Many antique clock collectors value roasting jacks, which turn meat roasting over a fire. Find out why people collect clockwork roasting jacks in this free video on collecting antique clocks presented by an antique clock collector.
I'm not going to talk much about clockwork things which aren't actually clocks, but there's one machine like that, an early machine, which bears taking a look at. These are clockwork roasting jacks. In the days of cooking in front of fireplaces, probably the worst job was was the person who had to turn the meat, the turn spit. Either, sometimes they were dogs in squirrel cages, or young boys who had to sit there in front of that hot fire often for hours on end, so that they meat got cooked evenly on all sides. With the invention of clocks, and clockwork mechanisms, we came to what are called roasting jacks. This is an English version called a bottle jack, where this would hang in front of the fireplace, and from here would hang some sort of hook contraption that the meat was on, you would wind this up, and this would slowly rotate as long as it were wound up by a clockwork mechanism inside, and save somebody from getting their eyebrows burnt off sitting in front of the fire. This is a French version, with this, would stand in front of the fire with a rod that would go out to the side, with the meat on the skewers. This would again wind up, and a spring would slowly turn that meat for many minutes until the spring ran down. This had an additional feature, where there was a bell inside, so as the spring was losing its power, and the jack was going to stop turning the meat, and perhaps letting it burn on one side, a little bell would ring to alert you to come over and wind it up again. Also on my website is an article about roasting jacks which you could learn more about these early kitchen machines.