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Bell Studio Street Clock Collection

Identifier: MG-444
This collection includes photographs, articles, and reports documenting the move of the Bell Street Clock from its former location in South Carolina to the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania.

The photographs document the clock's previous location, the dismantling of the clock in preparation for its move, arrival in Columbia, PA, and photographs of other similar Seth Thomas street clocks.

There is a schematic of the clock that includes dimensions of the piece, as well as a photocopy of a Seth Thomas catalog that features street clocks.

Additionally, there are a few articles written about the clock and it's transportation from South Carolina to Pennsylvania, including drafts of articles that would be later published in the NAWCC Watch and Clock Bulletin.


  • 1992


Conditions Governing Use

These records are open to researchers for personal or scholarly research. Most of the records in the collection are available for photocopy, depending on the preservation needs of the material as well as other variables not specified here. Researchers, however, are responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use materials and documents. These records are part of the permanent collection in the archives of the Library & Research Center of the National Watch and Clock Museum and researchers are required to comply with the Archive Rules when using the collection.


.1 Linear Feet (1 box)

Biographical / Historical

This four-sided Seth Thomas street clock dates back to the 1920s, when it was orignially purchased by A.T. Vaughn, Sr, who owned a jewelry store in Greenville, South Carolina. It was first erected on Main Street in Greenville, near Vaughn's jewelry store, and when Vaughn moved the location of his jewelry store to West North Street in Greenville, the clock was relocated to this location as well. The date of this move is unclear, but Vaughn remained in business at the West North Street location until the 1950s. After the closing of this business, Vaughn sold the clock to a J.B. Lacher who watched over the clock into the 1960s.

In 1967, James Bruce Bell and his wife, Louise Matheson Bell, purchased the clock from Lacher. After purchasing the clock, they moved it to North Fairplay Street in Seneca, South Carolina, around 40 miles away from the clock's original location in Greenville. The clock remained in this location until 1992 when it was donated to the National Watch and Clock Museum by Louise Matheson Bell and her children, in honor of James Bruce Bell.

The clock was then relocated from Seneca, South Carolina to Columbia, Pennsylvania. It replaced a two-sided Seth Thomas Street Clock (which was itself relocated to the information center in Columbia, PA) at the entrance to the museum. When the museum underwent renovations in the late-1990s, the clock was then relocated to the other side of the building to its current location at the new entrance to the museum.

For more information on the history of this piece, please refer to the October 1992 edition of the NAWCC Bulletin.


This collection is arranged to reflect the original order of the donation.
Kate Van Riper, Archivist
Autumn 2019
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the NAWCC Library and Research Center Archives Repository

514 Poplar St
Columbia PA 17512