After John Bennett acquired the building in 1846 he updated the front. For
advertising he installed a tower clock that powered four man-sized figures:
Gog and Magog, The Angel and Father Time and had five large dials showing
both time in London and other cities in the world. Gog and Magog have
mythological origins that date back over a thousand years; several cultures
claim their origin. Photo below.
His five story building was well known to generations of Londoners and
its facade was often reproduced in lithographs and later photographs. The
figures were clock jacks that struck the bells sounding the quarters and
hours. In 1879 the clock was restored and Gog and Magog figures were
replaced and the original figures were sold to someone in Torquay,
Australia. Bennett company records were no longer available due to to
basement fire around 1904 so there is no way to substantiate the Greenfield
Village figures date from 1879.
In 1929 plans were drawn up to demolish the old building making way for a
new building. Henry Ford agents purchased the four figures and the tower
clock for £1200 that they negotiated down from
£5000 price and later acquired a portion of the
building for £300. The four figures were carefully
lowered from the building , crowds of Londoners came to watch them being
removed from the building on October 28, 1929. The tower clock was
disassembled; all the items were crated and shipped to Dearborn Michigan.
In 1931 a two story building designed by Edward Cutler, Village architect
was constructed in Greenfield Village. It utilized sandstone and terra cotta
elements from the original buildings to house both the tower clock and the
four figures and a single clock dial. The figures striking the quarter hours
on bells have become a popular attraction for Greenfield Village visitors.
The massive unsigned three train tower clock movement has a traditional
flat bed design with Graham deadbeat escapement that was powered by three
weights totaling 1,675 pounds. The movement is attributed to H. Sainsbury.
Bennett store front late 1920's, before the disassembly to
The re-worked facade in Greenfield Village. Five stories were reduced
down to three.
The bell jacks, Gog, Magog, The Angle and Father Time.
The tower clock mechanism.