Nelson Cadena: the Centenary of St. Peter’s Watch

The baianos always dealt badly with timekeeping, from the ringing of the bell towers of churches, different and hence the unwillingness of the public when the Governor Antônio Muniz descerrou the commemorative plaque, in the evening of 15/11/1916, inaugurating the first watch public of the city. Delivered under the care of Hermildo engineer and mechanic Aleone Ducardo Warrior.

Before the public clock, the moneyed Bahian knew the hours through their pocket watches, silver or gold, while the people had as reference the shot nine of the Forte de São Marcelo. And if someone wanted to know the time with accuracy could go to door Ordinance, where a large wall clock struck the hour at, that was not always the same as the other clock displayed in the window of the House Gallo of Frederick Bartsch & Cia, rua Conselheiro Dantas.

The clock was commissioned by j.j. Seabra to French manufacturer Henry-Lapaute. The original idea was to install it in the Municipal Square, along with the statue of the Baron of Rio Branco. However, a stone path changed plans. It wasn’t exactly a rock and a crater, a large street gap created after the demolition of the Church of St. Peter to leave the Avenue Seven pass. The firm’s engineers Lafayette & Cia recommended building on a square, a garden.

Samuel decided to mount the clock garden in newly acquired and the statue of Baron, both with sculptures commissioned the Italian sculptor Pasquale de Chirico. The artist created a iron column mounted on a pink granite base, as equipment support; at the top, four Atlanteans simulate hold set bookmarks, which is complete with a beautiful iron Lantern. The idea was to inaugurate the clock along with the Avenue Seven, but the delay in mould casting in plaster, in Europe, postponed by more than a year after opening. In the specific case of statue of Baron, this was installed only in 1919.

The press of the time in no time highlighted the originality and not the artwork.Preferred to deconstruct the initiative, crediting the Government the initial setbacks, the difficult task of setting time. That, just between us, you’ve been screwed up for most of the century passed. In the afternoon, the daily news and Journal of Bahia and later the time and the Impartial stressed the high cost, the supposed waste of money, panicked the same arguments contrary to the construction of the Avenue Seven works and expansion of Chile Street.

Given the bad luck of the Clock of Saint Peter suffer in the early weeks of differences, more or less, of 20:30 minutes, compared to pocket watches. It was enough for the press to load the inks and the adjectives: “knick misshapen”;height of caipirismo “; “misero deranged”; “real symbol of crazy”; “pointless upgrade”. Vicente do Amaral arrived writing in DOB: “since the night was opened does not know how many come on… come on to dizzy”, suggesting “send flip him upside down. Maybe give better result “. The impartial, in 1924, sentenced “Or breaks, or is stopped” and Later, on new year’s Eve coverage of 1933: “When the old year died, St. Peter’s watch almost let rot the deceased”. Around the same time called “cabula” and “crazy” Avenue.

Despite the unwillingness of the media with the most beautiful public watch Brazil, at that time, more beautiful than the d in RJ, survived a century to slander, to pee, the taggers and especially when negligence of various corporate boards that almost left him standing at the time. To compensate, in your shadow, say, flourished great friendships and great relationships.