Made in Connecticut: Step back in time at The Clockery in Norwalk

When the clock strikes the hour at The Clockery in Norwalk, it's a party.

News 12 Staff

May 28, 2024, 11:28 AM

Updated 28 days ago

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Keeping pace is not easy in today's busy world. In this week's Made in Connecticut, we take you to a shop where staying on time is their business.
When the clock strikes the hour at The Clockery in Norwalk, it's a party. "To me a mechanical clock, it just has a life all its own. It sounds like a heartbeat," says Frank Domotor, whose passion for rebuilding clocks started as a child.
"We had a cuckoo clock in my house growing up. It was the only clock we had in the house. And I can still remember it, you know, 3 or 4 years old. And my dad saying, 'Stop pulling on those chains. Leave the clock alone.'" He didn't then and he hasn't since. "I've restored over 12,000 clocks in the last 40 years," Domotor proudly shares.
One such clock from 1914 comes complete with its original paperwork. It's a nine-tube, tubular, tall case clock in a mahogany case, representing early-stage technology brought to America by European makers. Some clocks feature intricately painted scenes, inlaid wood, and carved cases, like those from England and Scotland, with faces that tell their history.
"Each of them has the name of the maker and the town printed on the dial. England required by law that the makers do that because they taxed the tall clocks," explains Domotor.
Connecticut clock makers revolutionized the industry by developing the mass production of timepieces, making the state the largest manufacturer of clocks in the U.S. in the 19th century. "They didn't have electricity, they didn't have power tools. They didn't have modern conveniences that we do have. They did all these things by hand. It was just a labor of love," says Domotor, craftsmanship he continues with today, such as his work on a clock from the 1600s.
"What I do on a full restoration is I completely disassemble these things down to the tiniest component," Domotor explains. Setting time back in motion, moving us forward with mechanisms of the past.
For Domotor, it's a little cuckoo. When asked about his favorite clock, he says, "It's probably going to be that cuckoo clock. It's probably not worth $100. I wouldn't trade it for every clock I own. To me, it's priceless."


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