The smallest village clock in the world?

Seigel syrup bottle advertisementOf all the village clocks in the country in 1899 Dinas village clock must have been one of the smallest. I found this picture on a bottle collectors’ website.

A similar clock, on a bottle advertising Mother Seigel’s curative syrup, played an important role in Dinas at the end of the 19th century, not very long after the country as a whole had switched from local mean times to GMT. As reported in The Country Echo† on 28th September 1899:

A cyclist passing through Dinas, being desirous of obtaining the Greenwich time, entered the Post Office which is customary. Putting the query to Mr Bennett in the usual manner, he was greatly surprised to see that gentleman walk behind the counter and take hold of a bottle to oblige the questioner. “Twenty past five” came the answer, and it was only by utilising all his muscle power to grip the counter that the wayfarer managed to keep his footing, the bottle bearing the small dial in its centre was a Seigl(sic) Syrup* advertisement! This particular timepiece has regulated Dinas time for the past six years.

*Interesting information on Mother Seigel can be found in Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology by Autumn Stanley (page 116).
†This article appears in “The News of Dinas 1894-1900 transcribed from The County Echo”, produced by Anne Hughes and John Hughes for The Dinas History Series. This  fascinating publication is now out of print but can be downloaded by clicking here countyechofinal. Contact Ann and John Hughes on (phone) 01348 811255 for information on their other publications.

About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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