Seth Thomas Clock
Perched above the North Carolina History Center’s front entrance as you enter Mattocks Hall, sits the spectacular 2,800 lb. Seth Thomas Clock. The clock was originally erected in 1911 and located in the New Bern City Hall tower. After eighty-eight years of service, the clock was decommissioned in 1999 due to ongoing mechanical problems. In 2007, volunteers began repairing and re-painting it, and in 2010 the clock found a new home at the North Carolina History Center.
The Seth Thomas Clock Company, founded by Seth Thomas, began producing clocks in 1813. The company manufactured clock movements for the Self-Winding Clock Company into the 1890s, in addition to its standard offering of longcase clocks, mantel, wall, and table-top clocks.
Its presence above the North Carolina History Center’s lobby doors has captured the attention of thousands of visitors especially upon the hour as it resoundingly chimes out the time throughout the building. But in October 2019 its hammer broke, temporarily decommissioning the clock once again. Craven Community College students enrolled in the CAD program stepped in, replicating and engineering the piece. The new hammer was installed in September 2020, and the Seth Thomas Clock continues to chime on the hour.