Gastown Steam Clock

Dear friends,

December found me in Vancouver, one of my favorite cities with its stunning location overlooking both the sea and the mountains. Vancouver is also home to the rather wonderful Gastown Steam Clock. The clock is fairly recent, being built in 1977 by Raymond Saunders, but it’s decidedly steampunk nonetheless. A small steam engine is powered from the steam supply used for commercial heating, and raises two-inch steel balls to the top of the clock. These then fit into hooks on a descending chain, and drive a conventional pendulum clock in the same way that the falling weights power our grandfather clock at home. The steam whistles on the top of the clock then sound the quarter hours in style. What a wonderful idea!

Yours faithfully,


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