Gold pocket watch from my Grandma Bea, 2018.
history pragmatic historian time

Tick Tock – An Assortment of Clocks

In case it hasn’t become apparent yet, I’m using clocks as the visual theme for The Pragmatic Historian. What better way to illustrate the uses of history than through a practical tool that helps us mark time?

When I decided on the clock theme, I ran around the house, looking for and gathering up clocks in order to properly photograph them. I was shocked, absolutely shocked with how many clocks I found: 28 of them!

The vast majority of them don’t work, so why are we keeping them? We seem to have a thing for the design of clocks, particularly mid-century modern ones. They are fun to look at.

Along with the many wall clocks in our collection, we have some nonfunctioning wristwatches we got with some beads and jewelry at a random sale. We also have a couple of pocket watches. The pocket watches came from relatives. One watch was given to me by my Grandma Bea; the other came from my husband’s father or grandfather, I believe.

We have 3 wall clocks that were also passed down from relatives, a cuckoo clock and an advertising clock from my husband’s grandmother, and a blue-and-white porcelain-faced clock from my Grandma Bea. (Okay, maybe my attraction to clocks came from my Grandma Bea, now that I’m seeing a pattern here.)

Once I finished photographing the clocks in our house, I began looking for clocks wherever I went. You know what? There are clocks everywhere! Even though we live in a digital era, a lot of the clocks I’ve seen when I’m out and about are analog clocks, the ones that show a face with 12 numbers and hands. While many of these are probably battery operated, it’s nice to see that we haven’t abandoned the traditional-looking clock, allowing it to keep tick-tocking alongside its digital pals.

Do you have a favorite clock? Please share your clock story in the comments.

Here are some of the clocks from our collection: