mainspring

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Related to mainsprings: Watch barrel

mainspring

the principal power spring of a mechanism, esp in a watch or clock
References in classic literature ?
Here, in truth, lay the mainspring of this strangely-constituted organization.
If I was to go, that 'ouse would run down like a watch with the mainspring out.
The mainspring is vanity, assisted by the love of garlic and bread and butter.
HEEP, and only HEEP, is the mainspring of that machine.
For the mainspring of the story was that in spite of the man's absorbing selfishness, his wife (overpowered by his deportment) had, to the last, believed in him and had, on her death-bed, in the most moving terms, confided him to their son as one who had an inextinguishable claim upon him and whom he could never regard with too much pride and deference.
He was, indeed, the Custom-House in himself; or, at all events, the mainspring that kept its variously revolving wheels in motion; for, in an institution like this, where its officers are appointed to subserve their own profit and convenience, and seldom with a leading reference to their fitness for the duty to be performed, they must perforce seek elsewhere the dexterity which is not in them.
Diana went for raw power during the "horsepower wars" that started in the early 1980s, and their mainsprings were one of their secrets.
As watches got bigger, the potential for extending power reserve increased, since there was more space for larger mainsprings.
"Now that states are looking for mainsprings of growth and sustainable development, I call on policymakers and civil society stakeholders to acknowledge this role of cultural diversity and to factor it into public policies," Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova said in her message on the occasion of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (May 21).
Here he turns to one of the mainsprings of the modern terror advocated by extremist sections in the Mohammedan world.
The 990L features the Qwik Action firing system, and, as such, it joins those pistols already on the market featuring partially cocked striker assemblies or fully cocked mainsprings. It is a solid design, and from indications experienced during our testing, it is both accurate and reliable and will serve both law enforcement and civilian markets quite well.