What is a clock spring?

This is a device that sits around the steering column in the cabin of the car. As the steering wheel rotates so to does the steering column. Going back some time there were no electrical switches or controls on the steering wheel except for the horn. With only one wire to contend with this was a simple task.

When one looks at the modern steering wheel you can see a multitude of switches, volume controls and knobs. These all have to have connecting wires to the the items that they control. Normal wires would not last very long with the continuous bending and twisting. A very flexible tape with with eclectically conducting strips impregnated in it has one end fixed to the steering column and the other end fixed to the steering wheel. The tape is long enough to wrap around the steering column several times which allows for a gentle movement along the tape. So why call call it a “Clock Spring” you ask