Look Around: Clock Museum at MSU - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Look Around: Clock Museum at MSU

Source: Mississippi State University Source: Mississippi State University
STARKVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The arrival of the New Year is a reminder of the passing of time. We measure that passing with calendars and also clocks. So what better day to visit the clock museum on the campus of Mississippi State than the day on which when we have just passed into a new year.

It’s the sound that surprises you when you come in here.

The combined sound of over 400 clocks ticking at the same time, each in their own time.  All of these are wind up clocks in here, some dating back to the mid 1800s. 

They work with either springs or weights but essentially all do the same thing; tell time. 

Some do it out loud by striking the quarters and the hour. Even playing a little tune at the beginning of every new hour, some of them.

That’s Harold Rone is a retired watchmaker in Starkville. He’s the keeper of the clocks at the Wade Museum at Mississippi State. 

Once a week he winds and sets them. And loves to stop and listen.

"I like the way they tick. Oh it sounds like water running over rocks," says Rone.

There is something soothing about the sound of the clocks.  I don’t know why that should be. Because every tick is counting us down, reminding us that we’ve just spent another second of our allotted time. 

But, since no one considers their time to be up yet, then the sound of time passing is taken as comforting. And the workmanship and the inventiveness of the ways these clocks marks time is masterful.

Wanda Eck is the office assistant at the welcome center at Mississippi State. 

She’s the one who gives directions and passes out maps to newcomers and arranges tours of the campus. Her office is right across the hall from the clocks. 

Her favorite part of the clock museum?

"Well, I like the sound of it," she says. "You know you come in and it’s real peaceful and the ticking of them and chiming, it’s kind of neat."

The sound of the intangible, the passing of time. It’s fascinating.  As well as the gears and pulleys and springs measuring our lives, and somehow passing along comfort while doing so.

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