How City Hall clocks are advanced for Daylight Saving Time

Action News climbed the iconic tower at Philadelphia City Hall to learn how its clocks are manually adjusted for Daylight Saving Time.

Video Transcript

- Over, up to the tower, to the clock. Years ago this was the official clock. Everyone has Apple Watches for the most part these days, but City Hall was the official time years ago. Disengage the gear, spring forward. I never would have imagined that these huge 50 ton clock faces were operated by these small time pieces in here. 6:40 on the dot. The original mechanisms were installed in 1947.

Minute hand length, 15 feet. Hour hand length, 12 feet, six inches. I do one at a time. North, south, east, and west. Kill the electricity each one, and then manual advance it. It takes a little while, like, five minutes per side. So if you were outside on the north side, North Broadstreet, that clock would now be changed to 6:42 AM. So we'll move on to the next one. Might be two other people alive now that actually ever got to put their hands on this iconic clock. So it's special.

That one's done. We're going to move to the south side. The next two are dangerous. Got into this line of work at City Hall. It's been about 20 years now. Went the grade school in Northeast Philadelphia, went to high school at William Penn Charter, and actually went to college at Drexel University. We'll move over to the east side. This is the hardest one to get to. I'm a Philly lifer. I mean, take pride in your city, rep your city. And it's this buildings part of it. That's why it's located right in the middle. It's just the lifeblood of Philly. All done. Spring forward. Mission accomplished. This is something that I'll always remember doing, no matter where life takes me later on.