COLUMBIA, Pa. (WHTM) — This weekend, Pennsylvanians will turn their clocks forward an hour as Daylight Saving Time begins, but imagine having to set your clocks every week. At the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Lancaster County, gallery attendant Richard Pazar and his colleague wind around 90 clocks every Wednesday.
The process takes about an hour each week, Pazar said, and involves a cart full of keys — so many keys that there is a booklet to identify which keys go with which clocks — and lots of turning and nudging.
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“You open the face of the clock, wind it, set the time if it’s a little off, and close the face and move onto the next clock until you finish that gallery,” he explained. Then he moves on to another gallery and does the same thing again. There is even one clock outside of the museum that requires winding.
Pazar says the task is fun but also makes him “a little tiny bit anxious because they are old and fragile clocks.”
The museum is home to more than 13,000 timepieces from wristwatches to tower clocks and sundials to GPS devices, said the museum’s research library supervisor and acting curator James Campbell, although only about a third of those pieces are displayed at once.
Most of the clocks in the museum’s collection come from the U.S., Campbell said, and some were even made in the Midstate in places like Manheim and Harrisburg.
Pazar’s favorite timepiece in the museum is the massive and intricate Engle Clock, which features moving figures like soldiers, Molly Pitcher, Jesus and the twelve apostles, and the devil. The clock also shows the time, month, day of the week, and positions of the moon and constellations in relation to Earth.
Engle, the man who created the monumental clock, was born and raised in Pennsylvania, Pazar noted.
Learn more about visiting the National Watch and Clock Museum here, and don’t forget to “Spring Forward” your own clocks this weekend.