Big clock fixed with a few small pennies In this Thursday, April 30, 2009 file photo, the Big Ben bell is seen inside St. Stephens tower at the Houses of Parliament, in central London. Officials on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 said that the famous clock at Britain's Parliament, used by people across Britain to check the time, has recently been slow by as much as six seconds. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Big clock fixed with a few small pennies
Lexile

Don't set your watch by Big Ben.
 
Officials say the famous clock at Britain's Parliament - used by Londoners for decades to check the time - has recently been slow by as much as six seconds.
 
The 156-year-old clock chimes every 15 minutes and emits deep bongs to mark the hour. Staff at BBC radio, which broadcast the bongs live at 6 p.m., noticed its inaccuracy.
 
Ian Westworth, one of Parliament's three clocksmiths, told the BBC the clock had become "a little temperamental" with age.
 
"Imagine running your car for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the last 156 years," he said.
 
Parliamentary officials said that mechanics had corrected the clock to within "normal parameters" - within 2 seconds of the right time. They will continue to adjust it by placing pennies on the pendulum - or removing them - to fine-tune its speed.
 
Parliament's neo-Gothic clock tower is one of London's most recognizable landmarks, and its bell is one of London's characteristic sounds. The famous bongs echoed through the city without fail through World War II bombing raids, though they have been silenced a few times for repairs, and by accident or the weather.
 
Although the clock tower is popularly known as Big Ben, the name actually refers to the 13-and-one-half-ton Great Bell inside. The tower was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 8 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do mechanics use pennies to adjust the time?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (25)
  • hannaha-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:26 p.m.

    The mechanics use pennies to adjust the time by placing them on the pendulum or removing them. They do this to fine tune it's speed.

  • callans-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    The mechanics used pennies to adjust the time because they are small and they don't weight very much, and they won't take up much room. Another reason why is because they are metal and they are not very noticeable.

  • austina-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:28 p.m.

    Mechanics use pennies to adjust the time because they are lightly weighted and can tune its speed precisely more than others.

  • audreya-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:29 p.m.

    Mechanics use pennies to adjust big bens time because it fine tunes the speed of the pendulum.

  • brooklynk-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:30 p.m.

    Mechanics use pennies to adjust the time because they fine-tune the clock's speed.

  • calaabj-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:30 p.m.

    Mechanics use pennies because it fixes the pendulum and fixes the tune and other sounds.

  • kolbyd-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:31 p.m.

    it adds weight to the pendulum to slow it down or speed it up

  • travisb-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:31 p.m.

    Mechanics use pennies to adjust the time because it can be easily added to and taken away, also because it offers precise calculations.

  • helenaw-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:33 p.m.

    They use pennies to adjust the time because pennies do not weigh much.

  • lances-fel
    9/21/2015 - 02:33 p.m.

    mechanics use pennies to fine tune the big ben to the correct time.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT