This unique timepiece was built by a pioneer Long Beach watchmaker, Andrew Dreger, Sr. Mr. Dreger hand-tooled many of the parts on a metal lathe and laboriously put the device together in his workshop at the rear of his home on Anaheim Street in Long Beach.
The clock is an electrical piece, devised to record the time, the day, month and year. On one side it has a series of little clocks set in a circle which give the time of day in 13 countries throughout the world.
According to Mrs. Lucille Barton, Mr. Dreger's daughter, her father started the clock in 1928 and worked on it for five years before it was completed. Undoubtedly he was happy to have something around to take his mind off the nation's troubles in the depression years.
When he had finished it, Mr. Dreger set the clock up in front of his home on Anaheim Street and it remained there for nearly 20 years. After her father passed away, Mrs. Barton tried to interest the City of Long Beach into taking the clock as a museum piece, but had no luck. Finally, the property, and the clock, passed into the hands of Carl Crothers, a Long Beach Real Estate man.
Mr. Crothers offered the clock to Knott's Berry Farm and the offer was accepted. Bob Huish, our music box and clock specialist, gave the massive timepiece a complete working over prior to its installation in its permanent home in the Rose Garden.
Here, among the thousands who see it each week, a few may recognize it as the proud product of years of loving labor by a pioneer watchmaker, who found working on it a pleasant diversion in years of national distress.
NOTE: A few years later, Walter Knott had a guide to Ghost Town written for his employees. A shorter version of this description appeared there:
"This unusual timepiece was built by pioneer Long Beach watchmaker, Andrew Dreger, Sr., who started to work on it in 1928 and spent five years completing it. It is an electrical piece and many of the parts are hand tooled. It records the time, the day, the month and the year. On one side it has a series of little clocks set in a circle which give the time of day in thirteen countries throughout the world. We purchased it in 1954 and give it a complete working over prior to installing it in its permanent home in the Rose Garden."