1251 W. Central Ave. Ste. G-3 Davidsonville, MD 21035
Tel: (410) 798 - 6380 | (301) 262-5300
Owners of Maryland Clock Company, carry-on an age-old profession.
Rick Graham, owner of the Maryland Clock Company, admits that it’s difficult to find folks who restore and repair mechanical clocks these days. Parts are scarce and people entering the work force are opting out of the vocation.
“Mechanical clock repairmen are certainly a dying breed,” Rick said.
However, Rick and his wife Doris love the profession and have proudly restored thousands of prized antique, vintage and modern clocks for the past 42 years—including those that belong to senators, governors, and Supreme Court justices.
Rick and Doris’ story begins at the age of 12 when they first met. Married for 41 years, Doris has been beside Rick’s side every step of the way, first working in his father’s shop in Washington, DC and then helping him open five additional stores.
According to Rick, he learned the trade from his father from whom he acquired the business in 1969. Over the years, Rick moved the business from Washington, DC to the suburbs, first settling in Bowie and then Davidsonville.
The Davidsonville showroom, located at the intersection of Patuxent River Road and Central Avenue, is filled with prized clocks from around the world. Entering the room is like taking a step back in time with elegant clocks ticking to their own beat.
The biggest part of Rick’s business is the restoration and service of grandfather clocks. In fact, Rick states that this alone makes up fifty percent of his work. Along with refurbishing grandfather clocks, Rick says he fixes many mantle, wall and vintage mechanical clocks a day or between 2,000 to 3,000 a year.
According to Rick and Doris, what sets their business apart from others is their longevity in the trade; their pure love of the profession; and their vast collection of clock parts gathered from all over the world.
“We have accumulated almost every clock part imaginable,” said Rick. “Doris keeps suggesting that we clean out the storage room yet each time I begin I see a piece we may need and stop there.”
Rick states that the repair and restoration of cuckoo clocks is a mainstay of the business as well. Doris always knows when Rick is working on a cuckoo clock and jokingly said that “we purposely stay away from Rick on cuckoo clock repair day as it can be challenging work.”
Rick finds himself with a large cuckoo clock business and appreciates his customers’ commitment to restoring these sentimental pieces. Presently, some 20 await repair in his shop.
“I can be outside shoveling snow in a blizzard and in will walk someone with a cuckoo clock for repair,” Rick said.
According to Rick, at one time fifty percent of clocks sold were grandmother clocks. For those unaware of what a grandmother clock is, it’s essentially a smaller version of a grandfather clock. Over the years, as homes got bigger, the grandfather clock became a more desirable option to help fill the vast rooms and walls of McMansions.
About a year ago, Rick began making grandmother clocks. Today, the Maryland Clock Company is the only manufacturer of grandmother clocks in North America. Rick handles the mechanical side using German made instruments while his son-in-law, a Davidsonville resident and cabinet-maker, constructs the grandmother clock cases.
Rick and Doris know they have chosen the grandfather of all professions and plan to keep at it for years to come. According to Rick, there is nothing better than taking a mechanical clock and restoring it. “Wind it up and it let it chime,” says Rick. “It will become the heartbeat of your home.”
Written by Cynthia Giorgio
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Store Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m | Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.