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Fighting Time - The Jousting Knights of the Birks Clock

Graham Crawford interviews Therese Charbonneau, Senior Conservator for the City of Hamilton.

Sometimes, things do just what they were designed to do. Toasters toast bread. Traffic lights control traffic. Washing machines clean clothes. But sometimes, even while things are doing what they were designed to do, they take on a broader meaning in our lives. A cast iron fence becomes a piece of history, or art, or both. A neon sign, like the Pagoda's at John and King streets, becomes so much more than a slightly kitsch approximation of something meant to suggest 'foreign'. Sometimes, those things become part of who we are. Part of how we define ourselves. Part of our culture.

The Birks Clock is one of those things. It was designed to tell time, but not in any ordinary way. 


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    Fighting Time - The Jousting Knights of the Birks Clock - Podcasts - Hamilton's Only Storefront Museum
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    Fighting Time - The Jousting Knights of the Birks Clock - Podcasts - Hamilton's Only Storefront Museum
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    Fighting Time - The Jousting Knights of the Birks Clock - Podcasts - Hamilton's Only Storefront Museum
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    The Birks clock has served many generations by telling time. It would be remembered forever in History for it has went through a lot. It is great to see someone appreciating the existence of the clock.
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    One has to appreciate the masterpiece that servied our community for many generations. I hope that the clock will be restored so that it could work for another century and spread the importance of history.
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    Bob Marley

Reader Comments (5)

Thanks for this, Graham, and for bringing Hamilton's history - good and bad - to the forefront. I had not been aware of the detail on the clock and will now see it with new and more informed eyes when it reappears. We will also appreciate it so much more. As low-tech PC people, we will visit H+H to see what we couldn't see in your interview. best wishes...

March 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSandra Black

do you mean Therese Charbonneau?

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjcm

I remember going to an event at Whitehern with Therese and my friend and i were the only 2 people there

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjcm

Fantastic Graham...I’ve lived in Hamilton for most of my life and this is the first time I’ve heard the clock’s history to this level of detail. Great website and even better storefront!

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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June 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdives

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