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History Lessons

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Wristwatch publication Hodinkee has pieced together the detailed backstory of the Barthman Sidewalk Clock, which was embedded within the sidewalk at the corner of Maiden Lane and Broadway in 1899 as a marketing ploy of sorts by downtown jeweler William Barthman. After enduring decades of subway rumbles, footsteps, and other streetside wear and tear, the clock had to be replaced around 1940, and not long after photographer Ida Wyman captured it in an iconic black-and-white snapshot alongside a businesswoman's high heel. Today, its face may be cloudy and stained, and the jeweler may have moved a few storefronts down, but its century-old legacy has endured: "There have been poems written about the clock, stories written about the clock." [Hodinkee]