Just outside the Tinkering Studio stands a twenty-two-foot-high clock. Small cartoon characters are poised to oil, brush, weld, or otherwise tinker with the numerals; knobs let visitors animate the characters so they can attend to their tasks. On the hour, the work is finished. The numbers swing out to form a clock face and a mellow Chinese gong rings.
“Science museums used to display all sorts of mechanisms,” says the maker of the clock, artist/engineer Tim Hunkin. “But now so many things are electronic. The clock takes us back a bit in time. You can see how it works.”