The cuckoo clock is traditionally made in the Black Forest and is known worldwide. Often it is a wall clock whose mechanical pendulum work is equipped with chain pendelum and percussion
The basic form of the housing has been modeled since the mid-19th century usually a “Bahnwärterhäuschen” with pitched roof and decorated with more or less intricately carved wood ornaments.
The acoustic cuckoo time signal is movably mounted in the housing behind a door-like flap. It is usually swung open and one or more cuckoo calls will sound at the hour depending on the hour.
The “cuckoo call” is traditionally created by a pair of differently high-pitched organ pipes inside the clock. However, some also manage with only one flute. Depending on the design, the mechanical cuckoo – traditionally carved and painted in wood, today often made of plastic – moves to the cuckoo’s call or opens the beak.
In addition, outside the clock other movable decorative elements may be attached, which sometimes also move, like dancers and birds. Today, in addition to the traditional mechanical cuckoo clocks and electro-mechanical models are offered with quartz movement, electronically generated cuckoo call, and “Kettenzug,” dummy pendulums.
Between 1800 and 1850 alone 15 million Black Forest clocks were sold worldwide. The “Uhrenhändler” or cuckoo clock sales people left home to gain steady employment by traveling to foreign lands to sell their goods.