Purpose of rings on street clocks

RaineyKatz

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Jul 10, 2022
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Can anyone explain the purpose of the rings on street clocks (like the one in front of the NAWCC museum)? Do they actually have a purpose or are they just decorative?

This came up on a reddit forum and no one has an authoritative answer, just conjecture. It has generated some lively discussion. Any help putting this to rest is appreciated. Thanks for your valued attention.

(If anyone wants to read the post it is here: What are the rings for on this clock tower? : Whatisthis)
 

Dick C

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Oct 14, 2009
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Can anyone explain the purpose of the rings on street clocks (like the one in front of the NAWCC museum)? Do they actually have a purpose or are they just decorative?

This came up on a reddit forum and no one has an authoritative answer, just conjecture. It has generated some lively discussion. Any help putting this to rest is appreciated. Thanks for your valued attention.

(If anyone wants to read the post it is here: What are the rings for on this clock tower? : Whatisthis)
A number of black mantel clocks have rings as well.
 

RaineyKatz

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Jul 10, 2022
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A number of black mantel clocks have rings as well.
Thanks, Dick. Appreciate the reply. I actually have a mantel clock with those rings which seem to just be decorative. We've had a number of suggestions on the subreddit ranging from just decorative to rings for hanging lanterns, plants or buntings. Looking for some history or pics of purposed uses. Otherwise I think you may be right that those are just decorative.
 

ElectricTime

NAWCC Business
Sep 28, 2002
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Can anyone explain the purpose of the rings on street clocks (like the one in front of the NAWCC museum)? Do they actually have a purpose or are they just decorative?

This came up on a reddit forum and no one has an authoritative answer, just conjecture. It has generated some lively discussion. Any help putting this to rest is appreciated. Thanks for your valued attention.

(If anyone wants to read the post it is here: What are the rings for on this clock tower? : Whatisthis)
I always assumed they were strictly ornamental - but I found this catalog sheet from a reproduction of a Seth Thomas Street Clock Catalog - and there are banners attached.

Seth Thomas.jpg
 

PatH

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I always assumed they were strictly ornamental - but I found this catalog sheet from a reproduction of a Seth Thomas Street Clock Catalog - and there are banners attached.

View attachment 719890
The rings on that clock appear to be different than the one to its left. The ones in the center seem to be a little smaller and to have a piece on the bottom. However, that could possibly be a short swag from the banners. It almost appears that the "banner" could be metal, as it seems to have some writing that I don't think would be as visible if it were fabric. Can you tell more from the actual page? Any additional images in the catalog?
 

ElectricTime

NAWCC Business
Sep 28, 2002
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The rings on that clock appear to be different than the one to its left. The ones in the center seem to be a little smaller and to have a piece on the bottom. However, that could possibly be a short swag from the banners. It almost appears that the "banner" could be metal, as it seems to have some writing that I don't think would be as visible if it were fabric. Can you tell more from the actual page? Any additional images in the catalog?
It's just a page from tran duy ly seth thomas catalog reprint - there is this clock in salt lake city
 
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PatH

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Thank you, Thomas! That picture shows what looks to be metal banners more clearly. Great finds on the catalog page and the Salt Lake City clock example.
 

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