Minute details: Can new life be breathed into clock outside Adams bank?
The hands of the clock are gone. The clock, which has been there for nearly a century, has become the victim of, well, time.
Advances in technology have resulted in fewer tradespeople who repair these antique decorative clocks of yesteryear.
According to Adams Community Bank President Charles O'Brien, the clock, which he said was installed outside what was then the South Adams Saving Bank in the 1920s, had been kept in good repair by a Berkshire County technician who recently retired.
So, when the clock stopped working a few months back, there was nobody left to fix it. Since then, bank officials have been seeking a new repair service for the timepiece.
But these days, tradespeople in the clock repair game are hard to find.
The busted timepiece has been noticed. A letter to the editor, written by Cheshire resident James M. Boyle and published in The Eagle on Tuesday, noted the contributions that the bank makes to the community and wondered when the clock might be fixed.
"I was pleased to see the writer focus on the good things we do in the community," O'Brien noted, "because we are a major supporter of many worthwhile endeavors."
O'Brien noted that when the then-Adams Cooperative Bank and South Adams Saving merged, the new company turned that building into an operations center. Since then, it has tried to keep the appearance of the property appealing to the public, including flower boxes and keeping the clock in working condition.
But as technology advanced, clocks have morphed — along with a variety of other gadgets, such as calculators and calendars — into apps on smartphones. The result is fewer clock repairmen — even finding a watch repair service is getting hard, especially for the analog chronometers that function using springs and gears.
"We've been seeking another vendor without much success," O'Brien said. He also lamented the loss of other types of artisans, such as shoe repairers.
"It seems to be almost a lost art. We're losing those types of artists and technicians."
But, he noted, bank employees might be closing in on a solution for the clock.
"We have a lead on a repair service that might be able to handle the job," he said. Bank officials are checking to see if they fill the bill.
If not, O'Brien said, they'll just have to keep looking.
But it could take some time. It's a race against the stopped clock.
Scott Stafford can be reached at email@example.com or 413-629-4517.
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