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Cuckoo Clock History and Production

Historically, the people who lived and worked in the Black Forest region of Germany (der Schwarzwald in German) had to look for additional sources of income, because their usually very large families could not be fed with the often meager agricultural output which left many on the brink of starvation.

So in around 1640 some local innovators started with the production of simple wooden clocks – long before Karl Benz built his first motorized carriage – that could initially only display the time with one hand. Approximately 100 years later, the first of what we would recognize as a cuckoo clock was made in the Black Forest, and over the next few decades they would become an incredible success, not only in the Black Forest and wider Germany but around the globe. And it was this success and the creation of the cuckoo clock industry that soon gave work and consequently food to thousands of people.

Traditional cuckoo clock making has stayed until today in the Black Forest area - mainly in the towns of Triberg, Schoenwald, Furtwangen, St. Georgen and in the area around Neustadt. Naturally there has also been some spread, with cuckoo clocks being produced in Switzerland as well.