Linear clock

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The linear clock in Wilhelmstrasse / corner of Ständeplatz on June 2, 2006 at 4:21:47 pm (Since some light bulbs are defective, the time is not displayed exactly)

The linear clock (Kasseler clock) is a light kinetic sculpture designed by Peter Hertha from 1977. It stands at the upper end of Kassel Wilhelmsstraße at Ständeplatz.

Between three stainless steel columns, each offset by 120 °, three identical vertical rows of incandescent lamps are arranged under a plexiglass cover . The interplay of the electronically controlled light bulbs serves to display the time. As was common with electrical clocks at that time, the 50 Hz mains frequency is used as the clock generator. In addition, the clock adjusts itself by receiving the radio signal from the DCF77 time transmitter in Mainflingen .

Each vertical row of lamps is divided into three segments. The top segment shows the hours, the middle segment the minutes and the bottom segment the seconds. In each segment there are two rows of lamps one above the other, which must be read separately. To read the time you only have to determine the number of lights in the six rows and arrange the digits according to the scheme of a digital clock. Thus noon only light bulbs 3 in the top segment, the first of the top row ( 1 2:00:00) and the first two of the lower row (1 2 : 00: 00).

A forerunner of light kinetic sculptures with semi-metallic time display as art in public space was the set theory clock by Dieter Binninger , which was prominently erected in 1975 on the median of Berlin's Kurfürstendamm . In 1981 the artist Horst H. Baumann used a principle comparable to the linear clock for his sculpture Lichtzeitpegel at the Rheinturm in Düsseldorf.


  • Magistrat der Stadt Kassel, Kulturamt (Ed.): Art in public space. Kassel 1950–1991. Marburg 1991: Jonas, ISBN 3-89445-109-2 , p. 51 f.

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Coordinates: 51 ° 18 ′ 52.4 "  N , 9 ° 29 ′ 25.4"  E