‘P.S. 1887 ’ Clock
Kroeger Clock, 1887 (MC0100)
David Kroeger (1829–1909) made this clock around the time that the Mennonite colonies in Russia (now Ukraine) were undergoing an economic boom. More Mennonites now had a greater need for–and could afford–clocks that told both the hour and the minute. Increased demand also meant that Mennonite clockmakers were starting to industrialise. This clock has the hallmarks of later Kroeger clocks: the movement is more modern, it uses a chain drive instead of the more traditional rope drive, and the dished-out chapter ring, which enabled the dial to be thinner, was now standard. However, the Kroegers only started to use serial numbers the year after this was made and still painted their dials by hand.
This clock might originally have belonged to Peter and Maria (Paetkau) Siemens (1825–1890 and 1830–1893), or their son, also Peter (1853–1919), who married Anna Petkau (1830–1893) in 1887.
At some point it passed to Peter and Maria's son Johann (1851–1919). According to their descendants, Johann and his wife Sara Hildebrandt (1860–1934) might have received it when they moved into their new house in Nieder Chortitza, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire (now Ukraine). Johann and Sara kept their clock in their large dining room.
Sara (Hildebrandt) Siemens brought the clock with her when she and her family came to Canada in 1928. She took turns living with her grown children, and brought the clock with her wherever she was living. After Sara's death in 1934, the clock passed to her daughter, Maria (Siemens) Peters, with whom she had been living. After Maria’s death in 1977, the clock was passed down through her family.
Arthur Kroeger retouched the dial in 2008. Roland Wickstrom repaired the pendulum in 2017.
Description Thirty-hour wall clock with pendulum and weight-driven movement, made by David Kroeger (1829–1909) in Rosenthal, Russian Empire (now Ukraine), in 1887. Arched dial with a raised chapter ring is light-coloured with a single dark border around the perimeter. Arch has hand-painted roses surrounded by greenery. Below that are the initials ‘P.S.’ in Gothic script, which stand for Peter Siemens, the original owner. Spandrels are hand-painted roses and greenery. White chapter ring with black Roman numerals. Inside the chapter ring is the date 1887. Two hands; chain drive; two weights.
Mennonite Clock Number MC0100
Object Name Werder Clock
Date Created 1887
Maker David Kroeger (1829–1909)
Location Made Rosenthal, Chortitza Colony, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Dial Form Arched dial with raised chapter ring
Face Design Motifs Roses
Type of Hands Brass
Number of Hands 2
Other Markings DK/Дэвид Крегер/Канцеровка (David Kreger/Kanzerovkka, for Rosenthal; etched on pendulum); Made by David Kroeger, Rosenthal, 1887/Restored by Arthur Kroeger 2008 (written on back of dial)
Height 47 cm Depth 11.4 cm Width 32.3 cm
Owner Kroeger Clocks Heritage Foundation
Publications Arthur Kroeger, ‘Kroeger Clocks’ (Steinbach, MB: Mennonite Heritage Village, 2012), page 149–150. Arthur Kroeger, ‘The Kroeger Clock,’ in ‘First Mennonite Villages in Russia, 1789–1943’, ed. N. J. Kroeker (Vancouver: N. J. Kroeger, 1981), 87.