Composite clock tower hands, built by Lyman-Morse and installed on Boston's Custom House TowerTime was literally of the essence when Lyman-Morse Technologies was contracted by Knollmeyer Construction Corporation in September 2020 to build a set of clock hands for Boston’s iconic landmark Custom House Tower by December. It was never going to be a straightforward job. Among other things, the timing was dependent on the clock tower’s residents: a pair of nesting Peregrine falcons who have made the clock their home for more than 20 years. The four-sided clock is part of the large tower atop the Financial District’s Custom House building, which was completed in 1847. The 495-foot tower and clock were added to the building in 1915-16. The skyscraper was the city’s tallest, before it was eventually surpassed by the Prudential Tower in 1964.

Molds for the new composite clock tower handsIn addition to timing, requirements for the project included weight restrictions, stiffness, weather-resistance and it needed to be historically accurate, requiring a Boston Landmark Commission-approved gold finish. The new hands (five sets were made of the minute and hour hands – four sets for each of the clock’s faces, plus a spare set) weigh 25 pounds each and are made of carbon fiber laminates infused with epoxy resin. “To be sure we were dialing in the correct elements and fabrication techniques, we conducted a Finite Element Analysis to make sure the hands would meet the requirements,” said Andrew Smith, Vice President of Lyman-Morse Technologies.

Assessing a portion of a wooden clock tower hand prior to rebuildingOnce the fabrication technique and materials were determined, the LMT team copied the original wooden hands’ geometry to make the molds. Due to the tight production window, two sets of molds were created to speed up the production process. The Lyman-Morse team added some innovative new features by incorporating the balancing weights into the hands themselves, which improved the overall aesthetic appearance. “Lyman-Morse Technologies used the state-of-the-art capabilities of composite construction, design accuracies, and weight tolerances to produce a high-tech replica for this iconic project,” said Drew Lyman, president of Lyman-Morse. “Every time we drive through Boston, we can look at that clock and be reminded of the work of our team.”  The hands were delivered December 10th.

For more information contact: Andrew Smith: or 207-354-6904.

The Lyman-Morse team holds a set of the new clock tower hands

Composite clock tower hands, built by Lyman-Morse and installed on Boston's Custom House Tower