Apostles Clock

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Record 237/261
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Description Apostles Clock, very large made from pine, oak, birch, and walnut woods. Interior works made from steam fire engine parts and lower portion hold disk music box. Electric lights. On the hour, top door opens and angel rings hour; music starts playing, side doors open (left side has portrayal Jesus' birth and right side portrays Jesus' death); center door opens and Jesus stands with raised hands; another door to the left opens and 12 Apostles come out each turn and bow to Jesus except the last-Judas who holds a bag of gold and turns away; the Apostles, on a turn table, travel to a door to the right side of clock.

This clock was built in Oshkosh by Mathias Kitz, a German immigrant. Kitz was a furniture maker until the great Fire of 1875 ended his furniture business. Kitz then turned to the manufacture of wooden water tanks (cisterns) and cigar boxes. Clockmaking was Kitz' hobby. He worked on the clock for six years, completing it in 1895 when he was 65 years old. Kitz, a member of a volunteer fire company, used discarded parts from steam fire engines for part of the clock's complex works. The revolving platform supporting the Apostle figures was once a circular saw in a lumber mill. The clock is powered by heavy lead weights which are wound daily. Kitz included a Regina music box in his clock; there are two dozen different music disks that can be fitted to the music box. He used a variety of woods to manufacture the clock: pine, oak, birch, and walnut. The two wings and electric lights were added to the clock by Mathias' son, George, about 1920.

Dimensions H-106 W-60 D-30 inches
Year Range from 1889
Year range to 1895
Made Kitz, Mathias
Object ID 5128
Object Name Clock
People Kitz, Mathias
Related Publications Oshkosh Public Museum Newsletter, Summer 2009.
Oshkosh Public Museum Annual Report 2006/2007.
Oshkosh Public Museum Newsletter, Winter 2006.
Oshkosh Public Museum Endowment Trust Brochure, January 2003, September 2005, July 2006.
Goc, Michael J. "Oshkosh at 150". New Past Press Inc., 2003.
McCann, Dennis. "Jewel clock has made Oshkosh museum tick." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 13, 2002.
Oshkosh Public Museum Annual Report, 1999.
Title Apostles Clock
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009