Imagine it’s 1965 and your parents bring you to the big city of Rochester, New York to take in the sights and do some shopping in the world’s first indoor urban shopping mall, Midtown Plaza . It’s thrilling! All the people! The lights! The sounds! The experience is setting off fireworks in your little 6 year-old brain. What better way to remember this extraordinary day from your childhood than with a warm, six-inch high… fleshy colored…… What the #&@! is this?
Why, it’s a plastic model of the Clock of Nations you silly! Back in the day you could get one—made before your very eyes—out of a Mold-A-Rama vending machine for a couple of coins. The perfect thing for playing “Meet me under the clock” at home with your friends.
William Bollman is a collector of vintage coin op games and arcade type stuff. His website, Moldville.com , is where I found this odd little Clock of Nations replica. There he sells molds of all sorts for about $5 each. Or, if you’d prefer to make your own unlimited supply of Clock of Nations molds to impress your neighbors, he’s got an actual Mold-A-Rama machine (and the moldset) available for just $29,000. Well worth it.
Bollman tells us he bought out a significant portion of the inventory of a former operator of these Mold-A-Rama machines years ago, including 85 vintage moldsets. “Yes, the Clock of Nations moldset was installed on a Mold-A-Rama machine and used as a souvenir vending machine presumably somewhere at the Rochester mall back in 1963” Bollman said. “It was vended in plastic and at certain locations customers could also buy a small paint kit from a different vending machine and paint the toy for 25¢. RochesterSubway.com hasn’t been able to confirm the location of any such machine. Leave a comment below if you have knowledge of where this might have been.
If you’re too young to remember Mold-A-Rama, here’s a description of how the machine worked from a Chicago Tribune article :
Maybe we didn’t get much of anything right in the 60’s, but we sure kicked some major ass when it came to making stuff out of plastic. Simply amazing. And this is what the Clock of Nations mold looked like…
NYC has the Statue of Liberty. Seattle has its Space Needle. But you can keep that garbage. Rochester has the Clock of Nations suckas! Anyone who remembers Midtown Plaza or has passed through the ROC Airport lately has surely stopped to watch this magical clock do its thing. Check out the video below…
Before Midtown was demolished in 2010, the clock was moved to the airport . The clock was supposed to be donated eventually to the new Golisano Children’s Hospital where it would be displayed. But a representative from the children’s hospital told me the clock won’t be moving after all. The recession forced their plans to be scaled back, leaving the clock without a space in the new building. Oh well. Perhaps they have room enough for a Mold-A-Rama machine??
‘Rochester: A City of Quality’ (Film, 1963)
Tags: Clock of Nations, Golisano Children's Hospital, Greater Rochester International Airport, injection molding machine, Midtown Plaza, Mold-A-Rama, plastic souvenir, Rochester, Rochester NY, Rochester souvenir
This entry was posted on Monday, September 10th, 2012 at 7:53 am and is filed under Art + Culture, Rochester History, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
I must buy one……