About Me

n our family farm, agricultural implements were always in need of repair.  After my grandfather's death, the farm was maintained for a time by three of my uncles and my mother.  I gravitated in particular to one uncle, who had built up his own machine shop to facilitate farm repairs. Virtually every time he went  out to the shop, I would tag along often spending hours watching him work.  He was very patient with me and not only answered my numerous questions but often allowed me to "play" with the tools in the shop and have my own "projects". 

 I got my first set of tools when I was only 6 years old.  At that age, I remember preferring the hammer.  When things around the house broke, my family members would give them to me to take apart in order to see how they worked.  I don't how many alarm clocks, toasters, and radios I literally tore apart.  Clocks were my favorite.  I would make short work of disassembly (using the hammer) in a quest to play with the gears, spinning them like tops.  At the age of 6, this was all child's play, but little did I know that I was learning while I played.  This early experience translated into excellent manual skills as I matured (plus, discovering other more useful tools than the hammer!).

In addition to learning mechanical skills, I gained a keen interest in all the sciences.  My mother was always taking me to museums, and I remember that my favorite museums were the ones (like Boston's Museum of Science) that had lots of push buttons. At one time, many museums had exhibits that demonstrated various mechanical principles such as levers and gear ratios. I naturally gravitated to those displays.  All of this exposure to science led to an early interest in mechanics, astronomy, electrical principles, chemistry, and history.

When it came time to decide on a career to pursue in college, I chose chemistry graduating from UConn in 1973.  In that career path, I worked for four different companies: United Nuclear Corp., Pfizer, Cultor (Finnish corp.), and Danisco (Danish corp.). Out of college I had set a goal for myself to be named on at least one patent, a goal that was realized three times over.  A career in chemistry didn't mean that I had to forsake my interest in mechanical systems.  I became very adept at diagnosing and servicing delicate laboratory instrumentation.  As is painfully common in the last 10 years, the transition from Cultor to Danisco had an unfortunate side effect.  Danisco already had a research presence in the U.S., so I had to endure both a corporate reorganization and a down sizing.  The result of this was to find myself out of work and disillusioned with corporate life.  I decided at that point to pursue self employment.  

With a decent severance package and an opportunity to reinvent myself (along with a very supportive wife), I began a intensive search for a new career that suited my strengths.  One thing led to another, and my mechanical interests won out.  An analysis of specialty career paths led to clockmaking.  Not a lot of people are choosing clockmaking and a survey of local competition revealed that there was more than enough business for everyone.  

At this point, I recognized that at my age, it would take too long to learn clockmaking by the traditional method of apprenticeship.  I wanted to fast track the education process so I did a search on the web to identify schools of horology (the study of clocks).  The resulting list was indeed very short.  I decided upon the School of Horology in Columbia, PA, which is a part of the the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC).  This very fine school had complete programs in both watchmaking and clockmaking.  A series of courses covering a wide variety of horological skills led to both successful completion of the program and ultimately, certification as a clockmaker.  

Wanting to do this right, I realized that tools make the technician.  The tools of clockmaking are unique to that endeavor.  In short order, and roughly $12,000 poorer, I was set to embark on my new career. That was in 1999.  As in most new business ventures, things started slowly but have steadily improved with each passing year.  I am still buying tools to allow a wider range of repairs.  There is no replacement for experience and in seven years I've learned a lot more than was covered in my formal horological education. This underscores a truth that is timeless...there's no replacement for experience.

That brings us to today.  I have the proper tools, an excellent horological education, and a broad base of experiential knowledge to feel comfortable working on most types of clocks.  So, if you've been thinking of doing something about that clock on your mantle that hasn't worked in years, than send me an email today. 

For more information email me at Info@Time-n-Again.com