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Cliff Calderwood is a travel writer living in rural Massachusetts. He writes extensively about New England where he has lived for the last 31 years with his family and dogs, and a bunch of animals in the woods that have a lot more right to live there than he does - but he watches out for them.

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The Switzerland of America

Watch Museum Connecticut ImageIn the nineteenth century Connecticut’s Naugatuck Valley around the Waterbury area was known as the “Switzerland of America.” Here, many different types of clock products were designed and produced at the Waterbury Clock company.

Through the demands of customers and World War I the need for a more convenient timepiece to carry around led to the development of the “wristwatch.” People bought them in droves. And with further manufacturing refinements during World War II, the company produced in 1950 the world’s first inexpensive but reliable mechanical watch, and called it the Timex.

The rest is, as they say… history.

The Timex Corporation – it changed to this name in 1960s – has long been a household word throughout the world, and now manufactures watches on four continents. Its early beginnings in 1850s to remarkable 21st century innovations are captured in an entertaining voyage of discovery at the Timexpo Museum in Waterbury.

At the Timexpo Museum you can explore the history of the watch and clock industry, learn about the Timex heritage, and even discover the suggested connections of ancient civilizations – there is much evidence that ancient cultures didn’t develop as independently as we thought.

The museum contains plenty of hands-on exhibits, craft activities, and computer interactives. Remember the torture test ads? You’ll be able to see the original versions along with a re-enactment of a watch strapped to an outboard motor in water.

The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, with the gift shop open until 7:00pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 children 5-12.

For directions and more information check out the web site at www.timexpo.com

The Waterbury area in Northwest Connecticut contains many other attractions for day or weekend getaways. You’ll discover many more exciting things to do in the area by checking out my special Connecticut vacations page here.

Talk to you at the weekend.

Cliff Calderwood
Executive Director
New England Vacation Guide

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