Pneumatic Clocks: Over 100 Years Ago, Paris had Thousands of Clocks Around the City Synchronized with Blasts of Compressed Air

In Paris on the 21st of January 1910, a flash flood caused the Seine river to rise 8 meters/25 feet and devastated the city. While much of the damage was what you might expect, something unusual did occur: thousands of clocks stopped at 10:50 am.

Pneumatic synchronized clock in Paris

This excellent video explains how Paris came to have a sophisticated system of clocks synchronized with blasts of compressed air and how they worked.

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1 reply
  1. Neil Tusing
    Neil Tusing says:

    Fazcinating video. I am absolutely amazed that such a system existed in the mid- to late- 1800.s. And was very effective. I would love to see something about constructing the system of pipes throughout Paris to carry the compressed air.


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