Mechanical watches, and clocks especially are anachronisms, and it’d be hard to argue otherwise in our digital era. But for those us who love these mechanical wonders and are drawn to their history, it’s not something that really matters. That’s why we found this story about the efforts to save a 138-year-old clock in Peoria County, Illinois so fascinating.
The Seth Thomas clock in question was first installed in 1878 in the Peoria County Courthouse. The 6,000-pound clock was set to be destroyed when the Courthouse building was to be demolished in 1964, but a handful of people took it upon themselves to stop that from happening. The first was local businessman Foster Vachon, who procured the clock, restored it at his own expense and installed it on top of the Vachon Brake Service where it remained the next 25 years. After Vachon died, the clock was donated to the Peoria airport, but plans to display it never came to fruition and the clock was once more on the chopping block. That’s when Dunlap Clock Shop owner John Harrison Parks, now 101-years-young, and his son stepped in. To read the full story, click here.