Timepiece’s role in transportation recognised in Bristol Museum

The American Clock and Watch Museum’s current exhibition grants a look into the early timepieces used within the transport industry, showing the importance these had on the success of evolving public transportation methods.

The exhibition “Trains, Planes and Automobiles” opened in April, and will remain on display in the Bristol-based museum until the end of this year. This offers people a chance to take a glace back in time to the amazing clocks and watches that helped to shape the future for public transport, where a variety of timepieces were used by staff on the trains and trams as well as the public waiting at the station.

One collection of items available on display are a range of railroad-grade pocket watches also feature within the exhibition, having originated as a practical item for those working on the rail lines, these watches soon became popular due to their association with the wonders of rail travel and were often replicated. Known for fitting into very specific criteria in terms of size, the amount of jewels and for allowing the time to be told whilst upside down, they became somewhat of a fashion statement in the early 20th century and gained popularity.

Another of the pieces within the show is an advertising clock from 1902, which would have been placed at train stations, providing both a functional feature and a form of entertainment as people waited. These were introduced at a time where not everyone was within their means to purchase a watch of their own, therefore this allowed them to stick to the timely travel schedule. This clock in particular has a feature that meant three adverts were displayed on a carousel function, changing at five minute intervals throughout the day.

The museum itself provides a fantastic opportunity to take a step back in time to see the stunning timepieces on display alongside this exhibition, from antique pocket watches to grand wall clocks. A visit will certainly prove educational as well as incredibly interesting, allowing you to expand your horological knowledge. This may provide a little inspiration for you to a purchase one of our antique watches, so why not take a look today and see which timepiece takes your fancy?

Image: Joe Haupt under Creative Commons