|Allan Symons, founder, standing in the museum's reference library.|
THE START: The Canadian Clock Museum opened to the public in Deep River, Ontario in late May of 2000 as Canada's only clock museum. This non-profit, private museum operates as a federal corporation dedicated to collecting, preserving, researching, and exhibiting the products of Canada's many clock manufacturers and sellers from the early 1800s to current times.
TOURS: Guided tours, included in the admission fees, are offered to our visitors to provide more historical and technical details than can be put on the wall text panels. And visitors can see dozens of period artifacts, and hear music played on working 1910s-1960s record players made by Edison, Columbia, Victor, Thorens (1940s 78s windup portable), and Electrohome (ca 1970, Canadian-made for vinyl LPs) - both cylinder and flat records. Sights and sounds!
COLLECTIONS: A major collection focus is on clocks made by The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company (Berlin/Kitchener, Ontario, ca. 1904-1941), Westclox Canada (Peterborough, Ontario, ca. 1920-mid 1980s), and Snider (Harry Snider's two companies in Toronto, 1950-1976).
FOUNDER: The initial collection of more than six hundred clocks, watches, and related horological documents was provided by Allan Symons, a long-time resident of Deep River and the Museum's founder, first Manager and Curator. By mid 2012 the Museum's collections have grown to more than two thousand horological items, through both purchases and significant donations from many generous people. EBay has been a major source of mostly more modern clocks, with almost five hundred winning bids since 2001.
OLD TOOLS: A significant acquisition received by donation in 2001 includes more than two hundred old watchmakers' and clockmakers' tools, some of which are accessible in a new display set up in June 2012 by our summer student Nick. A century-old oak watchmaker's bench with foot-operated lathe was recently added to the exhibits. Donated items from old watch/clock/jewellery shops are received regularly with thanks from descendants of the original operators.
LIBRARY: The Museum's own reference library contains more than four hundred books that cover a broad range of horological topics, including all of the major Canadian and American clock companies. There are children's books for learning to "tell time", and modern electronic time-teaching clocks. New book titles are added regularly. In addition, we have a complete set of the NAWCC Bulletins (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Pennsylvania) and many AHS journals (Antiquarian Horological Society, England). There are also one hundred and fifty issues of Clocks Magazine. These major research resources are used to answer the many questions about clocks that are received regularly through our web site from people around the world.
FUNDING: The sources for museum operation and acquisitions funds are admission fees, cash donations, various granting agencies (especially the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Young Canada Works), and the monthly pension cheques of the founder (he must be crazy). But he considers this unique museum to be his personal millennium retirement project (back in 2000) and his special contribution back to the province of Ontario and to Canada. Still ticking after twelve years!
All revenues, including admission fees and financial donations, are used to pay basic operating expenses and to acquire clocks and other items that broaden the Museum's collections. There are no full-time paid staff - strictly volunteers.
The Museum is registered with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency as a charitable organization. Tax receipts are issued regularly for donations, both financial and "in kind" (for example a clock, watch, books, old tools, and company catalogues).