BRANSON, Mo.( June 1, 2012) — Sometimes things are “hidden” right out in the open. As I was sitting outside the “Guest Services Office” at Silver Dollar City earlier this week, waiting to participate in a video shoot that the Branson Tourism Center and Branson Visitor TV were working on, I watched a constant stream of hundreds of visitors passing not 50 feet away on their way into an exciting day at the park.
As I sat there awaiting the arrival of the rest of the crew, I noticed a water wheel that I had passed by many times over the last 26 years and had paid no attention to because I was on my way into the park. As I looked at it I decided to take pictures and, as I did, noticed a sign pointing out that it was more than a water wheel; it was a clock powered by water.
What’s even more remarkable however, is that according to the sign, the unique “Harvey Water Clock” was patented in 1798.There is no winding, solar, or batteries involved with this clock. It’s operated as water flows down a trough and through its unique “Fly Ball Governor,” which controls the movement of the hands on its display as the water passes through and goes on to the water wheel.
The clock displays the Year, Month, Day and Hour. The picture of the clock displayed was taken at 9:53 AM on May 30, 2012. At first glance it appears that the year is wrong because the “Year” display shows the year as “1882” when actually it is “2012.” The clock only displays the last digit of the current year which is the last digit of the year the hand is on, in this case “2,” the last digit in the year displayed “1882” and the current year, “2012.”
This unique clock, located in front of “Guest Services,” is on your right as you enter through the main entrance into the park toward the turn styles. It is an ideal place for a great “photo moment.”
“It’s another wonderful thing to see, share and experience as part of a day of fun, adventure and excitement at Silver Dollar City,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. She reminds potential Branson visitors that one of Silver Dollar City’s biggest festivals of the year, and one of the biggest kids festivals in the nation, National KidsFest, starts June 9 and runs through July 22.