Date Of Visit: July 1, 2017
Location: 199 Maple St, Bristol, CT
Hours: April 1st through Nov 30th
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Easter and Thanksgiving. Winter months by chance or by appointment.
Children (8-15) $2.00
Under 8 Free
Group tours available by appointment.
Parking: There is room for about 15 to 20 cars in the parking lot
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Highlights: clocks, watches and other time measuring devices from various eras and places, outdoor garden with a sundial
Storing more than 5,500 clocks, watches and other timepieces, the American Clock And Watch Museum has one of the largest collections of watches and clocks in the country. They generally switch out their clocks seasonally which makes it a great place to visit continually throughout the year. I had been clocking the place for a while but it was my first time visiting.
While their total collection of clocks and watches numbers over 5,500, thy only display about 1,500 at a time. They switch some of the clocks and watches every few months. I’m sure they do it in a very timely manner.
The collection of clocks range from the beautiful to the bizarre. I wonder how many times people have stared at these clocks and watches.
The biggest current attraction at the museum now is the classic kitty kat clock.
I could spend all day there, especially in the room with all of the grandfather clocks (many of which are from the Bristol, CT area)
Each clock and timepiece has a story behind. They all have a card explaining when and where they were made and some interesting background information about the time piece. I found the information and history of the timepieces to be just as interesting as the clocks themselves.
For instance, this clock was called “the grip” because the clock’s movement was so small it could be fitted into a large pocket watch case. As is the case with many of the timepieces there, it was made in Connecticut (Forestville to be exact).
The clock below is a tribute to baseball. If you look closely at the clock you can see the baseball players and coach in the design around the face of the clock. This clock was sold in 1875 by the American Clock Company in New York, NY. The movement was made Noah Pomeroy, of course, from Bristol, CT.
“The Philosopher” is a brass mantel clock with an 8-day movement made by the Ansonia Clock Company in Brooklyn, NY in 1855. This is another interesting bit of information I learned at the museum. Some clocks, especially the older clocks in their collection, had to be rewound. Generally, clocks had either one day or eight day movement. Clocks with a one day movement, obviously, had to be rewound every day. However, saying a clock had a 8 day movement is a bit of a misnomer as it would have to be rewound every week (not every 8 days).
I know. Who knew a clock and watch museum could be so interesting!?
The museum also has old pocket watches, wrist watches and stop watches on display.
As you can see by the photos, Ingersoll played a major part in the watch making business, particularly pocket watches. Keeping with their Connecticut ties, Ingersoll watches were originally supplied by the Waterbury (CT) Clock Company.
There are also several displays of watch and clock related items and historical exhibits.
This particular exhibit shows all of the different parts in watches and clocks.
These educational displays showed how watches were made and the evolution of timekeeping.
The biggest clock in the museum hangs from the first floor to the bottom (or basement) floor. It is a Tower Clock built by Seth Thomas in 1915. It still keeps time and it is wound every 8 days.
One of the best parts of the museum is not even in the museum. Attached to the clock and watch museum, the sun dial garden typically has a sun dial (it was not installed in the garden during my visit), flowers and a bench to take a break from all of the clocks and enjoy the day. if you need to take a timeout. It really is a great place to pass the time.
Today’s featured link is Rena Tobey’s blog.
Rena is a creator, curator and teacher among her many talents. She made a visit to the American Clock And Watch Musseum in April of 2015. As I mentioned before, they do often switch out their clock and watch collection. So, you will see some different clocks and watched that I did not photograph (although I did see quite a few that we both photographed).