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Columbia’s century-old downtown clocks

Daylights Saving Time is this weekend, so in the spirit of ole Father Time, we’re looking at two of Columbia’s iconic Main Street clocks.


This clock was installed at the corner of Main and Hampton Streets in 1906. | Photo by COLAtoday

It’s almost time to set the clocks back. Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 5. Plan ahead and look forward to that extra hour of sleep and an earlier sunrise to help get your day started. A sunrise that starts closer to 6 a.m. sunrise is more our speed.

In the spirit of time, we’re taking a quick look at two of Columbia’s iconic downtown clocks.

After Sylvan Brothers moved to the corner of Main and Hampton Streets in 1905, the company installed the four-sided clock a year later where it still stands today. The other is on the corner of Main and Washington Streets.

Fun fact: Both clocks have four faces with lions’ heads and stand atop a column with a Corinthian capital stand. The clocks also have original internal mechanisms + were made by prolific clockmaker Seth Thomas, who also produced clocks in Boston, New Orleans, and San Francisco.

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