CALGARY — A historic clock is back in action and showing off its innards to the public.
The Seth Thomas Clock, originally placed in Calgary’s Historic City Hall in 1911, was repaired and restored as part of the city’s work to rehabilitate Historic City Hall, a $34.1 million investment which is scheduled for completion by July 2020.
The fully-repaired clock will be on display during business hours in the atrium of the Calgary Municipal Building until fall 2019, when it will be reinstalled in the clock tower. It will be housed in a transparent display case, allowing visitors to see its inner workings. The case will also be used to protect the clock once it is reinstalled in Historic City Hall.
The clock is the only remaining timepiece of its kind in Canada, with only 50 ever manufactured and 12 still operating worldwide that haven’t modernized with auto winding or electric power.
“With only 50 clocks of this particular model ever manufactured, this clock is a valuable historical timepiece and is one of the most defining features of Historic City Hall. I’m excited that we are able to share this historical artifact with Calgarians, and I encourage all citizens to come and take advantage of this unique opportunity to see the clock up close over the next year,” City of Calgary acting manager of facility management Darrel Bell said.
The original vision for the 1907 City Hall included an illuminated clock set into a five-storey sandstone tower. The Model 16A tower clock was manufactured by the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Connecticut and installed by local jewelry firm D.E. Black at a cost of $3,500.
The total weight of the clock parts is 3,950 pounds. It also has a 1,500 pound bell and to run properly it must be wound twice a week with a manual crank. When installed in 1911, the clock was synced with Canadian Pacific Railway time.