Square metal electric wall clock. Originally situated in the public space of Hudson's Hardware Store, 655 Bourke Street, Melbourne from the 1930s until the store was relocated to Richmond in the 1980s. It is believed to have been locally made around an imported mechanism.

It was purchased by the vendor, a film, television and theatre designer, in 1993 from the then elderly Mr Hudson from the store of his Richmond premises. It was used by the vendor as set dressing in the hospital ward scenes in the 1993 TV mini-series 'The Battlers' (made by the South Australian Film Corporation).

Physical Description

Square metal electric clock, with painted face and wooden back. Clock has three metal hands (the second hand is detached). A brown electric cord extends from a hole in the back of the clock, as well as a knob to move the hands. Two key shaped holes on the back are used to attach the clock to a wall. Body of clock is black, it has a glass pane at the front. Electric synchronous movement.


The clock is an excellent example of a `public' time piece which were commonplace in retail establishments and other commercial premises until recent times - for use by customers (the reliance on public transport for trips to the city meant a need for reliable time sources) and staff (to regulate the correct opening and closing times, as well as lunch and other breaks.) As watches and other time sources (eg mobile phones and computers) have become more commonplace and, more importantly, more accurate, `public' time pieces have disappeared from many premises around the city. This will be the museum's first example from a retail store.

Hudson's Hardware Store operated at the Spencer Street end of Bourke Street from the 1920s until the 1980s, relocating to new premises in Richmond. Hudson's Hardware Store was a typical example of the industrial stores which populated the western region of the Melbourne CBD until the later years of the 20th Century, contrasting with the department stores, boutiques and specialty shops of the central and eastern regions.

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