Finally -- A Public Time Gallery at NW&CM!

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by FDelGreco, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow Sponsor NAWCC Diamond Member

    Aug 28, 2000
    2,018
    94
    48
    Male
    Retired chemical engineer
    Novelty, OH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    In November of last year, I spent time with Al Dodson, the interim curator of the NW&CM, looking for a place in the museum where we could display the Ansonia street clock (“Quincy”), once restoration is complete. The floor under the museum proper is concrete with no basement, so weight isn’t a problem. The ceiling in a few places is high enough to stand up the post (which is 12’-3” tall), with the head located on a stand next to it and the movement on its own stand next to the head, powering the dials. (No place in the museum has a ceiling height over 19 feet to display the clock assembled as you would find it on a street.) It turns out that the Stonehenge gallery, which is the first gallery that one enters when going into the museum, is the best place as it has a very high ceiling with few beams, heating ducts and roof trusses in the way.

    As the BOD was meeting during my time there, Al and I brought Rich Newman (board chair) and Philip Morris (director and museum collections committee chair) to the gallery to show them the ideal spot and what we wanted to do. Well it turns out that none of us ever liked the Stonehenge gallery at all, as the “rocks” are plastic and most of the museum pieces displayed there are reproductions. So we agreed that we will clear out the gallery and convert it to a “Public Time” gallery. We will move into that space the six tower clocks that are located in the small display area in another gallery and also pull out of the back room all the tower and street clock movements located there (I think I counted 12), add Quincy, and create a first rate Public Time gallery in the old Stonehenge gallery. We have about 1,200 square feet of floor space and about 96 linear feet of wall space. It will be great!

    Not all the tower clocks in the back room are capable of running, but the goal is to get as many as possible ticking. We may also reuse display cases from the Stonehenge display that will hold smaller artifacts like motion works, bevel gear sets, transmissions, etc. The result will be a “sensory delight” to visitors as they first enter the museum and hear loud ticking, the clanging of bells, and see the whirling of fans.

    Although complete restoration of Quincy may take quite a while to finish as progress is based on donations, work can start on the Public Time gallery right away. Al and I have been developing work plans and kicking around ideas to make the gallery exceptional. Al will also be cleaning up the movements in the back room and getting many of them to run.

    The carpet in that gallery needs to be replaced as there are some bad stains and 20 year old impressions from the “rocks” and display cases. Unfortunately, it’s glued to the floor rather than stretched between tack strips. I suspect it’s going to need to be removed by professionals.

    We’d like to replace the carpet with a wood floor so clocks don’t rock as they would on carpet and it’s more realistic of what you’d find in a clock tower.

    The walls will have to be repainted once the current posters are peeled off (they’re glued on).

    As the current NAWCC budget is very tight, we’re going to need some donations for the flooring and paint to get us going. We already have about $7,800 in donations and another $7,500 will arrive in the next couple of months. We could use some bells (6 – 10” diameter) and winding cranks so if you have some and don’t need them, you could donate them for a tax deduction. Tax-deductible donations of cash or stocks can be made to the Public Time Gallery account that is set up at HQ.

    Thank you in advance!

    Regards,

    Frank
     
    Dave T likes this.
  2. PatH

    PatH Registered User
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Dec 5, 2014
    1,654
    1,134
    113
    Female
    Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks for the update, Frank. Will the clocks out in the rotunda area also be moved in to become part of the new public time display? If not, will there be verbiage added to the signage of the clocks in the rotunda to draw people in to the new display, and vice versa?

    Pat
     
  3. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow Sponsor NAWCC Diamond Member

    Aug 28, 2000
    2,018
    94
    48
    Male
    Retired chemical engineer
    Novelty, OH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Pat:

    The big Schwalbach and others will be relocated to the gallery, but the Eberman, since it is significant to Lancaster county, will remain in the rotunda. (That's our current thinking.)

    Frank
     
    PatH likes this.
  4. scootermcrad

    scootermcrad Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 1, 2016
    292
    29
    28
    North Carolina
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Very cool! Thanks for the update!
     
  5. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 30, 2002
    4,087
    43
    48
    Brooklyn
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I just read Frank's article in the current Bulletin about this project; it seems like a great idea! I do have a question about the Ansonia post clock. Was thought given to installing the clock outdoors with the original wood dials displayed inside? Reproduction dials could be used on the outdoor clock, made either of wood (which may have to be replaced periodically) or a substitute material that looks as much like painted wood as possible. The clock could then be experienced in its original form and outdoor context, while the vulnerable original dials are protected inside. This is a solution used by art museums and historic sites where weathered and vulnerable historic sculptures are moved indoors and reproductions replace them in their original locations outside.
     
  6. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow Sponsor NAWCC Diamond Member

    Aug 28, 2000
    2,018
    94
    48
    Male
    Retired chemical engineer
    Novelty, OH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Jeremy:

    The original wood dials are long gone. When we purchased the clock, there were plywood dials poorly painted by the last owner, as shown below. The way I look at it, there are only three such clocks known to exist. I wouldn't want to put it outside. In addition, if we put it outside, we'd have to run a tunnel underground into the museum basement for the movement and drive shaft, as it was originally done, as the movement with its one meter pendulum won't fit in the base.

    We've had new dials made that are historically correct.

    Frank

    CIMG4185.JPG
     
    Jim DuBois likes this.
  7. Jeremy Woodoff

    Jeremy Woodoff Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 30, 2002
    4,087
    43
    48
    Brooklyn
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thank you, Frank. That explains the situation. Maybe in the distant future, when there is an addition to or reconstruction of the museum, a double-height space can be provided. It would probably be useful for other displays as well.
     
    Peter A. Nunes likes this.
  8. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
    NAWCC Star Fellow Sponsor NAWCC Diamond Member

    Aug 28, 2000
    2,018
    94
    48
    Male
    Retired chemical engineer
    Novelty, OH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Just a quick update on the public time gallery and the Ansonia street clock:

    1. The old gallery carpeting was torn out and a laminated wood look commercial grade vinyl plank floor was laid. The walls were painted.

    2. The new dials have been fabricated. They are historically correct. Ansonia made four versions of the dials: white with Roman or Arabic numerals; and black with Roman or Arabic numerals. The dials are 41" in diameter.

    3. The movement has been completely restored. Shown are before and after images.

    Frank

    floor3.JPG Ansonia_Dials_Hands(2).JPG DSC_0099.JPG 20170905_110054.jpg
     
    scootermcrad, Peter A. Nunes and PatH like this.
  9. scootermcrad

    scootermcrad Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 1, 2016
    292
    29
    28
    North Carolina
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Looking great, Frank!
     

Share This Page