After the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City, four of these 6’ diameter clocks were placed above Philadelphia jewelry stores. Three were intact when Len Davidson returned to Philly in 1979; one disappeared from 11th and Market and a Lancaster Avenue model was scooped up by a collector. That left one unassailable-looking clock at Broad and Germantown that Len had eyed for years.
Then, in 2014, Len received a surprise call from Bob Beaty, an architectural salvager and friend. Bob had hired a skilled rigger to attempt the clock removal and the clock was down! It was beat up after 75 years overlooking Philly’s busiest street but Len jumped at the chance to own it.
Alden Cole, a skilled painter and fellow Dumpster Diver, was hired to strip the finish and repaint the clock, while Len went to work on the clock mechanism, neon, and transformers. To his surprise, most of the original tubes still lit.
The restored Bulova clock is one of the gems of the Museum’s collection.