Get It In Gear
If you take apart a watch, usually the kind with a face and hands that is, inside you will see all kind of parts. The most noticeable of these parts is most likely the gear, and that is because the gears are usually the largest part of the inner workings of a watch. The gear is a round, metal, ring of sorts with teeth that are designed to fit together with other similarly engineered metal parts. How the gears are placed inside of the machine will depend on their intended function. The gears will rotate one another in order to perform some task. In the case of a watch the gears may lie next to each other and their rotations will help the hands of the watch move.
Other gear arrangements include one gear positioned perpendicular to another gear. You will see this inside some large clocks, but this configuration is also present in a vehicle’s transmission where helical gears are employed. No matter the use for the gears or how they are positioned relative to one another, they function the same way: teeth hook up with teeth, and they are rotated by a pin or pole (depending on the size of the machinery) connected to each of the gear’s center.
Watching a watch work is interesting enough, but to see these gears in action in a really big clock is something to behold. At a museum in the town where I live there is a miraculous clock installation. You can stand at the clock and look at how it functions, see where and when the gears turn, see how those turning gears made other parts of the clock work, and marvel at how complicated a machine it is. One of the best things about the clock is knowing how old it is, and how the same types of mechanisms that makes an antique clock work are still employed in similar venues today.