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Clocks Were Two-Faced

One of the favorite clocks for domestic use in the later 19th century had two dials. The first told time, in the usual way. The second dial, which was below the first, was the same size or even bigger, than the clock dial. It had a hand that told the date and sometimes also the week and the month. Some even showed the phases of the moon and high and low tides.

Several patents were granted in the 1850s and 1860s. One invention by the Mix brothers in 1863 was sold to the Seth Thomas Clock Company, which used it for a number of years. The Ithaca Clock Company, using a patent granted in 1865, produced calendar clocks until it went bankrupt in 1917.

Clocks of Welch, Spring and Company of Bristol, England, came in several models. They had a lot of complicated dials and gadgetry, and are popular with collectors for this reason.

Other well-known manufacturers were the Southern Clock company of St. Louis, Missouri, and the Prentiss Improvement Clock Company of New York.

Calendar clocks came in both shelf and wall models. Their popularity continued until the first part of the 20th century.

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Bulb Jars Brought Spring Early

Pottery bulb jars were molded with a series of holes over the body portion. They were used for planting either crocus or onion bulbs, which would sprout through every opening, and brought an early touch of Spring to a household.

Early ones were sometimes decorated with folk art designs. It is said they were modeled after an even earlier Swiss bolle-kessel, a metal pot which was hung from the ceiling.

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Exchange Of Gifts Allied Families

An interesting ritual which accompanied marriage for the Indians of the Plateau region of the Pacific Northwest involved the exchange of gifts. Each member of the family traded with his or her counterpart on the opposite side.

Everyone participated except the couple being married. For instance, the bride’s father gave the groom’s father a gift, and vice versa. The practice extended into the larger family unit, also. For example, the bride’s maternal aunt would exchange gifts with the groom’s maternal aunt.

This entire process recognized the practical fact that a marriage represented an alliance between two family units and this exchange of gifts helped to strengthen that tie.

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