For the Love of Time

On a given Saturday at the museum you may encounter a group of avid tinkerers in the Turbine Hall.

The local chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC 31) has had a long relationship with OMSI. For almost two decades the group has been coming to OMSI to maintain and repair the antique Oregonian Clock in the Turbine Hall mezzanine.

Members share a love of both timekeeping and community service. Some are collectors and hobbyists; others repair clocks and watches for a living.

Now the group is bringing their expertise to our visitors. On demonstration days (typically every other Saturday) you’ll find them presenting clock-related demos in the Turbine Hall outside the Tech Lab. 

NAWCC Demo in Turbine Hall

Demos include bringing in antique clocks and showing visitors how the mechanisms inside work, producing rubbings from wood artwork, and letting kids look through a box of gears to see what the parts look like and how they fit together.

George Matto, the residing president of NAWCC Chapter 31, has high-hopes for this relationship to continue and grow. “It would be great to eventually do something like an evaluation night,” he says “People could bring in their old clocks and we’d show them how to perform minor repairs, where to go to go to get them appraised, and how to take care of them going forward.”

Chapter 31 members are involved in many other community service projects – NAWCC maintains clocks belonging to the Beaverton Bakery, Meier & Frank (Now Macy’s), and Union Station in downtown Portland. The also lend their skills in classes at Woodstock Community Center.

Internal Clock Gears

Are you a fan of clocks or have a vintage timepiece in your possession? NAWCC is hosting a live auction on Friday night on May 17th at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas. The weekend-long event will feature collectibles, door prizes, lectures, and seminars, plus an antiques road show where you can have your personal valuables appraised.

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