Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tick-Tock, Tick Tock The Clock At Kirkland Hall Has Stopped!

After nearly 47 years of continously keeping time on the Vanderbilt campus (1966), the clock on top of Kirkland Hall has stopped running.

The final winddown was first noticed last week and the hands (which can be moved on a separate system) were placed at high noon temporarily while University offficials try to figure how to restore it to working order. The chiming of the hours is also done on a separate system and apparently still works.

The reason the clock stopped? Age. According to Paul Young, the clock's caretaker for the past 37 years. The clock's "heart" he says is its motor and gears. "The clock has what we call a sewing machine motor---it's a little bitty motor attached to a lot of gears. These gears have been turning 24/7 and it's to the point where they've just worn down."

Young says he plans to consult with the Cincinnati firm that installed the clock in the mid-1960s as well as other firms that do this kind of work. However, he adds companies that service clocks like these are increasingly rare as is the equipment involved, such as the gears. In fact, if they can't just be replaced that they may have to have new ones fabricated.

For more information on the clock and its history as well as other work being done around Kirkland Hall, here's the full story as released by Vanderbilt's News & Information Bureau....

Wouldn't it be great if the clock could be fully restored by the time we get back to campus for our 40th Reunion October 4-5? But no promises are being made or timetables offered. Paul Young says after nearly 4 decades of looking after the clock, he wants to contunue to show the same kind of patience and care he's given all these years, to make the clock is fully restored to service.

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