. So, after a challenging day or week, a stretch of time to relax or to catch our breath is the wise thing to do. Sometimes a little mindless escape does wonders for our well-being.

Last night, before bed, I wound my watch so it could keep time during my sleep. Afterwards, I just stared at it, mesmerized by the miracle of mechanical timekeeping. Just as the watch needs to be regularly wound up in some manner, I need to be wound up or recharged each night. Our biological clocks regulate our sleep/wake cycles, our metabolism, and our lifespans. For optimum operation of our biological clocks, we need certain amounts of activity, counterbalanced with rest. Our escapements “tick” at different rates.

With all of these words about escapements, I realize that I’m eagerly anticipating getting my old clock back home so I can contemplate it’s reassuring “tick tock” sound.

Ciao
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders a line by Edgar Allan Poe. “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Gadgets, Health, Meanderings, Vintage Collectables and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Escapement

  1. Wow. I write a blog on recovery.
    I was thinking.
    Those of us who are prone to addictive substances and behaviors:
    are our escapements immature and skewed?
    If the function of my addiction is to prevent me from having a bad feeling that I cannot incorporate…
    Am I suffering the lack of healthy escapements?

    I’d like to reblog this. Lmk. K? 🌻

  2. Thanks a bunch friend.

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