For The Record
NORTH NEWTON – A special event at Kauffman Museum on the Bethel College campus will celebrate a particular kind of clock, the history of which is also that of Russian Mennonites.
April 6, the museum will host Arthur Kroeger of Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a book signing and informal clock appraisal from 2-4 p.m. The public is invited to come and go during these hours.
Kroeger is the author of “Kroeger Clocks,” published in 2012 by Mennonite Heritage Village of Steinbach, Manitoba.
Often called “Mennonite clocks” or “Russian wall clocks,” many of these timepieces originated with Johann Kroeger of Rosenthal, a German Mennonite village in what is now Ukraine. He began maki
ng the clocks in 1804 and the business lasted six generations, until the Russian Revolution ended it in the 1920s.
Because businesses had to be government-controlled once Russia was under Communist rule, Peter Kroeger, the last clockmaker, was forced to close his factory. He tried making them from his home until Communist officials shut off his supply of materials such as brass and steel.