Derek Roberts, Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks, Schiffer, 1999, p.256, fig.22-6; Sotheby's New York, The Joseph M. Meraux
Collection of Rare and Unusual Clocks, 28 June 1993, lot 25.
The design of this clock appears to be based on the Whitehead torpedo, the world's first automobile torpedo. An engineer, Robert Whitehead (1823-1905) was manager of a company in Fiume producing ship's engines and boilers. In the 1860s Whitehead worked with Giovanni Luppis to produce a self-propelled torpedo and in 1866 the result was presented to the Austro-Hungarian navy. In time, Whitehead would produce a torpedo that could travel 700 yards at a speed of 7 knots. To keep it at depth Whitehead developed a hydrostatic plate to drive the depth rudder, by a spring connected to a pendulum. See also lot 81.