Photo of The Month – Jun 2010
90 Years, and still ticking
Picture contributor: James Harris
Ninety years but not without slumbering.
In the years since Cone Mills stopped maintaining our old clock, it has slowly fell into disrepair. First, its time was off, then the bells chimed erratically, then it went silent, its gears and cogs all seized up. This assembly is in the upper of three floors in the tower, and operates the movement of the hands on the four clock faces.
On the floor below are the four bells, each weighing approximately 1,000 pounds, forged in 1920 by the Meneely Company, whose bells were the best and among the most expensive in the day.
On the ground floor is the main clockworks, where, without a regular schedule of lubrication and adjustment, real trouble can begin.
It was made in 1920 specifically for Cliffside Mills by the E. Howard Company of Boston. Howard clocks were always made to order, and each was hand fitted with its parts. All the gears, bushings, etc. were stamped with the last number of the clock’s serial number. In other words, the main frame and its associated parts were not interchangeable. (And replacements are not available at Ace Hardware.)
The photo was made in April 2010. See the clock’s slide show and read about its current troubles.