It’s About Time: An exhibit of Clocks and Watches


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CHARLOTTE – The Matthews Heritage Museum is pleased to announce its newest exhibit It’s About Time: An exhibit of Clocks and Watches.  The exhibit will open on September 18 and be on display until January 22, 2021.

For over 5000 years man has realized the need to tell time, whether by the hour, day, month, or year. Early timepieces such as the sundial only worked if the sun was out.  That’s why mechanical devices – such as water clocks, candle clocks, and hourglasses – were developed. Then, in the 17th century, pendulum clocks were developed, which were far more accurate than any preceding timekeeping devices. The Great Western Railway in Britain led the way in 1840 and “railway time” was gradually taken up by other railway companies over the subsequent few years. Timetables were standardized to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and by 1855 time signals were being transmitted telegraphically from Greenwich across the British railway network. However, it was not until 1880 that the role of GMT as a unified standard time for all of England was established in legislation. By about 1900, almost all inhabited places on Earth had adopted a standard time zone



Today highly accurate timekeeping instruments set the beat for most of our electronic devices. Nearly all computers, for example, contain a quartz-crystal clock to regulate their operation. We may not always realize it, but precision timing underpins many features of our daily lives. Mobile phones, financial transactions, the Internet, electric power and global navigation satellite systems all rely on time and frequency standards. So integral have these time-based technologies become to our day-to-day lives that we recognize our dependency on them only when they fail to work.

We have a variety of watches on display from Bulova, Swatch, Seiko and a myriad of others.  Examples of dive watches, wooden watches, and racing watches will also be on display. Does your child wear a “character” watch?  Check out our watches including Mickey Mouse, Cinderella,  M & M, Goofy, and Hop-a-long Cassidy!  Goofy’s dial is backward and his hands run counterclockwise!

Shelf and mantle clocks, from the 1840s forward, will also be on display. A popular American banjo clock, a cuckoo clock, and a couple of Seth Thomas clocks are featured.  This exhibit will be on display from September 18 to January 22, 2022. The Museum is located at 232 N. Trade Street, Matthews.  Hours of operation are Thursday to Saturday from 10 to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is charged, except for the first Saturday of every month.

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