A Minute Detailed Bill

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In The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical (1882), Francis Henry Stauffer related a story of a man from Worcester, Massachusetts who brought an expensive French clock to a well-known jeweler for repair. The man demanded a detailed bill in which all the particulars of the repair should be explained. This was what he received:

To removing the alluvial deposit and oleaginous conglomerate from clock a la French, … $0.50

To replacing in appropriate juxtaposition the constituent components of said clock, … .50

To lubricating with oleaginous solution the apex of pinions of said clock, … .50

To adjusting horologically the isochronal mechanism of said clock, … .50

To equalizing the acoustic resultant of escape wheel percussion upon the verge pallets of said clock, … .50

To adjusting the distance between the centre of gravity of the pendulum and its point of suspension, so that the vibrations of the pendulum shall cause the index hand to indicate approximately the daily arrival of the sun at its meridian height, … .50

Total: $3.00

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

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