The Tower Clock. A Parable
June 4, 1847
[0.1] The duke had a magnificent clock erected on a high tower in a city of our time. As the tower was octagonal, he had a clock face made on each of the eight surfaces which, of course, happened to be between the eight corners, so that everybody could see and make out the hours from all possible points and satisfy themselves about the hour, minute and second of the day.
[0.2] And in addition to the most precise division of time from the hour to the second, this clock also showed the date of the month, the position of the moon and also the position of the other planets as well as the daily duration of light from sunrise to sunset and, besides that, also the four seasons. But, of course, all these special astronomic data were shown on separate astronomic dials which were installed underneath the main clock face.
[0.3] And, in addition to all the things this clock showed on its faces, it also had a quite excellent striking mechanism for the hour and quarter of the hour and at the same time also the purest chimes. And for this whole extremely complicated elaborate mechanism, it had only one single clock weight. In a nutshell, this clock had no match anywhere in the whole civilized world.
[0.4] But none of this is of any importance, nor was the fact that it served such varied purposes in such an extremely correct way; but that all these activities, which varied so much from each other, were all put into the most expedient motion by only one and the same clock weight, this was the real marvel of this clock.
[0.5] When a stranger came into this city, this very visible clock immediately attracted his attention, and he asked the first available person approximately how many mainsprings and weights this clock had. When they told him: "Only one!", he was totally stunned and disbelieving and said: "This is impossible! So many and such various activities and only one drive? No, no, this does not work, this is impossible!"
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