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Our backwards clock

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Ships Clocks19 of 29Seth Thomas - US Maritime Commission clock No.32801Ships Time Clock
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Posted 6 years ago

(1 item)

This is marked M.Low on the back. My husband was on the USS Shenandoah when it was decomissioned and this clock was going to be tossed away. It did not work but he kept it because it was very different. Do you notice why???
the face is backwards and it runs counter clockwise.
We wonder if anyone has ever seen one of these and if there were others made, but so far we have found no one. We recently had the clock fixed and it runs well now and is a great convesation starter....


  1. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    Evidently M. Low cased clock movements for the military so they "made" all sorts of clocks used by the government. Here is an informative thread on the company:
  2. hotrod, 6 years ago
    If anyone knows anymore about this clock or why it is backwards we'd love to hear about it. Also if anyone has any idea of it's worth!!
  3. thedove67, 6 years ago
    Thank you for sharing this with us. I find it very interesting and have been racking my brains trying to figure it out. My only guess goes like this: you are on the ship's bridge keeping night-watch, your attention has to be kept forward-looking, you see an incident and glance up at the reflection of the clock that is hanging on the wall behind you and see the hands in the correct positions (you avoid wasting time and attention trying to convert the time). You can keep your attention forward. This might also explain why the face is black and the hands white. It makes some sense to me, I hope it does to you.
  4. brianm1028, 3 years ago
    Do you know for sure that it runs counter clockwise? I expect that if power is correctly applied it would actually run clockwise - I believe it is a countdown clock. The Shenandoah as a destroyer tender would have had fueling and resupply activities and to avoid risk exposure, those activities may have had a set limited time. By using a clock like this, you could easily set the 'time' to the amount of time you have before operations must be complete and allow it to 'run down'.

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