Bill's Clockworks
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It's fun to learn about people with special skills and talents. On Meddybemps.com, Weebit Cuckoo is an imaginary person who can make and repair clocks and toys. He even built a little submarine to explore the deep blue sea. In real life there are people with the extraordinary ability to understand how things work. They, too, seem to be able to make or fix anything. Bill Stoddard is one of these people.

Did you ever want to look inside a clock to see what made it tick?
Bill Stoddard did and his curiosity led to a career.

Bill started wondering when he was very young. Before he was two years old, his parents took this picture of him studying a clock. When he was a little older, his grandfather showed him how to wind and make adjustments to antique clocks to make them keep the correct time.

When Bill was eight, he and his mother found a very old clock in their attic. The clock did not work properly. When he was a little older, Bill earned money mowing lawns and paid a clockmaker to repair the clock. The clock refused to run reliably even though the clockmaker tried to fix it several times. Two years later a mainspring in the clock broke. Bill installed a new one by himself and figured out why the clock was unreliable and fixed it.

As Bill grew older, he learned more and more about clocks and started learning about radios and televisions, too. He studied electronics in high school and electrical engineering in college. After a career in engineering, Bill returned to his first love and opened Bill's Clockworks, where he could sell and repair clocks.
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We met Bill Stoddard because our antique Seth Thomas clock wouldn't work. When we searched on the Internet for information about clocks like ours, we discovered that Bill had worked on the same type and that his shop was here in Indiana.

Inside our clock, behind the face with its delicate hands and Roman numerals, was a collection of metal bits and pieces called the "clockworks". It looked a lot like the clockworks in these pictures. Bill took it all apart, cleaned the pieces, and replaced any parts that were broken or damaged.



He also used a file and fine abrasive paper to smooth parts that were rough and would keep the clockworks from turning easily. Bill wore special magnifying glasses to help him see the parts clearly and to protect his eyes.



Then Bill put all the pieces back together and tested the clock to see if it would keep the correct time. We are happy to say that, thanks to Bill Stoddard, our clock works fine again.


Want to watch clockworks work?
Bill makes short YouTube videos demonstrating how different clock mechanisms work. Click on one of the sample images below or go to:
Clocks, clock movements, and escapements (http://www.youtube.com/user/Clockhistory).

Several movements to watch Cuckoo singing Seth Thomas Striking

Bill sells and repairs many kinds of clocks. You will see beautiful clocks of all shapes and sizes in his shop. Visit his website to learn which are his specialties. Go to:
www.BillsClockworks.com (www.BillsClockworks.com).

Bill presents photos and histories of many Westclox, Seth Thomas and other companies' models on his ClockHistory.com site (http://clockhistory.com/).

Bill also writes a blog called ClockInfo.com (http://clockinfo.com/).

Bill's Clockworks
Flora, Indiana, USA 46929
Phone: Toll Free 1-888-742-5625
or (574) 967-4709
Email: bill@billsclockworks.com
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Flora is roughly 65 miles north of Indianapolis, Indiana. If you happen to be in that part of the state, are curious about clocks, and want to talk to someone who truly knows "what makes them tick", call or visit Bill Stoddard. If he has time (no pun intended), Bill might show you some fascinating clockworks.




Learn more about the many types of clocks on: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clock).

2012, Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved.
Photo of Bill as a toddler: copyright Bill Stoddard.