Collection nolonger on exhibition 
at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

History

Among the clocks, watches and instruments which were in the collection is the Orrery Clock by Raingo à Paris, c.1820-1824, shown at the left. The clock shows the motion of earth and moon. This is one of only 8 known orreries by Raingo. Of the others, one was acquired originally by King George IV and is located in the royal library at Windsor Castle. Others can be found in the Glasgow Art Gallery; Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Paris; Palais de Cinquentenaire, Brussels; and the Royal Collection in Madrid.

The Time Museum, an international collection of time-measuring devices, was open to the public for almost 30 years in Rockford, Illinois. It was closed in March, 1999. The collection then moved to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, where it was viewed by over two million visitors from January 2001 through February 2004. This exhibition is now closed, and the collection has been sold.

The idea behind The Time Museum was to illustrate the most significant technical developments in the history of time measurement. Included in the 1,500-object collection were sundials, nocturnals, water clocks, sand-glasses, chronometers, and astronomical regulators as well as domestic clocks and watches. Most time-measuring devices in the collection dated from the 17th- through 19th- centuries and were European or British in origin. The American section focused upon clocks from Colonial times through about 1870 and watches from the 1850's through about 1920.

  • The story of The Time Museum

  • (This overview of the collection and its history downloads slowly since it contains 10 photographs by Stephen Pitkin. For information about photo rights, please read the section on "Photography" listed under the Museum Services link.) 
    Books published by The Time Musem
       Three specialized catalogs are still available through Amazon.com .

           American Pocket Watches by Donald Hoke
           Chronometers by Anthony Randall
          Astrolabes by Anthony Turner.



    More information about Clocks & Watches