It was back in 1992, that I was employed with the Howard Miller Clock Company in Zeeland, Michigan. It was then that I learned the quality and craftsmanship that went into the Howard Miller grandfather clock.
I worked the line where these huge cabinets came through on a conveyor. It was my responsibility to install the glass and insert the piping and tacks that held the glass in place on the doors of the grandfather clock. The glass installed had to be perfect with no rough edges or cracks of course, the piping and tacks had to be placed just so, even if no one would ever see the piping or tacks. It was very fast paced, but at the same time quality was inspected constantly.
There was so much obvious pride in the craftsmanship of the clocks by its employees. I have never worked any other place that took so much pride in their work. These people were true craftsmen.
Each part of the assembly operation was gone over with a fine tooth comb. The wood had to be perfect. The glass had to be perfect. The German movements were all tested and calibrated before they were installed into the cabinet and they were tested again after they were installed to make sure there were no faulty mechanisms. Then the grandfather clocks would go into a holding area and tested again to insure they would run correctly and the balance was set right. Only the best clocks were allowed to be shipped.
Just before Christmas, the employees were given the opportunity to buy a clock for price of the parts. Fortunately for me, I found a grandfather clock that I had a part in constructing. I bought it for my husband for Christmas and it has had a special place in our home ever since. It is an heirloom piece that will be definitely handed down to our children and maybe our children’s children.
It has been 15 years since we acquired our Herman Miller grandfather clock and to this day it runs perfectly. We have even moved twice and never had to make any adjustments or had it serviced to keep it running. I know the quality and pride that went into that clock and have no qualms that it was not built to last.
Every time I look at the grandfather clock, I am reminded of the Howard Miller Clock Company and the quality craftsmanship that many companies do not possess anymore. Anyone who owns a Howard Miller clock should know that their clock was built with pride and from the heart.