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Prototype of the first "Wiener Würfeluhr"
Opera intersection, about 1910: Prototype of the first "Wiener Würfeluhr" (still without case)
(Collection Vladimir Aichelburg)
Spitalgasse, at the junction with Währingerstraße, 1952
Spitalgasse, at the junction with Währingerstraße, 1952
(Wr. Stadt- und Landesarchiv)
History of the "Wiener Würfeluhr"

August 1907
The prototype of the "Wiener Würfeluhr" ("Dice Clock") was mounted on a street-lighting pole at the intersection of Opernring / Kärntnerstraße. Production and design: Wiener Stadtbauamt together with the company "Ing. Emil Schauer". Innovation: four sides, each facing a different direction, clock faces with no numbers on, electric drive, backlighting at night. The actual master clock was housed in an advertising pillar on the Ringstraße, which controlled the hands on the of the "Wiener Würfeluhr" by electrical impulses.

Other of the "Wiener Würfeluhr" are installed provided with a cube-shaped housing, beveled at the corners. The first are installed at Mariahilfergürtel near Westbahnhof (1910), Schottenring (1913), Rudolfsheimer market (Schwendermarkt, 1915).

In conjunction with the on-going installation of electricity in the urban space numerous of the "Wiener Würfeluhr" are installed both in the centre and in the suburbs. At the end of 1938, there are 37 of the "Wiener Würfeluhr" in the city. The dials are plated with the manufactuer's name and the City of Vienna coat of arms: "Ing. Emil Schauer. Wien XIX" or "Schauer" and "Standard Time", or Central European time, which had been used in Vienna since 1910.

"Wiener Würfeluhren" damaged in World War II are repaired gradually. New "Wiener Würfeluhr" are installed throughout the city, until at the end of 1980 a total of 78 working "Wiener Würfeluhr" are in place, the maximum number ever installed in Vienna.

At Heumarkt the first "Wiener Würfeluhr" is installed for remote control operation.

At Am Hof, the first "Wiener Würfeluhr" is controlled by the DCF77 signal received from the German longwave time signal transmitter in Mainflingen.

Seit 2002
"Wiener Würfeluhr" are controlled increasingly by satellite navigation GPS.

Privatisation: All "Wiener Würfeluhr" are replaced by new ones and handed over for a period of ten years to "Wiener Städtische Versicherung", an insurance company. The clock face is now used as an advertising space. This second generation of the "Wiener Würfeluhr" is installed at 74 locations.

The old, dismantled "Wiener Würfeluhr" are purchased by the Viennese art trading company Lichterloh and marketed as a Viennese design objects.

The Vienna Museum of Technology takes an original "Wiener Würfeluhr" from the 1950s / 60s for its permanent collection
(Vienna Museum of Technology / Technisches Museum Wien - Peter Payer, 2016)