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My Grandfather’s Clock Face

My paternal grandfather, Adam Vogt (1862-1946)), had an early professional career in Louisville, Kentucky, as a jeweler and horologist.

R S Adam Vogt Youthful Portrait

In researching my family I’ve come to know about his later careers as a manufacturer (written about in this blog post) and realtor. Little, however, about his life as a clock maker has come to light. A Google search reveals that his business was located at 132 West Market Street at 1st and 2nd. The Jewelers’ Circular, August 5, 1891, mentions that he visited Cincinnati, four months before his first son, my father Clarence, was born.

There are buildings in the city still standing with the name of his manufacturing enterprises


and products still around and in use in the way of hydrants

Vogt Bros Fire Hydrant

and electric mowers


There appears to be nothing from the years employed at a workbench skillfully crafting fine time pieces.

My dad talked about his father’s jewelry business to the extent of mentioning a sign facing the street with the bold initials OIC and an image indicating that a fellow with new glasses finally had working vision (“Oh, I See!”) A second cousin, twenty or so years my senior, relates what he’d heard, that Adam worked so hard at his jewelry business, actually sleeping in a cot at the store, that his health declined and was told by his doctor he had to quit.

At that time he and his young family lived with his prosperous brother-in-law, Christian Henry Wedekind, on Cane Run (later West Burnett).

R S Cane Run Wedekind Home

The move to a manufacturing occupation, joining forces with his brother Henry, may have been as much a financial decision as one based on health.

All roads leading to evidence of Adam’s clock works lead to nothing until one of those amazing web moments when I received a message last week from Cathy Shiff ( who had acquired clock faces from an estate sale in Atlanta.

Adam Vogt Clock Face 1

She quickly searched his name on Google and read my blog posts.

Finally, we connect with Adam’s hand work. It was a long time ago.

Adam Vogt Clock Face 2

R S Adam Vogt Senior Portrait

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