Clocks and bars have always had an uneasy relationship. For one thing, most tavern clocks are set 10 minutes ahead, so that customers and employees alike don’t get caught drinking or serving alcohol after legally mandated closing times. And then there’s the whole philosophical question of having a clock in a bar in the first place; aren’t watering holes supposed to be places where time stands still?

But time waits for no one, as the song goes, so if you are going to have a clock in a bar, it might as well be one helps sell some beer instead of just making your customers nervous. That’s why brewers invested in clocks with their brands on them. Similar to advertising thermometers, whose usefulness went beyond mere branding, advertising clocks had a function that often outlasted the brand of beer being advertised.

For example, no one drink Iroquois Beer anymore, but clocks bearing the profile of a Native-American chief in full headdress are in high demand. Similarly, even if you don’t drink Hamm’s, it’s likely you’ll appreciate the mechanical ingenuity and charm of a Hamm’s Scenorama sign, with an analog clock on its front. Other collectible beer clocks include those bearing Blatz, Hornung, and Ballantine brands.


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