History of the Tavern Clock

Would you pay additional taxes to keep a clock in your home?

Back in July 1797, the English Parliament passed an Act that declared five shilling tax on clocks to help fund the war efforts. Many clock owners were forced to get rid of their clocks or hide them so they didn’t have to pay the additional five shilling tax.

However, tavern owners didn’t get rid of their clocks because they saw it as a way to gain some foot traffic. People knew the tavern owners kept their clocks and would stop in to see the current time – and maybe even stay to have a drink and meal.

The tavern clock or “Act of Parliament Clock” had a large dial so it was easy to spot and tell the time without a bezel or glass panel. Many were painted black, hung on a wall, and were weight driven.

After 9 months in April 1798, the Act that declared tax on clocks was repealed because it failed to collect considerable revenue and also resulted in a decline in trade.

Tavern clocks continue to hang on the walls of pubs, taverns and inns to this day.

34254Our new Tavern Wall Clock Case is sure to add a piece of history to your home. Similar to a kit, the Tavern Clock Case arrives unfinished, fully assembled, and ready for your choice of paint or stain.

It includes a custom antiqued dial with faux keywind holes and a quartz trigger clock movement that chimes Westminster on the hour and strikes the hours. The bottom door opens for storage.

Paint yours black like the tavern owners, or stain to match the décor in your home. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to become a quick conversational piece.

View our new Tavern Clock Case at Klockit.com.

Written By: Rachel Hicks

Rachel is part of the Klockit committee responsible for finding and researching new products. She has helped review many items in order to understand what makes a great product for all of our Klockit customers.