Museums

National Watch and Clock Museum Columbia

Where is it at?

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National Watch and Clock Museum
514 Poplar Street
Columbia
PA
17512
Tel: 717-684-8261

Directions

The museum can be found at 514 Poplar Street in Columbia, PA. They are about an hour from Baltimore, and 2 hours from DC.

From those cities, get on the 83N to US Rt 30E and take the first exit after crossing the Susquehanna River Columbia-Marietta - Rt. 441 - 3rd St.

Follow signs from the exit ramp. Turn onto Linden St and turn right onto 5th St. After 2.5 blocks turn left into the parking lot!

Where are we going today?

Tick tock....tick tock...what's that?  Of course, a clock! Kids - you know all about watches and clocks, and we know you are great at telling the time. But how did it all begin!

The National Watch & Clock Museum is a fascinating look into the history of time! Established in 1977, the collection has grown from 1,000 to over 12,000 items which tell the story of time from all over the world.

It's actually the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America!

Kids will love walking round and seeing all the different types of clocks, watches, and time-related tools from all over the world.

They can even look back in time (literally!) to items from 19th century America. What are the stories behind the watches? What kind of person would have worn them?

The museum's exhibits are set out chronologically, so they really can go through the entire history of timekeeping technology - from the early days of non-mechanical devices to the incredible technology of today (even some radio-controlled clocks!) 

The National Watch & Clock Museum even has a fun exhibit on novelty clocks AND it’s very own children’s library! The exhibits often rotate too, so there will always be something new to see when you come back!

It’s a way for kids to really learn about something that is so common in their lives today - and if they are yet to learn how to tell the time - there’s no better place to learn! Tick Tock the museum is waiting!

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$8
  • Children$4 (ages 5 - 16)
  • Free Under: 5
LAST UPDATED 2014

When can we go?

Winter hours: Tues - Sat 10am - 4pm. Summer hours open 10am - 5pm Tues - Sat / Sunday 12pm - 4pm.

Only open Mondays Memorial Day to Labor Day. Also closed Sundays Dec to end of March.

Teachers corner

The museum is happy to take on field trips so students can learn about this great part of history! They have self-directed programs between 1-2 hours, or guided tours which are 90 minutes (and include a scavenger hunt!)

They also have hands-on programs including making their own clock!.

Can I get one of those?

Take time home with you at the museum's shop! Kids can take him fun gifts and educational toys, as well as lots of books if they want their learning to continue! .

What people are saying?

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    The National Watch and Clock Museum unquestionably is the most comprehensive museum in the western hemisphere dedicated to the history of time, timekeeping and timekeepers. While it is a "mekka" for clock and watch enthusiasts, it is a also a great place for a family outing with everything from toddlers to teenagers. There are litterally thousands of watches and clocks on display, with interactice exhibits explaining how they work, their history and the role of timekeeping in society. They also host many groups of home schooled students.

    The...Read More

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    Exhibits are many and varied. Not a "thrill a minute" attraction, but very interesting and enjoyable. Well done and worth a visit.

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    It's not the most exciting place in the world, but their selection and displays of clocks is pretty amazing. I'd recommend it for anyone who appreciates detailed craftsmanship - I had no idea what it took to create clocks, and how long people have been doing it. The museum is a lot bigger than it looks outside too. Definitely worth the price of admission for me.

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Submit a review

by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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The National Watch and Clock Museum unquestionably is the most comprehensive museum in the western hemisphere dedicated to the history of time, timekeeping and timekeepers. While it is a "mekka" for clock and watch enthusiasts, it is a also a great place for a family outing with everything from toddlers to teenagers. There are litterally thousands of watches and clocks on display, with interactice exhibits explaining how they work, their history and the role of timekeeping in society. They also host many groups of home schooled students.

The National Watch and CLock Museum is an accredited museum by the AAM, a rare distinction for an institution of this size, which attests to its discipline in following approriate guidelines in matters of conservation, collection management and scholarship.

It is operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (a 501c3 not-for-profit educational organisation) and shares a campus in Columbia PA with with the National Watch and Clock Library, the NAWCC School of Horology and the NAWCC administrative and publishing offices.

The only other comparable museum in the USA is the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol CT but its focus is more on Connecticut clockmaking history.

The Weather

Tuesday

Conditions: Rain
Temp: 42° F / 5° C
Humidity: 97 %
Wind: ESE - 3 MPH

Wednesday

Conditions: Overcast
Temp: 49° F / 9° C
Humidity: 82 %
Wind: WNW - 13 MPH

Thursday

Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 51° F / 11° C
Humidity: 76 %
Wind: NW - 7 MPH

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