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Tick-Tock the Huntington Clocks, from Towers to Mantels

This video was prepared by Channel 12 in 2005 when the Clock exhibit was on display

Noted architect Lewis Mumford once said, "The clock, not the steam engine, is the key machine of the modern industrial world."  Our attention is often focused on time:  the passing of it and our seemingly unending search to try to somehow secure more of it. 

The Huntington Historical Society's exhibit, "Tick-Tock, Huntington's Clocks:  From Towers to Mantels" offered a unique look into the world of antique time pieces and their evolvement over, excuse the pun, time.  From a rare Eli Terry experimental box clock (one of only nine known in existence) to a circa 1920's Seth Thomas tower clock mechanism which was removed from its tower, this marvelous exhibit at the Conklin exhibit hall, displayed a "symphony" of over twenty timepieces from the Society's collection.


Evoking the fascination for machinery, precision and delicacy, this exhibit featured a variety of clock styles, all of which still keep time, including the Terry box clock which dates back to the early 1800's.  Other fine examples of early clock making include an "O. G." or "everyman's clock" whose name is derived form the ogee curve popular in architectural and furniture molding from the early 19th century, an iron front clock inspired by freer forms of the second half of the 19th century and a Number 4 Howard banjo clock from the Oldfield Point Lighthouse on Long Island.  Visitors also find photos of seven Huntington tower clocks on display, many of which are still in place and working, like the Town Hall clock donated by Miss Cornelia Prime, which stands bold and beautiful overlooking Huntington Village.

Also showing are several Seth Thomas tall case clocks as well as a number of elegant shelf and mantel clocks which , in earlier days, could have graced the parlors and fireplaces of fine Huntington families.

While we may not be able to slow down time or keep it from marching on, everyone can enjoy this fascinating look at how the people of the past kept their lives ticking.