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10/9 am
on KET

5:30/4:30 pm
on KET2

Barney Bright Clock

In March 2004, the Adam Matthews Foundation began the delicate task of restoring an unusual historic Louisville landmark—a whimsical and intricately detailed animated clock that once drew crowds to watch noontime “races” among historical figures.

Designed by famous Louisville artist Barney Bright (right), the clock features caricatures of nine people (and one boat) with connections to the city: Daniel Boone, King Louis (Louisville’s namesake), George Rogers Clark (the city’s founder), Thomas Jefferson (for whom Jefferson County is named), the Belle of Louisville, actress Mary Anderson, newspaper editor Henry Watterson, President Zachary Taylor, Hollywood director D.W. Griffith, and trumpeter Oliver Cooke.

The 40-foot-tall clock was dedicated in 1976 on Fourth Street, then known as River City Mall. But because of the complexity of its workings, the clock was prone to malfunction and often sat idle. It ended up at the Kentucky Expo Center, where it last worked in 1989. It was dismantled in 1993, but the parts were stored away.

Program 112
The restoration of a Louisville landmark, the Barney Bright clock; local Girl Scouts; the Louisville Slugger museum and factory; and a retrospective on the 1937 Ohio River flood. (#112)