The grasshopper is an enhancement of the conventional anchor escapement. It is distinguished by the hinged arms which mean that one is released from the clock’s gears only by the engagement of the other, ensuring an absolutely regularity of pulse. The very small movements involved resulted in far less wear, and the escapement needed no lubrication. Despite its advantages the grasshopper escapement had a number of limitations which prevented it from being widely adopted. Harrison himself did not use the name “grasshopper”, which only appeared in the late 19 th century.
Animation by Branislav Popkonstantinovic, Wikimedia Commons.
A dramatic representation of the grasshopper escapement has been created in the magnificent Corpus Clock: