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.


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.


(Please click on blue letters for more information)

Robert C. Cheney - James Arthur Lecture -  Executive Director and Curator,
   Willard House and Clock Museum, Grafton, MA
Aaron Sigmondformer Senior Contributing Editor Autoweek, author of Drive
   Time: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles and Racing (2016)
Dr. Merritt Roe Smith, MIT Professor of the History of Technology,
   Cambridge, Massachusetts
David Penney, antiquarian horologist, Bishop's Stortford, UK
Dr. Johannes Graf, Curator, German Clock Museum, Furtwangen
Dr. Jessie Swigger, Director, Public History Program, Western Carolina University,
    author History is Bunk: Assembling the Past at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village.
Judy Stopus, author of The Stropus Guide to Auto Race Timing  and
   Scoring, Ridgefield, CT
David Lucsko - Saturday Banquet SpeakerDepartment of  History,
   Auburn University,  Alabama,  author  of Junkyards,  Gearheads & Rust
Andrew Dervan, NAWCC Star Fellow, Horological Writer and Lecturer, Benson
   Ford Research Center Volunteer, Waltham Clock Company Museum
Donna Braden, Curator of Public Life, Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation


Click on 'Registration" at the top of this page for a mail-in form.  Online registration via the NAWCC website also is available.  Space is limited so early sign-ups are recommended.


All programs take place at the museum, so there is no host hotel.  There is a range of lodging options in the Dearborn area, listed on the "Lodging" page of this website.  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 

Please note links to other website pages at top.

"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.