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National Watch and Clock Museum

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Address: 514 Poplar St., Columbia, PA 17512
Phone Number: 717 684-8261
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The National Watch and Clock Museum was officially opened to the public in...

The National Watch and Clock Museum was officially opened to the public in 1977 with fewer than 1,000 items. Since that time, the collection has increased to over 12,000 items and the museum has undergone several expansion projects. The latest expansion opened in October 1999 and featured an entirely new and redesigned exhibit space, as well as a new two-story addition. Today, the museum is recognized as the largest and most comprehensive horological collection in North America.The National Watch & Clock Museum is conveniently located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, less than two hours from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 155 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 99
  • 46
    Very good
  • 7
  • 1
  • 2
Great for a horologist

I'm not a horologist but I love watches and clocks! Very good for an overall history of time measurement. I loved the fact that it gave history of watch making in America and... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed December 30, 2015
Boone, Iowa
via mobile
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155 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
55 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I only gave it the rating I did because I was expecting a little more for the admission price. If you aren't into clocks, I wouldn't suggest this place. Some of them were interesting and the building is beautiful but there isn't anything that stood out to me. If you want to take the time you could spend a lot... More 

Thank SaraL403
Boone, Iowa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2015 via mobile

I'm not a horologist but I love watches and clocks! Very good for an overall history of time measurement. I loved the fact that it gave history of watch making in America and specifically that of Pennsylvania. Would have liked to see more world watch history but the world clock history was fantastic.

Thank jay3253
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2015

After driving by this place for years on our way to various antique malls, we decided to go. As luck would have it, Groupon had a good deal. This museum is just beautifully done. There are more timepieces than I could imagine, from every era & part of the world. Very impressive.

1 Thank Eileen C
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
145 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2015

Four of us visited on the eve of Thanksgiving and for much of the time had the place to ourselves. If this had been in Washington one would expect modest crowds. We experienced a very calm and relaxing visit. The layout takes you through the history of timekeeping from near pre-history up to atomic clocks and state of the are... More 

1 Thank grahamt34
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2015

Drove by the museum dozens of times, always wondering what it was like...finally visited and it turns out it is really cool. If you have even a remote interest in history, your time will be well spent taking a stroll through the museum because there is some very interesting things there.

1 Thank Jason E
Dingmans Ferry, PA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2015

Here's another interesting place to visit while in Lancaster. I wouldn't recommend it for children, but adults will marvel at the vast display of timepieces. Lots of information is available and you'll learn about the history and development of clocks and everything related! Some of the displays are quite beautiful - and don't miss the hourly showing of the Engle... More 

Thank bib6
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2015 via mobile

We stopped at the Visitor's Center just off Route 30. The museum is just down the street. The fee of $8 and 3 hours later was priceless. The are code readers to explain some of the displays. Pocket watches to grandfather to shelf to 007 they are all there and then some. A must see

1 Thank Pam B
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
205 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2015

The display of timepieces, from sundials to clocks and watches of all styles, is so extensive as to be overwhelming. Early in the exhibit, the key technologies around clock mechanisms are explained, with some hands-on examples, and then referenced as one views exhibits that use them. The variety in each type of timepiece focuses on the cabinetry, both the manufacture... More 

Thank Richard S
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2015

As a treat for my watch-loving husband, I thought we would stop in for a few minutes at the National Watch and Clock Museum. My expectations were pretty low going in, but I was pleasantly surprised right from the get-go and we ended up staying for a few hours and all enjoyed ourselves. There were a number of hands-on activities... More 

Thank OPachs
Level Contributor
102 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2015

Although not watch or clock aficionados, we enjoyed this museum. What a vast collection. We very much enjoyed the clock presentation that we were fortunate to see. The building itself is beautiful. Not for small children, but probably age 10 and up.

Thank Yucatan-Admirer

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?