Remembering the Halifax Explosion and my Crispi clock

For Haligonians, this is a day to remember.

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

Today marks 101st anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.

Junghans clock in pieces
When I first saw the Junghans clock it was in pieces

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.

On that same day a Junghans Crispi wall clock fell off a wall in a house on Princess court, North End Halifax.

Junghans Crispi wall clock
Restored Junghans Crispi wall clock

Last year (2017) I bought a box of parts from a family that kept the clock for over 100 years and over the course of two months I restored the clock to it former glory. I wrote several articles on the restoration beginning with this one.