Osler’s clock

Osler's Clock

Osler’s Clock
Copyright Bodleian Library 2011
Photography: Nick Cistone

Sir William Osler (1849-1919), Regius Professor from 1905 to 1919, is credited with pioneering bedside teaching, bringing medical students out of the lecture theatre and into the hospital wards. Osler was a prolific writer, author of The Principles and Practice of Medicine (Edinburgh, 1892) and many other works, and a regular user of the Bodleian Library. It was brought to our notice recently that a clock presented to the Library by him in 1912, which sits under the bust of Sir Thomas Bodley in Duke Humfrey’s Library, no longer chimed. We are glad to say that, as it approaches its centenary, the clock is chiming again and that an explanatory label is being designed. A file relating to the presentation of the clock survives among the Library’s records and shows that the clock was personally chosen by Osler, and purchased from R S Rowell, Jewellers, 115 High Street, Oxford, following the recommendation of Falconer Madan, Bodley’s Librarian, of
‘a clock with a good 18th century style of case, and striking hours and half hours on a gong with a non-irritant sound…’

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