Halifax Explosion – December 6, 1917

Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) was devastated on 6 December 1917 when two ships collided in the city’s harbour.

Taken from the Dartmouth side
Taken from the Dartmouth side
Results of the deadly blast
Results of the deadly blast

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.

On Dec. 6, 1917, the Belgian relief ship Imo rammed into the French munitions vessel Mont-Blanc, which was carrying TNT through the narrowest part of Halifax harbour. A fire on board the French ship ignited her cargo, causing a devastating explosion. The Mont-Blanc exploded at 9:04:35 a.m., sending out a shock wave in all directions, followed by a tsunami that washed violently over the Halifax and Dartmouth shores. More than 2.5 square km of Richmond were totally levelled, either by the blast, the tsunami, or the structure fires caused when buildings collapsed inward on lanterns, stoves and furnaces.

Two thousand people were killed in the Halifax Explosion and another 9,000 were injured. The explosion is the worst man-made disaster in Canadian history.

Seconds later a Junghans Crispi wall clock fell off a wall in a house on Princess court, North End Halifax. The following is the story of that clock.

I bought the remains of the clock from a gentleman in Halifax who related the story of how this clock was passed down to him through his wife’s family. It was important to him that someone who had a love and an appreciation of old clocks should continue with the restoration after he had rebuilt the frame some 30 years ago.

Thus began the six month journey of restoring the clock to its former glory. During the restoration I was able to obtain an old catalog image (supplied by a member of NAWCC) to guide me through the rebuilding process. Some of the smaller trim pieces were missing and because they are impossible to locate they had to be either purchased from a clock supply house or handcrafted.

Junghans clock in pieces
How the clock came to me
Four Junghans clocks, the Cripi is second from the left
Junghans Crispi wall clock
Junghans Crispi wall clock

It is now a wonderful tribute to that terrible tragedy on December 6, 1917.

6 thoughts on “Halifax Explosion – December 6, 1917

  1. You do have a “PHD” in timepiece restoration! Persistance,hardwork,dedication
    love your blog! Appreciated for information and pictures.


  2. Wow, wonderful weblog structure! How long have you ever been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The entire look of your web site is magnificent, as well as the content material!


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