Every clock in a home has a story attached to it

Would you believe that we have four clocks in our living room? Maybe that suggests we are clock watchers. Or it could be that we enjoy clocks. Each one of them does have a history that is part of why we have and enjoy them.

One that we especially enjoy is a small mantle clock that sits on our fireplace mantle. According to my father, some years ago it was first purchased by my great-grandfather, who interestingly enough was also named John. It is a rather ornate clock that needs to be wound every eight days. It has a pleasant chime on the hour and half hour.

I often wonder over the years, who were the hands that would wind this clock? Who had the job of keeping it wound up and ready to run for another eight days?

It was passed from my great-grandfather to my grandfather Elmore, then my father, also named John, and on to me.

Right now, the clock is keeping good time but the chiming is off. It chimes whatever time it wants to and I haven’t been able to get it on the right hour. I know it needs a good cleaning and oiling and maybe some new gears. Finding someone who knows and understands clocks to work on it is not easy.

Standing against one wall is a grandfather clock made by my father-in-law in the 1960s. The lumber he used came from my great-grandfather’s woods in Portage County. It is black walnut that my father had saved when we moved to North Bloomfield. It was built for my first wife, Frances, who, sadly, died in 1978.

We have enjoyed this clock in which I have installed an eight-day wind-up chiming works after it was built. It would softly chime on the hour and half hour. It also needs some work because it no longer wants to chime.

A third one is called a grandmother clock. I made it for Betty from some cherry lumber that my brother Dale gave me from his woods in North Bloomfield. It is a beautiful, small floor clock.

I wanted to put a wind-up works in it but couldn’t find one that would fit in the body of the clock. So I put a battery-powered chiming works in it. It has a soft Westminster chime that is much like the more expensive wind-up works. Replacing the battery just once a year means one less clock to wind every week.

More recently, I was given a small battery clock from Farm Bureau for some things I had done for the organization. It had “member of distinction” printed on it and came as a surprise. It is on the end table next to my easy chair.

Now you have the story about why we have so many clocks in our living room. Each one of them has some history back of it, and we enjoy having them.

There is one clock that most of us have that can be aggravating. That is the pesky alarm clock we set to wake us up in the morning. It rings at the time we set it but we don’t want to get up. We would rather turn it off and go back to sleep.

According to history, clocks are one of the oldest human inventions, with many different types and styles built. Years ago, clock towers were a popular way of helping people know what time it was.

Coming back to the four clocks we have in our living room, they all seem to agree about what time it is, so we aren’t confused. We just need to find someone who works on clocks to fix the chimes in two of them.

Have you checked to see how many clocks you may have in your living room or around your home? Perhaps more than you think.

Parker is retired from The Ohio State University and is an independent writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Contact him at jbparker149@gmail.com.


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