SEATTLE — Local historian and software engineer Rob Ketcherside takes us back in time through the history of Seattle's clocks.

Long ago, bankers and jewelers set up ornate clocks high above busy sidewalks as a public service, and as a way to advertise.

“They did it because people didn't have wristwatches back then,” says historian Rob Ketcherside.

He has spent years studying the history of Seattle's clocks.

“The biggest surprise for me was to learn that Seattle had a clockmaker of its own.”

The clockmaker was named Joseph Mayer. And he had something to do with just about every historic clock you'll see on the tour. Including the ones at King Street Station which was built ten years before Smith Tower.

“It was the tallest building in the city and it's got this glowing beacon of a clock that could be seen for miles.”

Time never stands still. And neither have many of the clocks on Ketcherside's tour. Including the one that stood in front of now-shuttered FX McRory's in Pioneer Square.

“You'd think that this clock had been here forever, ” he says. “But in reality, this clock has been all over the place. It's been in private homes. It's been in front of several different stores.”

How times have changed here in Seattle.

If you are interested in exploring more about Seattle's clock history, Rob has created a self-guided tour of thirty of Seattle’s historic clocks.

If you enjoy exploring Seattle history, Ketcherside has also written a book called Lost Seattle and continues to write about Seattle history on his blog.

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