Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Back before Allen-Bradley was
taken over by Rockwell
The Allen Bradley (now Rockwell Automation) clock tower has been a fixture on the Milwaukee skyline for almost fifty years. In fact, it will celebrate it's golden anniversary on Halloween of this year.

Until the monster clocks started ticking on the Royal Hotel tower in Mecca earlier this year, ours was the largest four faced clock in the world (nearly twice the size of Big Ben). It's known locally as the Polish moon - a well lit beacon to the once thriving Polish immigrant community on Milwaukee's south side.

Since I was running late this morning and wasn't planning to stop to pick up coffee, I hopped on the freeway. My dashboard clock loses time, so I glanced up to see the real time as shown on the clock tower. Then I took a second look.

My dash clock, at least four minutes slow, read 6:36 a.m. The clock tower said 6:01. Had I been caught in some sort of time warp without knowing it?

"Moon" over Milwaukee.
During my third, incredulous check of the clock tower, the lights illuminating the faces suddenly blinked off. Common sense would indicate that the lights go off shortly after sun up, but I couldn't help but wonder if the clock extinguished itself, embarrassed at reporting the incorrect time.

There's nothing in the paper regarding a scheduled cleaning or adjustment, nor any report of a motor breakdown or power loss that might explain the issue. It's just...strange.

On the way home tonight I'll check the clock again, with hopes that the clocks will be back to normal, even if the mystery of their misstep isn't revealed.

1 comment:

Robbo said...

Also be on the look out for strange Deloreans and guys with wild, white hair and bulging eyes.