American Thread Company mill #2 time clock circa 1904
The advent of electric illumination was a revolution for the industrial process. Factories could now be run 24 hours a day, with workers starting and ending shifts at set times, regardless of whether there was sunlight. The principle of time became a major element of a worker’s life, working six days a week, for ten to twelve hour shifts, day or night and regardless of the season. Workers lives were now paced to first the bell or whistle, and soon after the timeclock.
This timeclock remains as one of the original pieces from the American Thread Company’s factories, in The Windham Textile and History Museum’s collection of artifacts. Installed in 1904, it was manufactured by the International Time Recording Company, which later became IBM. It was an essential piece of equipment to the modern industrial process and a relic alluding to Willimantic’s contribution to a modern way of life. An object of little significance at the time and a rare piece that would have been easily discarded by the replacement of newer, more reliable, automatic electric models. It remains as a reminder of the significance of just how important the concept of time has become to our modern industrial society.
Likewise, time has been a very important element of producing this project. Taking the time to scout, photograph, write and edit stories that are seemingly unending throughout Willimantic. Over the past six months, I have dedicated my time to other projects, work and personal hobbies. This project remains in my mind as one that needs to be continued, knowing I’ve barely scratched the surface. I’m looking forward to increasing the depth of this project and adding to what has been thus far, an extremely positive experience.