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Clock owner says fix may be in works

July 20, 2000

Clock owner says fix may be in works



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


The owner of the Clock Tower Building in downtown Hagerstown still doesn't know when the clock will tell time, but says he now has reason to believe it will be sooner rather than later.

Building owner Kurt Cushwa, a Hagerstown architect, said that as a result of a story about the unfinished clock in the Morning Herald July 14, "people have been coming out of the woodwork."

Cushwa said he's now closer to finding the pieces needed to finish the clock.

"We have a lot of good leads. We're getting very close. ... At this point I'm confident we can get what we need," Cushwa said Thursday.

Work on the clock, a replica of the 160-year-old town clock that once kept time in the old City Hall, has been on hold because of the missing pieces.

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The original clock mechanism, with gears and a pendulum, is behind glass on the third floor of the clock building. A replica of the original clock face is in place.

Cushwa had hoped to use the original clock face, but it is cracked and probably wouldn't survive a move into the building, he said.

The clock is missing hands and the shafts that connect the gears and pendulum to the clock face. Cushwa said he can find or make most of the connecting pieces, except for the piece that converts the rotations of a single shaft into the hour and minute hand movements. Cushwa described that piece, which he said is the motion works, as a shaft within a shaft.

Cushwa said that after the story ran in the newspaper he received 12 good leads. The two that appear to be the most promising are a Toronto firm, Abernethy and Son, and a Maine firm run by David Graf who restores old tower clocks.

The Toronto firm makes the necessary parts for others including the Smithsonian Institution, he said.

Cushwa has to send the companies pictures and drawings of the clock so they can develop a cost estimate.

Cushwa's previous best leads had been a group of clock makers in Estonia who offered to do the job themselves for $50,000, which Cushwa said was too much money, and an English company that wanted to sell him a whole tower clock.

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