Father Time: Bar Harbor Man Fixing Clocks Since Age 10

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Local News | Comments Off on Father Time: Bar Harbor Man Fixing Clocks Since Age 10

BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) – You’ve heard the phrase “timing is everything.”

Alexander Phillips lives it.

Morgan Sturdivant takes us to his clock shop on Main Street in Bar Harbor.

“I was ten years old when I started fixing clocks. Not refined but I could get them going.”

Alexander H. Phillips is a clock maker whose story is just as fascinating as his trade.

“I was supposed to be a concert pianist.”

His father wanted him to pursue a career in music and he began playing piano at the age of four.

But as he continued to study piano,

“I went to the music conservatory in New York City.

It became clear there was something else entirely making him tick.

“I hated it. But when my father would call to see how things were going he’d hear all these clocks ticking and chiming. What’s that? Are you fixing clocks again? Of course.”

Phillips couldn’t deny his passion for clocks and the delicate, detailed mechanics inside of them.

“I traded a tuxedo for a shop apron. Found myself doing this more and more. And then I earned enough money to become a partner. Actually, I earned the money playing piano.”

He worked in new york city

“We had contracts with the New York City municipal services. Took care of the big tower clocks.”

In a profession that prides itself on preserving the intricate history of each piece.

“It would be so easy to put a self tapping Phillips head screw in there but you have to do it the way they did it back then.”

A career spanning nearly three decades with many of those years based in bar harbor…

“I fell in love with this place.”

A risky move

“We took a chance. Gave up New York, gave up Connecticut.”

The memories he can tell you about are as captivating as the clocks ticking away around him.

Stories from the pieces themselves….

“I pulled apart a French clock and on the back of the front plate it said the Pope was in town, I got a glimpse.”

“I have a clock up in the front that was ticking when Marie Antoinette was executed.”

Even his advice on livlihood seems to be timeless.

“Even if it is to make cardboard boxes, if you have a passion of doing that and engineering different methods of doing it, you go after it. If you’re a writer, if you’re a painter, if you’re a pianist, go after it. It’s in your heart.”

Article source: http://www.wabi.tv/content/news/Father-Time-Bar-Harbor-Man-Fixing-Clocks-Since-Age-10-449771133.html