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Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage

About this collection

A collection of 35mm color slides of tower clocks in Baltimore taken by Donald Kobi and the late Joe Schuller, members of the Maryland Chapter 11 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC).

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Collection LocationThe Library Research Center at the National Watch and Clock Museum

Contributor: Joanne Schuller-Stover, daughter of the late Joe Schuller, and Donald L. Kobi

Joe Schuller winding a tower clock, Donald Kobi, and the Bromo Seltzer tower in Baltimore.Collection Overview: These 35mm color slides were taken by two men, Donald Kobi and the late Joe Schuller, members of the Maryland Chapter 11 of the National  Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). Inspired by the United States bicentennial celebration in 1976, they scoured the city and its surroundings, looking for tower clocks. They succeeded in photographing and identifying 30 tower clocks and then producing a slide show.

In many cases Mr. Schuller and Mr. Kobi were able to view and photograph the tower clocks only from the street, but in some instances they were given guided tours and were able to climb the rickety stairs to view the mechanical works and bells. When they gained access, they used the opportunity to document not only the clocks and their works but also other architectural features of the buildings that housed the clocks, such as the mosaics inside Corpus Christi Church.

A few of the slides document buildings that have disappeared from the Baltimore landscape, such as the Maryland Casualty Company Building, a.k.a., the Hearst Building or Tower Building. This building was the first home of the Maryland Casualty Company and was later purchased by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst to house his Baltimore newspapers, the Baltimore News and Baltimore American. The building changed hands a few more times before being torn down by the Manekin Corporation and turned into a parking lot.

In July of 2005, the slides for Baltimore Tower Clocks, 1977, were donated to the Library and Research Center at the National Watch and Clock Museum (NWCM) in Columbia, Pennsylvania. This digital collection contains 143 slides photographed by Joe Schuller and Donald Kobi. The first 140 slides are presented in the original order that they are arranged in the slide carrousel housed at the Library and Research Center at the NWCM. The three additional slides were selected from a slide box containing 11 miscellaneous slides that were included with the slide carrousel when they were donated to the Library.

Special thanks to Joe Schuller and Donald L. Kobi, as well as the members of the Maryland Chapter 11 of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, in particular Frank Goad, Mike Eder, George Hudson, and Fred Crow. Special thanks also go to Joanne Schuller-Stover, daughter of the late Joe Schuller, for allowing us to digitize her father's slides, and the Library and Research Center at the National Watch and Clock Museum.

Related Material:

Arwade, Sanjay R. and Schafer, Benjamin W. "An Engineer's Guide to Baltimore." http://www.ce.jhu.edu/baltimorestructures/

Eder, Mike. "Tower Clocks of Baltimore, 1977. Based on a slide presentation by Joe Schuller [and] Don Kobi, as updated and compiled by Mike Eder." Baltimore: Privately printed, January 2003.

Rasmussen, Frederick N. "Time has not dimmed the glory of the state's tower and street clocks." Baltimore Sun, Saturday, April 22, 2006, 2B.

 
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