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History of the Westport Clock

Posted by Karen (karen) on Sep 25 2011 at 1:04 PM

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This project began as a result of the clock missing the minute hand and Karen Shawkey's request for its history to be placed on our web site (www.westportsquares.com) along with its picture.

I learned from Karen that she thought Jerry Denruiter, a Westport member a few years ago had donated the clock.

I spoke with Jerry and learned that the clock was part of the inventory he purchased in establishing his business, Jerry's Garage on East Washington Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1960's.  The clock was a promotional item from Columbia Shock Absorbers.  Jerry decided that he did not have a use for the clock and converted it for Westport Squares usage by finding the letters he needed to place on the clock and subsquently donated it to the Westport Squares Club.

In looking for a replacement minute hand, in March of 2011, I was directed to Kiefer Appliance on Monona Drive in Monona as they are one of the few that repair electric clocks.  They searched through their accumulation of clock hands and found a black one that fit.  The gentleman that waited on me, having seen the clock, told me he thought as a collector's item, even in the shape it is in, would be valued in excess of $100.  It has been repaired over the years a couple of times, once for a replacement synchron electric motor and some cosmetic repairs to the enclosure.

I painted the minute hand white to match the hour hand and installed it.  I also made some minor repairs to the plastic front.  After the clock was re-hung, I found the missing minute hand under the refrigerator and have stored it within the clock enclosure.

     Written and researched by James W. Benes, March 2011

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