Monday, May 30, 2011

The National Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, PA

We visited the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia yesterday and we were very impressed with their great collection of watches, clocks and timepieces.  This museum is dedicated to horology, which is the study of time and timekeeping.

In 1943, 52 members got together wishing to learn more about their collection of watches and clocks. It became nonprofit 1945 and opened their first chapter in Philadelphia.  These days, it is an organization with 174 chapters and over 23,000 members worldwide .

It has grown from a small private collection in 1971 to the building that you see here.  Currently there are approximately 1,500 watches and clocks on display, with an additional 12,500 archived timepieces for research. Exhibits range from the beginning of time to present day and includes many different kinds of clocks and watches including the Engle Monumental clock, .pictured below.  Built around 1876 by Stephen Engle, this monumental clock has 48 moving figures and two organs.  The admission fee of twenty five cents was charged to see the Eighth Wonder of the World, as it traveled around the eastern half of the United States.
The Engle Clock is demonstrated by hand every hour on the hour.  Many thanks to our volunteer Doug, for showing our group this fascinating clock.  

Many thanks also to Joe, pictured with me at the entrance to the museum who we connected with right away. 

There is also a research library on the premises, there are educational programs and you can learn clock and watchmaking.  There is also a short film shown before beginning your tour of the exhibitions.

Our stay at the museum lasted over two hours, but that's just not enough to enjoy all the services this great museum provides.  If you are in the Lancaster County area, the National Clock and Watch Museum is a must see.
.  As usual, here are the links

This is a link from the National Watch and Clock Museum's official site with more information on the Engle Monumental Clock. .

 This is the museum's site


  1. Never knew about this place, Clyde. Looks like a great place to visit! Sounds like you all had a great time!!

  2. Watch lovers and collectors should visit the place to see the collection. Thank you for this well-written blog!

  3. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.