Clock of Nations

Mark time at Greater Rochester International Airport

Why do so many airports have so few clocks?

Maybe in the rush to install wine bars, sports bars, and coffee bars, airports have forgotten that a clock is a truly useful amenity for travelers needing to catch a flight.

At New York’s Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) they’re not taking any chances. The city’s giant, much-loved, and impossible-to-miss Clock of Nations has been restored and installed (post-security) near the food court in the airport’s central observation deck.

This isn’t just any clock: it’s a quirky, somewhat corny, technical wonder: dioramas representing twelve nations (including Germany, Scotland, Canada, Italy, Poland and Puerto Rico) mark the hours. Each hour, the figures light up and the animated dioramas travel around the clock.

Created by sculptor Dale Clark back in 1962, the clock stood for many years in Rochester’s now-closed Midtown Plaza mall. The restored clock will entertain travelers at the airport until 2012 and then move to a children’s hospital in town.

If you’re not passing through the Rochester airport anytime soon, you can see a quick news report about the clock here. Better yet, check out a better view of the vintage post-card above and watch a classic film-clip about the clock on Keith Milford’s Malls of America blog.