Silent Clock

My great grandmother, Rebecca Weidess Chandler, collected clocks. She lived from 1907-2007. Her family was British. They immigrated to Virginia in the 1700’s to start a new life in the colonies. Their original surname was “Whitehurst” but was later changed to “Weidess”. In her 100 year lifespan, Rebecca acquired many different types of clocks. My grandmother tells me that in her childhood house the clocks would sound every hour, and at night you were lucky to sleep through the loud, pulsing bell tones. After Rebecca died, she passed on all of her clocks to my grandmother, who made sure to keep them in working condition. One clock in particular was given to my family. This clock is custom made with mahogany wood. To make the clock sound every 60 minutes, a string must be pulled down inside. Otherwise, it will tick silently. My family, who appreciated the history but not the noises, elected to not pull the string down. All of my life I have never heard the clock chime, and who knows if it would even work if we tried to pull it today. Even though I’ve never heard the clock sound, I’ve imagined how it would sound.The bell inside is fairly large, so I’d imagine that it would have a deep, rich, swinging tone. The clock hanging in my parent’s dining room always reminds me of my great grandmother. I can vividly picture her house with clocks in every room, chiming all at the same time…driving some people crazy, but providing a sense of stability and calmness for Rebecca.

Year: 1900

– Matt B.

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