“Digital” seemed to sweep the world round in the seventies. LED’s, light emitting diodes. Some men I worked with could afford an LED watch, and pushed a button on their wrist to see the time. The watches didn't pack enough battery power to be lighted all the time.
My father, the engineer, was enthralled by advances in science, and the digital age did not pass him by that last decade he lived. He and mom woke up to a digital radio alarm. We disputed the validity of that clock for some time. It was completely mechanical, and thus “analog” in my opinion. The numbers were tiny sheets of paper that flipped from one number to the next, with a little clicking sound that made me nuts. I probably still don’t grasp the concept of finite, discrete, the number changes and is gone.
I've never had a digital clock on a wall. I don’t like digital time. Like every child, I struggled with, then learned to “tell time.” I taught two daughters to tell time, another feat. It was all hard work and not to be thrown lightly away for flipping numbers.
Most of my clocks do tend to the unusual. I have a forty year old Brookstone clock on a wall at work. It registers temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, as well as time. Another old clock is a Seth Thomas with external hands. Every grandchild has removed its hands multiple times, or multiples of multiples. About eight years of age most were able to fess up and stop.
Twenty five or so years ago I acquired the clock du jour, with singing birds. Like every clock, it had to come off the wall twice a year for a time change, and occasionally for a battery change. Two batteries in this case, one for the bird’s songs. The shorter I became the harder to lift down the clock, so the bird battery eventually did not get replaced. A while back a new battery, then another new battery did not bring the clock into proper time, and I relied on the digital numbers at the bottom of my computer screen while I thought about a new clock.
I found it, an atomic clock! Well, really a radio controlled clock, set by the master atomic clock in Colorado. There were bells and whistles on the clock I saw in a catalog, so I checked my friend Amazon and bought one for about thirty dollars.
I followed the written instructions, then the YouTube tutorial, but my new clock could not find the radio signal. In that event, the instructions said, put it in a west facing window and wait three to five days for it to locate the signal. The only such window in this house is upstairs, Tom’s TV room. I turned it over, with instructions to give it back when it was displaying Pacific Standard Time, and touch no buttons!
Tom is an inveterate button puncher. Something of interest might happen. If not, he punches harder, or shakes and listens for rattles. I needed my clock back, displaying PST, nothing more. It’s been a couple of weeks, but I remembered it tonight and asked if it was telling time yet. Yes, but three hours behind! In spite of that, he touched no buttons. Rather like the grandkids not taking the hands off the Seth Thomas.
I turned my clock over and slid the switch from PST to MST to CST to EST. It came with a switch preset to DST, to be moved only if the clock would reside in a rare place that does not observe it. On the other side the clock hands already were cycling from five to six to seven to eight. I hope the battery does not give out for a long time, as that is the only reason to take it down.