Nelson brothers display clock collection at Dickinson museum

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:56 PM CDT
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DICKINSON, N.D. (KFYR) - Visiting a museum is a way to travel back in time and see what life was like for those who came before us. An exhibit in Dickinson is rewinding the clock on how to tell time.

There are many exhibits at the Dickinson Museum Center, but only one with this many bells and chimes. This clock collection belongs to Jim and Dale Nelson of the former Nelson Jewelry store. It was started by their father Carl O. Nelson, who had a love for clocks.

“This was his hobby; this is what he enjoyed doing,” said Jim Nelson, exhibit contributor.

Nelson says people would sell clocks and watches to his father, and if they didn’t work, he would get them up and running again.

“He probably started collecting them in the 50′s and it just snowballed from there,” said Nelson.

The more than one hundred items on display include wall clocks, alarm clocks, wristwatches, and more.

Nelson says some pieces are from the early 1900′s.

“It’s what’s called a trench watch, it is engraved with a date on the back of it, I think it’s 1917,” said Nelson.

Nelson says they’re proud of their family’s collection and enjoy sharing the history of clocks with younger generations.

“The time, it’s on the phone, why do I need a watch or a clock, and so it shows people what it was like back in the day,” said Nelson.

There’s still plenty of time to visit the collection. The display will be at the museum through the end of the month.

As for what’s next, Nelson says they’re debating having an auction to sell some of the clocks.

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