It was a dreadful winter, and it seemed that it would never be over, but spring has arrived, at last. And speaking about the passage of time, as it seems we always are, TLP and I took a nice little roadtrip yesterday to the National Watch & Clock Museum in Columbia, PA. Time's hands haven't moved as swiftly, in Columbia. It's a very quaint place. For instance, before we could get up enough strength to tour a whole museum, we had to do some serious lunch eating, so we went to Hinkle's. It seemed to be the only place around, and besides, TLP has friends who love this place, and they'll probably be tickled pink to hear that she shared this find with her daughter.
A person can do a lot more than just get a piping hot lunch at Hinkles; it's a pharmacy, a grocery and drug store, and a gift shop, as well. Heck, the whole town's down at Hinkle's. Believe you me, this is one happenin' place.
So, after eating ourselves too stuffed for desert, we looped around the block and headed for the museum. It was raining, so IF I had taken pictures of the outside of the building, it would have looked dreary, but as soon as I got out of the car and stood in the rain with my camera, I discovered that my batteries we dead. Oh. well. The biggest clock in the place, the main attraction for many, is the Engles Clock, built in the 1860s.
It's eleven feet high and about 8 feet wide, and features music and many moving characters: Molly Pitcher, Continental soldiers, the devil, Christ and the Apostles, and a skeleton, to name most of them. This clock was originally able to put on a different show every fifteen minutes. Time moved more slowly back then, I suppose, and people took entertainment were they could (read more about it at the link).
It's a fascinating collection, containing both the intriguing and whimsical. We had to laugh at a couple of early alarm clocks. Below is a Howard Banta Alarm Clock, from the latter 1800s, which will actually strike a match at a given hour to illuminate a small lamp in your room when it's time to get up. There's a bonus for setting a small fire which, set under your backside, will propel you not only out of bed, but out of the room and, I daresay, out of the house, as well!
There was also a very strange looking device with a clock face that was supposedly to be bolted to one's bed and attached to a string which also went around the sleeper's toe, to be serverely pulled at the appointed hour.
Many of the clocks in this museum were functioning, so there's a constant tick tick ticking in the background...the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells -
To the tolling of the bells -
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells, -
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
Sorry, I couldn't resist Poe's tintinnabulation.
It's about time I ended this post, so--Happy April, Happy Easter, Happy Everything, and good luck in this new month!
Oh, yeah, Happy April Fool's Day, too.