Update: The Chronophage was on display temporarily; the exhibit ended in January 2013 It is currently undergoing a makeover, and will be unveiled in a new location TBD.
“It was Einstein who said Time was relative. When asked for an example, he paused and then said, ‘If you think about it, an hour spent on a park bench with a pretty girl passes in a moment, but a moment sat on a hot stove seems like an hour’.”- Dr. John C Taylor
Dr. Taylor’s amazing clocks run fast and sometimes slow, sinister and captivating, as they mechanically embody the idea that time is relative, being eternally devoured as we stand by helplessly. The exposed grasshopper escapement ticks away as a large time-eating Chronophage insect perches above, greedily consuming every minute wasted.
The eternally voracious insect in Edinburgh is not the first of its kind. Its sister clock, Corpus Clock and Chronophage, resides at Corpus Christi College, and has a similar design and purpose. The most obvious difference between the two clocks is the insect possessing it. The Corpus Clock has a demonic grasshopper creature, while Midsummer’s Chronophage more closely resembles a housefly in the throes of madness.
Dr. Taylor’s enthralling timepiece is on display at the National Museum of Scotland. The Midsummer Chronophage is the second clock in a set of three, beginning with the Corpus Clock and concluding with the Chinese Dragon Chronophage, unveiled in 2012 in Shanghai.
Know Before You Go
National Museum of Scotland