What is mainspring?

  • (noun): The most important spring in a mechanical device (especially a clock or watch); as it uncoils it drives the mechanism.


A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon that is the power source in mechanical watches and some clocks. Winding the timepiece, by turning a knob or key, stores energy in the mainspring by twisting the spiral tighter. The force of the mainspring then turns the clock's wheels as it unwinds, until the next winding is needed. The adjectives wind-up and spring-wound refer to mechanisms powered by mainsprings, which also include kitchen timers, music boxes, wind-up toys and clockwork radios.

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Some articles on mainspring:

Jay Lake - Bibliography - Mainspring Universe
... Mainspring (June 2007) Tor Books (ISBN 0-7653-1708-7) Escapement (June 2008) Tor Books (ISBN 0-7653-1709-5) Pinion (March 2010) Tor Books In addition to these three ...
Colt Dragoon Revolver - Production - Second Model
10,000 the V-shaped mainspring was standard and then replaced with a flat leaf mainspring and a wheel on the hammer at its bearing on the mainspring ...
Unusual Forms of Mainspring
... A mainspring is usually a coiled metal spring, however there are exceptions The wagon spring clock During a brief time in American clockmaking history coilable ...
... A clockwork motor is a clockwork device mechanically powered by a mainspring, a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon ... Power is stored in the mainspring manually by winding it up, turning a key attached to a ratchet which twists the mainspring tighter ... Then the force of the mainspring turns the clockwork's gears, until the stored energy is used up ...
Mechanical Watch - How It Works - Mainspring and Motion Work
... The spiral mainspring that powers the watch is inside a cylindrical barrel, with the outer end of the mainspring attached to the barrel ...

Famous quotes containing the word mainspring:

    His life was a sort of dream, as are most lives with the mainspring left out.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

    Thus all our dignity lies in thought. Through it we must raise ourselves, and not through space or time, which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well: this is the mainspring of morality.
    Blaise Pascal (1623–1662)