Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 77–78 | Cite as

Awareness and Grandfather Clocks

  • McIntyre R. Louthan

We were sitting around the dinner table at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, celebrating Rea’s birthday. Rea is my wife’s sister and most of the family had gathered in Columbia, South Carolina for the celebration. No one in the family lives in Columbia so everyone had to travel but in today’s world travel isn’t just OK, its expected. Fran’s birthday present to Rea was a clock. A simple battery powered clock that probably cost less than 15 dollars; however, Rea needed a clock and the clock became a topic of conversation. In the midst of the conversation, Tom, Fran’s brother, asked if we knew the Roman numerals used on the faces of grandfather clocks. Everyone said that they did but everyone was wrong. Somehow, after 70 plus years of seeing grandfather clocks I had not seen that the number four on the clock dial is now not IV, as the correct usage of Roman numerals would suggest but is IIII. At first I didn’t believe Tom, why would anyone, much less an entire industry, use the wrong symbol...

Copyright information

© ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RadfordUSA

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