Watch A Museum Visitor Touch and Destroy a Priceless Clock - Atlas Obscura
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Watch A Museum Visitor Touch and Destroy a Priceless Clock

Even if it’s broke, don’t try to fix it.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but that still doesn’t mean you should go around putting your hands on delicate timepieces, a lesson one man recently learned first hand when he knocked a rare clock off the wall of the National Watch and Clock Museum in Pennsylvania.

As seen on a security video shared by the museum, a recent visitor to the clock museum seems to have been discussing the inner workings of an elaborate wall-hanging clock designed by artist James Borden, when he decides to give it a little help. The clock itself is an abstract piece of work featuring a number of swinging components including dangling weights reminiscent of those found in a grandfather clock. The clock was not running, so the man in the video seems to try to give it a kickstart by fiddling with the weights, while another interested visitor looks on. Unfortunately, the museum guest in question was no master watchmaker, and after lifting one of the weights, the clock became unbalanced and fell off the wall.

The one-of-a-kind clock crashed to the ground, and pieces of it can be seen scattering across the floor. The touchy visitor can then be seen trying valiantly to reseat the clock, before giving up and walking away to notify museum staff. 

As NBC Philadelphia points out, the National Watch and Clock Museum has around 1,500 clocks on display at any given time, and not all of them run. The museum staff is happy to get them ticking on request, but as this video shows, it’s best not to take things into your own hands. Borden says that no real harm was done, and the clock is fixable.