Why you should visit a clock museum

Every museum I have ever been to has allowed me to walk away with the feeling that I have learned something new. All museums document interesting histories that are intended to educate and inspire visitors. The Canadian Clock Museum at 60 James Street, Deep River, Ontario, operated by curator Allan Symons is one such example.

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The Canadian Clock Museum

The Canadian Clock Museum in Deep River, Ontario is a 2 1/2 hour drive from the nation’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario. I have visited it twice and I found myself learning even more on my second tour. It has a fascinating collection of clocks that are largely from North America. However, it has the most extensive collection of Arthur Pequegnat clocks that I know of outside a private collection.

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A collection of Pequegnat mantel clocks found at the museum

The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company made clocks in Kitchener, Ontario (called Berlin, Ontario up to 1917) to 1941 when the company ceased production. Pequegnat clocks were wholly made in Canada while their counterparts built and assembled cases in Canada and imported movements from the US, England, France and Germany. The Canada Clock Company and Hamilton Clock Company had a 12 year span also made both cases and movements but not at the volume of Arthur Pequegnat.

I have written about Arthur Pequegnat clocks in previous posts and I have been slowly building a modest collection for myself.

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Prince of Wales parlour clock, Canada Clock Company circa 1880
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Three tall case Arthur Pequegnat clocks

Many manufacturers are represented at this museum and even if you have only a passing interest in clocks you would no doubt find the displays both interesting and thought provoking. Companies represented are the Western Clock Company, Walter Clocks, the Snider Clock Corporation, Seth Thomas that operated a factory in Peterborough from the 1930’s to the 80’s, Breslin Industries, the Hammond Company of Canada Ltd to name just a few. Canadian Clock Maker Martin Cheney who briefly made high quality wall and floor clocks in Montreal in the early 1800’s is not represented, unfortunately.

Twiss long case clock
Twiss tall case early 1800’s

There are even some special clocks such as this Synchronome electrical impulse master clock from the 1930’s.

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Master clock mechanism
Clock
Master clock with slave clock at top

So, spend time at the museum talking to its knowledgeable curator or avail yourself of the manuals and documents at hand and conduct your own research into a specific clock.

This museum is modest by museum standards and not quite up to the scope and scale of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Museum located in Columbia, Penn, USA but don’t let its compact size fool you. There is plenty to see.

If you have any interest in clocks I strongly urge you visit this one if you are at or near the Deep River area. Outside Canada? I encourage you to seek out clock museums in your own country and take the time to understand the history of clocks from around the world. Its about time!


4 thoughts on “Why you should visit a clock museum

  1. I should visit a clock museum for its uniqueness. After I read the article, I thought about the clock museum in Ploiesti (Prahova county, Romania), unique in my country, recently reopened after a long period of restoration. Regards, Catalin

    Like

  2. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to grasp so
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    or something. I feel that you could do with a few percent to
    power the message house a bit, however other than that,
    this is excellent blog. An excellent read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

    Like

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