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Clodoveo Franchini | mechanics and scientific instruments

mid 19th century | 1920


The business was founded by Clodoveo Franchini (1841 - 1920), the last representative of a family of watchmakers, mechanics, and manufacturers of scientific instruments. It was based in Via d'Azeglio in Bologna. It is described as follows in the “Guida illustrata di Bologna - Storica artistica industrial” (Illustrated Guide to Bologna - Historic artistic industrial), published in 1892 by the Successori Monti Typography: “A mechanical workshop that can be said to be the only important one in the city. In fact, Franchini was the first to work on the practical application of the many inventions to which electricity has given rise in recent times. He, for example, put domestic telegraphy into use before the others and, as the intelligent and active mechanic that he is, in spite of the great competition that was not always fair to him, he managed to carry out numerous and important installations in Hospitals, Offices, Establishments, Hotels and in a large number of private households. And the progressive amount of his clientele denotes the perfection of his devices. Among them, we are pleased to point out here one of his own invention, which, due to its great usefulness, deserves to be preferred to any other of its kind. It is used to control the seriousness of personnel in offices and establishments and has been used in the Albergo Italia for some time now, and works with great consistency. Needless to say, Franchini won several awards. Among his other specialities we also note the public service clocks, elegant solid and reliable, already applied in many places on behalf of municipalities, administrations, and private individuals”.

Among the many public clocks, we mention the one made in 1871 for Budrio's civic tower, now displayed in the entrance hall. The founder rests in the Loggia di Levante of the Certosa di Bologna. A good-natured portrait shows him surrounded by some of the devices he produced.

Translation by Lorenzo Rocco, 2022.