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York with prominent corner features that were built around the same time as the Estey Piano Factory include the Consolidated Stock and Petroleum Exchange at Broadway and Exchange Place (1887-88, demolished); the New- York Cotton Exchange at William and Beaver Streets and Hanover Square (1883-84, demolished); Manhattan Stor- age and Warehouse Company on Seventh Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets (1892, demolished); and the Jefferson Market Courthouse at 425 Sixth Avenue (Vaux & Withers, 1874-77, a Designated New York City Land- mark). Pictures of these buildings appear on pp. 793, 799, 811, and 839, respectively, of King’s Handbook of New York.


The Works, p. 232.

144 According to a website entitled “Howard Tower Clocks” (accessed online at members.aol.com/indexnawcc/ howard.html), the clock of the Estey Piano Factory was built by the E. Howard Clock Company. This site does not include any information about its primary sources or authorship.

145 American Buildings and Their Architects, pp. 43-44.

146 American Buildings and Their Architects, p. 61.

147 Men, Women and Pianos, pp. 495-496; The Works, p. 119. The Kohler & Campbell piano factory in the Bronx at East 163rd Street between Melrose and Courtland Avenues (Charles Steinmetz & C.S. Clark, 1885-1908, demol- ished) also featured a clock tower. See LPC, Bronx Survey (New York: City of New York, 1978), pp. 85-86.


An illustration of the Hoe factory appears on p. 67 of The Works.

149 In 1854, the New York Daily Times lamented the inaccuracy of the City Hall clock, writing of the “shame that a city like ours, the great center of commerce, the metropolis of our great and growing country, should be without a decent clock to regulate its movements” (“The City Hall Clock – Necessity of a Better Time-Keeper,” New York Daily Times, March 15, 1854, p. 2); twenty-four years later, in a piece arguing for better public availability of accu- rate time, the Times observed that “the community seem to be coming rapidly to an appreciation of the value of correct time …. In these days of railroads and railroad-like ways of doing business, a man whose time is money to him must attend not only to his hours and minutes, but also to his seconds” (“Time Distribution,” New York Times, December 7, 1878, p. 4).


Carlene E. Stephens, On Time: How America has Learned to Live by the Clock (Boston: Bulfinch, 2002), p. 109.

151 One of America’s best-known time balls was the one that dropped at noon between 1877 and 1914 from the roof of Western Union’s New York City headquarters. Like other time balls around the country, it was actuated by a daily signal telegraphed from Washington, D.C.; onlookers would use the time ball to synchronize their watches. See On Time, p. 117. Incidentally, time balls likely inspired one of New York City’s most beloved and famous traditions—the annual lowering of a flagpole-mounted ball atop the old New York Times tower to mark the arrival of the new year. The basis for the New Year’s ball “was probably the gold-plated ‘time balls’ that were once lowered at noon every day in seaports throughout the world to enable ships’ navigators to set their chronometers,” according to Tama Starr and Edward Hayman, Signs and Wonders: The Spectacular Marketing of America (New York: Cur- rency/Doubleday 1998), p. 267. The inexpensive “dollar watch,” which dramatically expanded watch ownership, did not become available until 1896, according to On Time, p. 135.

152 On this topic, see Alexis McCrossen, “Hands and Faces: Public Clocks in the United States After the Civil War” (accessed online at epsilon3.georgetown.edu/~coventrm/asa2001/panel9/mccrossen.html). Public clocks had ap- peared on American churches and meetinghouses by the early eighteenth century, according to Frederick Shelley, Early American Tower Clocks (Columbia, Penn.: National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, 1999), pp. ix-xv.

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