The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors  (NAWCC) is the largest horological organization in the world.  It celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2018. 

The Ward Francillon Time Symposium is the Association's premier educational program.   This year's conference -- as the 2016 at the Winterthur Museum and the 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston -- will be groundbreaking and world-class, and will be at another of the country's most important cultural institutions.

As a young teenager, Henry Ford repaired his first watch, and he  focused much of his boyhood mechanical curiosity and tinkering on clocks and watches.   His interest in horology was life-long, and at one time the Henry Ford Museum had more than 7,000 timekeepers in its collections.   This aspect of Henry Ford's life story is not well known or appreciated.

Also largely ignored are the crucial links between 19th-century New England clock and watch manufacturing, and Henry Ford's pioneering advances in automotive mass-production using interchangable parts, machine tools, and assembly-line methods.  Without Eli Terry and the Waltham Watch Company, there could have been no Ford Motor Company.

Over two and a half days, the "Cars, Clocks, and Watches" symposium will explore these themes, as well as offer presentations on other horology - automobile connections such as car clocks and auto-race timing.  The program will take place inside the museum and in adjacent Greenfield Village, which can be explored online in advance of your visit.

For information about other Detroit area attractions, see Visit Detroit.


Click Schedule box at top for details

Parking is free for symposium attendees at the museum and village

Thursday, September 20 - Special tours  (use link at top of page)

Thursday evening, September 20 - Private use of the entire museum for an opening reception and "strolling dinner".

Friday, September 21 - Day in Greenfield Village including morning presentations and picnic lunch in the Village Pavillion, then afternoon self-guided tours.

Saturday, September 22 - Presentations in the museum's Anderson Theater.

Saturday Evening, September 22 - Historic Candlelight Family-Style Meal in Greenfield Village's Eagle Tavern.


(click on blue letters or Speakers page above for details)

Robert C. Cheney - James Arthur Lecture -  Executive Director and Curator,
   Willard House and Clock Museum, Grafton, MA.  See the James Arthur page
  for details.
Dr. Merritt Roe Smith, MIT Professor of the History of Technology,
   Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dr. Johannes Graf, Curator, German Clock Museum, Furtwangen, Black          Forest, Germany   (click here for AH article about the museum)
Dr. Jessie Swigger, Director, Public History Program, Western Carolina University,
    author History is Bunk: Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village.
George de Fossard, Clockmaker and creator of "The Solar Time Clock",          Southwick, Wiltshire, UK
Judy Stopus, author of The Stropus Guide to Auto Race Timing  and
   Scoring, Ridgefield, CT
David Lucsko - Saturday Banquet Speaker - Department of History,
   Auburn University, Alabama, author of Junkyards, Gearheads & Rust
Ben Colman, Associate Curator of American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts
Dr. Tim Kelly, an Organizational Psychologist, and his wife Carrie Kelly, an
   Associate Professor of Nursing.  The couple and their two Ford Model Ts were
   recently the subject of an April 17, 2018 Wall Street Journal article entitled:
   “A spin in the most important car ever built.”
Andrew Dervan, NAWCC Star Fellow, Horological Writer and Lecturer, Benson
   Ford Research Center Volunteer, Waltham Clock Company Museum
Donna Braden, Senior Curator, and Curator of Public Life, Henry Ford Museum
    of American Innovation.


All programs take place at the museum, so there is no host hotel.  There is a range of lodging options in the Dearborn area.  Speakers and staff will be staying near the museum at The Henry.

Previous NAWCC Conferences Organized by Bob Frishman

2016 - Clocks at Winterthur

2017Horology in Art 

"I think -- I always understood -- he got the idea from the Waltham Watch Company originally by seeing watches going down on an assembly line and he felt that 'technique' could be applied to the manufacture of automobiles."    --  Henry Ford II  on how his grandfather originated the assembly line idea, New York Times, May 9, 1953.

"Henry Ford was reportedly inspired to manufacture automobiles by his trip through the Waltham Watch Company."   --  Ingenious Yankees: The Rise of the American System of Manfactures in the Private Sector, Donald R. Hoke, 1990, p.255.

"The first watch I ever fixed was after Sunday school....  I worked on it and saw what was rong [sic]..."  -- Henry Ford, 1876, age 13.

Please note links to other website pages at top.

Streaming videos of all presentations now may be viewed here.

We thank these generous sponsors and contributors.

Donations still will be gratefully accepted.  Registrations pay for only a portion of this event.   The symposium does not receive direct financing from the NAWCC and it must be self-supporting.

Christian Dannemann, Watch Guy
Butterworth Clocks
Maryhelen Jones
Rogers Turner Books, Anthony Turner
Jay Dutton
Rich Newman
Mark Frank
Ron Price
Katie Knaub
Robert Arnold, President, NAWCC Michigan Chapter 6
Bob Schmitt's Silent Auction
Jerry Thornsberry

The 2018 symposium was a great success.   More than 100 attendees and speakers enjoyed the private reception in the museum, the program in Greenfield Village, the day of presentations in the museum's Anderson Theater, special tours, and the final candle light dinner in the Eagle Tavern.   Please click on the Report page to see photos and summary of the events.   The NAWCC magazine also published a full report by Mary Jane Dapkus.  Presentations were professionally video-recorded and eventually will be available for viewing via online streaming.

Please look for upcoming information on the 2019 symposium, September 12-15 in Nuremberg, Germany:  TIME --MADE IN GERMANY: 700 YEARS OF GERMAN HOROLOGY.