Quartz Clock

  • images for Quartz Clock-thumbnail 1
  • images for Quartz Clock-thumbnail 2
  • images for Quartz Clock-thumbnail 3
This clock was built at the U. S. Naval Observatory about 1936 as part of an experimental program to control time signals transmitted by radio. It is a quartz clock, that is, it depends on a specially cut piece of quartz crystal to keep time. The search for a better timekeeper than the best pendulum clocks led to the development of quartz-crystal clocks, the first of which telecommunications engineers at Bell Telephone Laboratories built in 1927 to monitor and control frequencies.
National Museum of American History
Credit Line
Transfer from U.S. Naval Observatory
Physical Description
metal (amplifying apparatus material)
metal (time indicating mechanism material)
overall: 44 1/2 in x 20 in x 17 1/2 in; 113.03 cm x 50.8 cm x 44.45 cm
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanisms
Measuring & Mapping
Time and Navigation
Time and Navigation, National Air and Space Museum
Object Name
clock, quartz
ID Number
catalog number
accession number