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A World Class Museum in Small Town

National Watch and Clock Museum
National Watch and Clock Museum
samuel hoff

The largest collection of timepieces in North America may be viewed at the National Watch and Clock Museum. It is located in Columbia PA at 514 Poplar Street, 13 miles west of Lancaster PA. It is within 2 hours of Philadelphia, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Baltimore and Washington DC.

When the museum first opened in 1977 with only 1,000 items, which has grown to over 12,000 and continual growth in facilities. The building is stately columned and enlarged October 1999, with a new two-story addition aiding a redesigned exhibiting layout.

An introductory video starts a museum visit. Museum exhibits create a Time Tunnel tour of the entire history of timekeeping devices from Stonehenge and early sundials to today’s atomic and radio-controlled clocks. Some of the most important clocks and watches produced are exhibited.

The immense collection is international in its extent with the largest collection of nineteenth century American clocks and watches. There is a collection of Asian timepieces from Japan and China with devices from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.

There is a sample of American made tall case clocks (grandfather clocks), and a large selection of American pocket watches (Railroad watches and the ‘ Engle Clock’. The ‘ Engle Clock’ built by Stephen Decatur Engle of Hazleton PA, is a complicated clock movement that took 20 years to complete.

In addition to timepieces there are artifacts, related tools, and machinery. There is pioneering automated machinery developed by American Waltham Watch Company. This enabled fully automated manufacture of watches using interchangeable parts.

The museum store has watches, handcrafted jewelry, stationery, mugs and glassware, photo frames and albums, puzzles, toys, and games for sale.

Museum Address
National Watch and Clock Museum
514 Poplar Street
Columbia PA
Museum Hours
April 1 thru May 30
Tuesday – Saturday. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 PM
Closed Mondays
Memorial Day thru Labor Day
Monday – Saturday. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 PM
Closed Friday July 4th
September 2 thru November 30
Tuesday – Saturday. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 PM
Closed most Mondays
Museum admission
Adults $8.00
Seniors $7.00
Children ages 5-16 $4.00
Children under 5 free
Family $20.00

Columbia PA is a borough of 10,400 habitants, on the left bank of the Susquehanna River, 28 miles southeast of Harrisburg. After populated by Susquehannock Native American Indians English Quakers established a settlement in 1726. Lancaster has a population of 59,322 at 377’ elevation, known for its Amish and Mennonite content. The picturesque countryside is of productive farms.

National Watch and Clock Museum is a 5 hour drive of 291 miles from Rochester NY. Drive US 390 south into Pennsylvania past Williamsport to Harrisburg. Drive south on route 441 to Columbia, 3 blocks past route 30 turn left onto Poplar Street. In 2 blocks turn right onto 5th street then left into National Watch and Clock Museum parking lot.

Here is a visitor’s impression of the museum.
“Worth the Time - Do Not Miss”