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The “Wonderful Clock” of Auburn, NY

Willard H. Bundy established a jewelry store in Auburn, NY in 1879. Willard was a high school graduate and his jewelry store was located in the Seward Block of Genesee Street. In order to attract people to his jewelry store, he built a monumental clock which contained over 3,100 pieces. He placed this clock in the window of his store and called it the “Wonderful Clock” for all to see and enjoy.

Not only did the clock tell the time, but showed the phase of the moon, the season of the year, and played a tune at each hour. It also told a story of how power was first generated by showing an old fashioned saw mill which was powered by an overshot water wheel to modern times which showed a small steam engine and an electric dynamo. I am sure that he took great pride in being able to build such a clock! The Wonderful Clock is located in The Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn, NY.

While tending to his jewelry business, he invented the Auburn watchman’s clock and a clock used to record the timely arrival and departure of employees. His time recorder clock used numbered keys which were issued to the employees and when they inserted the keys into the clock and turned the key, the time and the key number were recorded on a roll of paper. Willard, being the inventor, established the W.H. Bundy Recording Company in Syracuse, NY which produced card recorders and Columbia calculating machines. That business was later sold to Simplex Time Recorder Company.

His brother Harlow Bundy, a graduate of Hamilton College in 1877, visited his brother in 1889 and became convinced that with proper marketing, Willard’s  invention of the time clock could prove to be a great success. He went on to establish the Bundy Manufacturing Company in Binghamton, NY.

And by this time, you may wonder why I have taken such a keen interest in the Bundy Brothers of Auburn, NY. Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, read my next blog and you will find out the rest of the story!

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