Clock Strikes at 2 a.m. for Daylight Savings Time
The annual ritual of resetting clocks big and small starts tomorrow
What time is it again?
It’s that time of year to spring ahead: Clocks should jump ahead one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 10, for Daylight Savings Time.
Modern technology affords many of us the luxury of not having to deal with the annual chore, as many recently purchased clocks, televisions, DVDs and smartphones automatically recalibrate the time for Daylight Savings.
But for countless others, not just pocket watch aficionados, it’s time to wind the clock.
And sometimes, the clock is very, very big.
That’s the case for the two big clock towers in Toms River. One is the historic steeple and clock tower in downtown Toms River, built in the 1800s.
The building was first the Presbyterian Church of Toms River, originally a wooden structure built in 1853. In 1937, the building and steeple got a brick facelift, and churchgoers worshipped there through 1970 before moving to a new location. All the while, the church clock struck on the hour.
The building was purchased by Dover Township and remained empty until it was incorporated into the new library structure in the 1980s. A second library renovation in the 2000s turned the building into a Dunkin Donuts attached to the library.
In 2005, the clock underwent some renovations and maintenance, where historic pieces were delicately repaired by hand, according to reports at the time. It's still ticking and is among many historic buildings downtown.
The second humongous clock in town is the Ocean County clock tower, part of the college’s library building on the College Drive campus.
The glass and steel structure spans several floors of the building, with clock faces facing folks who are both coming and going to Parking Lot 1. The library is one of the original buildings on campus and is the tallest. While its accuracy might be in question, there is no question it is one of the most recognizable structures for the college. It was built in 1966 and renovated in 1994.
The annual tradition of reminding everyone about the time jump hasn’t escaped the Ocean County public information department, who crafted a press release on the subject. It warned that some timepieces could “unexpectedly jump another hour ahead in a few weeks.”
“While standard clocks and other devices are easily reset manually, some older electronics are programmed with calendars that automatically adjust for the old time change in April,” went the press release, referring to federal government's decision to begin daylight saving time three weeks earlier, beginning in 2007.
Freeholder Joseph Vicari was quoted: "I have clocks in my own home that in the past I've have to change manually only to see them jump another hour ahead three weeks later," Vicari said. "I realized there was no way to program in the earlier date change to daylight saving time, so in a few weeks they are going to spring ahead again by themselves."
Sounds pretty confusing. So what time is it now?
“The unexpected time change can wreck havoc with VCRs, oven clocks and even the trusty bedroom alarm clock,” the press release continued. "Don't be surprised if your alarm clock sounds off an hour earlier come April," Vicari said.
Work of tending to all the county building’s clocks is the job of the buildings and grounds department, who operate throughout the weekend so all clocks that must be manually changed bear the new time for staff returning on Monday.
Buidings and grounds crew at the township level also help with the annual ritual of resetting clocks, said Toms River Township Administrator Paul Shives.
“The clocks on all of our computers and in our phone system are automatically set to change; however, our public buildings and grounds staff changes the clocks in our public areas,” he said.
So, what time IS it? Does anyone have the time?
Clearly, the clocks are ticking toward 2 a.m. Where to turn if you still need answers?
If after all that, you are still unsure, try consulting an expert in the field. On Route 166, Pettis Clock Shop has been in business for decades (more than forty years, according to the clock) repairing modern, heirloom and historic clocks and timepieces. They are veritable clockmasters, with technicians to help clean your clock, keep your clock ticking, and tend to all other clock idioms.
If you are staring at your clock wondering what to do on Sunday, however, it will have to wait until the shop reopens on Monday (at ten o'clock).
But trust us, those folks know what time it is.