The human desire to have music play automatically has been known since ancient times. Heron of Alexandria (1st century) not only opened temple doors with his 'Automata', but also built music machines. Outstanding minds, who were mostly in the service of a ruler, repeatedly tried their hand at figure machines, e.g. Leonardo da Vinci built three mechanical lions.
Watchmakers who combined clocks with a musical mechanism are known from the 17th to the 19th centuries. In the Black Forest, flute clocks were produced in large numbers from 1770 to around 1850. They were used for entertainment in wealthy homes, but could also be found in restaurants.
On the next page you can hear a flute clock from 1850.
Movement: Wooden case with side door with signature and melody index, wooden plate movement (slide-in movement), wooden spindle with brass wheels, hook passage, armature shaft in metal, walking and striking mechanism with weight drive via chains, flute mechanism via cable pull, hour strike on gong with Subsequent activation of the flute mechanism, large wooden play roller with brass pins, flute mechanism with 36 flutes and two registers, design of the flute mechanism: closed back bellows design.
Shield: Wooden shield with Roman numerals, lateral floral decorations, in the middle a transverse oval landscape, in the upper part a stage with two musicians moving to the music, in the gable floral decorations.
Hands: Cut-out brass hands.
List of melodies: 1st night ..., 2nd contredanse, 3rd ... Lander, 4th Écosaisse, 5th aria, 6th Lautenbach waltz, 7th hop, 8th march from Muskau