Lexington in Fayette County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Skuller's clock has kept time on Main Street since its installation in the early twentieth century. As a sentinel along the city's main commercial thoroughfare, its iconic face has witnessed many decades of change in Lexington's central business district.
Keeping Time on Main Street
In 1913, jeweler Harry Skuller opened a store on Limestone, eventually relocating the business to 115-119 West Main Street, a building that served as the jewelry store's home for five decades. Installed that same year as the jeweler's signature calling card, the Skuller's clock moved with the business and provided accurate time to passersby and to patrons on the bus line. The Brown Street Clock Company of Monessen, Pennsylvania, manufactured the cast iron and steel, dual-faced clock with the winder in its base and electric lighting behind the dials. The 14-foot-tall clock ran eight days with a single winding. In its early history, dimensional eyeglasses advertised the laboratory of optometrist Dr. L. H. Echols, associated with Skuller's. Over the years, various modifications to the timepiece included the addition of neon lettering.
In 1974, a violent storm swept through the downtown area, knocking the head off the clock, damaging other features including the signature eyeglasses. In order to make the clock functional once again, Skuller's executed repairs and modernized the internal works. As the years passed, the clock ceased to work but remained part of Lexington's streetscape even though it no longer kept consistent time. In 2010, major infrastructure improvements along Main Street necessitated the removal of the clock from its location, and the City of Lexington Historic Preservation Commission adopted this significant landmark, raising the necessary funds and overseeing its restoration.
Restoring the Clock
Based on evidence in historic photographs and in the Brown Clock Company Catalogue, the Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, restored the clock in 2013, crafting missing elements to match the originals. Verdin repainted the clock its original black color and, with testing, matched the signature historic blue neon. Fabricators replaced the clock's missing eyeglasses and Lexington artist Eric Johnson created original art as the clock's new eyes. In the restoration, the timepiece received mechanized dawn-dusk on-off switches, a ten-year internal battery to retain time in the event of power failure, and an automated 100-year calendar to adjust for time changes.
Erected 2013 by City of Lexington Historic Preservation Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features.
Location. 38° 2.798′ N, 84° 29.83′ W. Marker is in Lexington, Kentucky, in Fayette County. Marker is on West Main Street (U.S. 60) north of North Limestone, on the right when traveling north. Marker is mounted on the wall of the bakery at this address, just left of a window, and across the sidewalk from the subject Skuller's Clock which is also at this address, next to the street, directly in front of the marker. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 111 West Main Street, Lexington KY 40507, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Strength in Numbers / Forcing a Change (within shouting distance of this marker); Rotary Club of Lexington / Phoenix Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Lexington's Long History with Slavery / Driven by Money (within shouting distance of this marker); Phoenix Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis And Clark In Kentucky From Enslaved to Community Activist / The Original Power Couple (about 400 feet away); John Hunt Morgan (1825-1864) (about 400 feet away); Slavery in Fayette Co. / Cheapside Slave Auction Block (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington.
Regarding Skuller's Clock. National Register of Historic Places
Also see . . .
1. Skuller’s Jewelry Store clock repaired, to be reset in downtown Lexington celebration. The Skuller’s street clock will once again tell time at the corner of Main and Limestone Streets in Lexington. The city’s Lexington Historic Preservation Commission charged a company based in Cincinnati to repair the historic clock at an approximate cost of $25,000. The work is complete and the public celebration to reset the clock will take place on Sept. 20 at 7:15 p.m. The 102-year-old clock was erected by the Skuller family outside their jewelry store. The 14-foot timepiece was manufactured by the Brown Street Clock Company around 1911. It was heavily damaged in a 1974 storm, taken down in 2010 during a downtown streetscape project and now repaired for reinstallation. (Submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Skuller’s street clock, 1974. Employees of Skuller’s Jewelry, 115 West Main Street, prepared to move the huge frame of the street clock that had fallen to the sidewalk on Jan. 28, 1974, after strong winds knocked it off its pole, injuring Carolyn Green of Falmouth. The clock dates back to 1913, when Skuller’s had the clock built to advertise the business. After it was repaired, the cast-iron clock, which is about 14 feet tall, was taken down again in 2010 and stored until money was raised for the complete restoration by the Verdin Co. of Cincinnati. (Submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Restored Skuller's clock returned to place of prominence in Lexington. After three years of absence, the old Skuller's Jewelry post clock is making a grand reappearance on Main Street. For decades, the tall timepiece sat outside the spot now occupied by Bellini's. It became a city landmark and an advertisement for a longtime Lexington business, but it also was a bus stop and a spot where many a young couple became engaged. (Submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Additional keywords. horology
Credits. This page was last revised on July 3, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 116 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 7. submitted on June 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.