top of page

The Conical Pendulum Clock



23 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet

21 feet pendulum length (5 seconds)

Currently in the collection of the Artist

The Conical Pendulum Clock's pendulum is a 21+ foot long stainless steel wire with a hanging brass weight that orbits around the entire clock in a precise interval of time (5 seconds). The pendulum is driven by a complex, gravity driven mechanism that propels the orbiting weight by gently tapping it with a long rod.

The driving weight that powers the clock hangs by a pulley from a red belt that wraps around a vertical bicycle wheel (the hour wheel). Regulated by the pendulum, the wheel takes a precise hour to rotate. A red arrow mounted onto the wheel acts as the minute hand.

The length of the wire pendulum is precisely adjusted until the bob encircles the clock at the rate of once every 5 seconds. The pendulum regulates the fall of the drive weight and the movement of the entire mechanism to create an accurate timekeeper.

An electric motor rewinds the weight approximately every 8 minutes.


For more information about the physics behind the Conical Pendulum Clock, see Wikipedia at: 


The Conical Pendulum Clock was created by the Artist in 1986 as an Artist-in-Residence project at the New York Hall of Science, Queens, New York. 

kbneg147 copy.JPG

The Conical Pendulum Clock has been exhibited at:

1986 The New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY. 

1991 Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC.

993 Technorama Museum, Winterthur, Switzerland.

1994 The Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, NJ. 

1994 The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA. 

996 Inventure Place, Akron, OH. 

2008 phaeno Museum, Wolfsburg, Germany. 

2009 Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain.

conical clock herkimer copy_edited.jpg

The source drawing for the conical pendulum found in

The Engineers" Illustrated Thesaurus 

©1952, by Herbert Herkimer.

bottom of page