Some books to pass the time with—May 6, 2011
Did you know that the technological age might mean the end of watches? According to the Mindset List, the Class of 2014, “don’t own watches, and instead use their cell phones to tell the time.” That might explain why some of the books on clocks and watches have gotten a bit dusty on the shelves, and that’s sad, because these books still have so much to offer. For example, you might like them for their beauty, as historical references, or just for browsing.
“Wristwatches: A Connoisseur’s Guide” tells the “story of watches.” Along with the history is a fact guide and photos for literally hundreds of watches and watch companies. If you’ve ever thought of collecting watches, this is an excellent place to start. Some of the companies represented are: Breitling, Longines, Christian Dior, and Cartier. There is a chapter on the aspects of a quality watch, a section on caring for watches, and one on starting a collection.
Another book with valuable history and wonderful pictures is “Two Hundred Years of American Clocks and Watches”. It starts with a chapter on finding ways to keep time, then shows clocks and watches, complete with beautiful, mostly color pictures, starting with the 1700’s through 1970. One of my favorites is the “Gloria” model (plate 188) a “swinging-ball clock by Ansonia Clock Co.” It has an angelic figure as part of the base, and both the clock and the pendulum swing from the figure’s hand.
A craze of the 1980’s that helped the Swiss find a way back into the watch mass market was the Swatch. These were some of the very first fun watches, and were produced in brilliant colors with wonderful graphics and designs. “Swatch: A Guide for Connoisseurs and Collectors” by Frank Edwards gives the origin and history of Swatch, and includes hundreds of color pictures of Swatches. Checking out this book can be a fun trip down memory lane, or an artistic tour of the merging of function and design.
One of my favorite books in this section is titled “Pastime: Telling Time from 1879 to 1969”. It is arranged by decades and has color pictures and information about more than a hundred time pieces. The Art Deco designs of the 1920’s, 30’s and 50’s are marvelous. There are also Walt Disney cartoon character clocks, ship clocks, a Tom Mix clock, a clock shaped like an airplane, a clock in a bird cage, a Scottie dog clock, several Popeye character clocks, and a Charlie McCarthy clock. These are true works of art, and looking through the book will be time well spent.
These are just a few of the books available at Hastings Public Library on time pieces or almost any other topic you can imagine.