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The Bulova hockey scoreboards

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02-04-2011, 01:17 PM
  #1
Fenway
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The Bulova hockey scoreboards

When I was young the Boston Garden had this clock which dated back to around 1940.

The same clock was at Olympia-Detroit, Chicago Stadium, Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo and the R.I Auditorium in Providence. There was also a one sided version at the old Boston Arena.

The Chicago clock lasted to at least 1971.

Anybody have more info on these clocks?


Last edited by Fenway: 10-07-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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08-07-2013, 07:52 AM
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hdtvee
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Does anyone have any pictures of the old Chicago Stadium interior during a game with the analogue clock running?
I have been looking for one to put on the wall of my office for years.
Thanks.

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08-07-2013, 11:48 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Bulova Scoreboards

Two images top row:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=Chicag...w=1920&bih=955

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08-07-2013, 12:19 PM
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Killion
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^^^ Ya thats an old beauty eh? Very American Deco. Love it.

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08-07-2013, 02:01 PM
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Fenway
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Here is the stadium clock in 1971

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...zm7QWEkI&t=112

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08-07-2013, 02:10 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Montreal Forum and MLG

Would be nice to find still images of the old Montreal Forum Sportimer scoreboard and the original MLG scoreboard. Glimpses are available in videos.

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08-07-2013, 05:49 PM
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DJ Man
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I only got to see games live on rare occasions, and I remember the Chicago Stadium clock as being a pain to read. Those circles were adaptable to basketball and boxing, and I think they counted up instead of down.

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08-10-2013, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Man View Post
I only got to see games live on rare occasions, and I remember the Chicago Stadium clock as being a pain to read. Those circles were adaptable to basketball and boxing, and I think they counted up instead of down.
As it should be because that's the way the events of the game--goals and penalties-- are recorded. Only those incapable of subtracting x time from 20:00 to find the time remaining have reason to complain. Most people, I would think, are capable of figuring that out instantaneously. Like, you know, 19:37 means 23 seconds left in the period. Not hard at all. Time is kept that way around the world in the most popular sport, association football, and people have no trouble with it.

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08-11-2013, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter9 View Post
As it should be because that's the way the events of the game--goals and penalties-- are recorded. Only those incapable of subtracting x time from 20:00 to find the time remaining have reason to complain. Most people, I would think, are capable of figuring that out instantaneously. Like, you know, 19:37 means 23 seconds left in the period. Not hard at all. Time is kept that way around the world in the most popular sport, association football, and people have no trouble with it.
Boston Garden went to digital in 1967 simply because the NBA demanded it. The Bulova clocks worked for hockey, boxing and college basketball but the 12 minute periods of the NBA became an issue. The Garden added a neon 12 for the NBA but it was still hard to read.

For boxing the 5, 10, and 15 neon became 1, 2, 3 and 0

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08-11-2013, 11:54 AM
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I recall that on a penalty, the "2" (or in rare cases, the "5") on the smaller clock would light up and the hands would turn to count up towards that number as the main clock ran. However, most of the clock lights on the scoreboard would go dark when time was out, so you'd have to wait for resumption to check the time.

The Chicago Bulls once had to resume a tied basketball game at Chicago Stadium on a new night with one second left due to a successful appeal by one team or the other. One sportswriter was wondering how they'd set that Stone Age clock to one second.

I suppose they used the shot clock or a stopwatch for the one second, then went on to overtime.

The Stadium had an "auxiliary scoreboard" on a balcony off to one side.that featured the out of town games. (Remember, in the O6 era, there were a maximum of three games on a given night!) It was a manually operated thing that just had an abbreviated name and number for each team. Some guy seated in the row behind it would drop these numbered slots over a lighted area. You'd see BOS 0 above DET 3, but no idea whether it was a final or what period was in progress. Or maybe it was just B 0 D 3 -- I do recall that it was minimal.

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08-11-2013, 12:02 PM
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The penalty clocks had no second hand and the 2 would be neon. If it was a major the hands would continue past 3 and 4 and end at 0.







Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Man View Post
I recall that on a penalty, the "2" (or in rare cases, the "5") on the smaller clock would light up and the hands would turn to count up towards that number as the main clock ran. However, most of the clock lights on the scoreboard would go dark when time was out, so you'd have to wait for resumption to check the time.

The Chicago Bulls once had to resume a tied basketball game at Chicago Stadium on a new night with one second left due to a successful appeal by one team or the other. One sportswriter was wondering how they'd set that Stone Age clock to one second.

I suppose they used the shot clock or a stopwatch for the one second, then went on to overtime.

The Stadium had an "auxiliary scoreboard" on a balcony off to one side.that featured the out of town games. (Remember, in the O6 era, there were a maximum of three games on a given night!) It was a manually operated thing that just had an abbreviated name and number for each team. Some guy seated in the row behind it would drop these numbered slots over a lighted area. You'd see BOS 0 above DET 3, but no idea whether it was a final or what period was in progress. Or maybe it was just B 0 D 3 -- I do recall that it was minimal.

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08-11-2013, 09:04 PM
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I should have figured that out. So much for 50-year old memories!

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08-11-2013, 10:18 PM
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Fenway
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I remember a Celtics game where the Syracuse coach thought there was 1 minute left - he wasn't happy.

Boston Garden had out of town boards as well - one game behind each goal. They had little light bulbs for the periods.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Man View Post
I recall that on a penalty, the "2" (or in rare cases, the "5") on the smaller clock would light up and the hands would turn to count up towards that number as the main clock ran. However, most of the clock lights on the scoreboard would go dark when time was out, so you'd have to wait for resumption to check the time.

The Chicago Bulls once had to resume a tied basketball game at Chicago Stadium on a new night with one second left due to a successful appeal by one team or the other. One sportswriter was wondering how they'd set that Stone Age clock to one second.

I suppose they used the shot clock or a stopwatch for the one second, then went on to overtime.

The Stadium had an "auxiliary scoreboard" on a balcony off to one side.that featured the out of town games. (Remember, in the O6 era, there were a maximum of three games on a given night!) It was a manually operated thing that just had an abbreviated name and number for each team. Some guy seated in the row behind it would drop these numbered slots over a lighted area. You'd see BOS 0 above DET 3, but no idea whether it was a final or what period was in progress. Or maybe it was just B 0 D 3 -- I do recall that it was minimal.

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08-11-2013, 11:42 PM
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Anyone know whatever happened (or happened to the other 5, Boston, Toronto etc) to that old clock? Id assume likely when it was replaced dismantled & scrapped, maybe sold to a smaller facility somewhere. The old Winnipeg Arena scoreboard was bought by Hamilton for Copps Coliseum but that ones digital of course. Some strange reason I have this vision of all the old NHL arena scoreboards in a desert junkyard, like down in Vegas with the Neon Museum & Boneyard; The Golden Nugget & Silver Slipper etc. Be kinda neat to dig those old things up...

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08-12-2013, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Anyone know whatever happened (or happened to the other 5, Boston, Toronto etc) to that old clock? Id assume likely when it was replaced dismantled & scrapped, maybe sold to a smaller facility somewhere. The old Winnipeg Arena scoreboard was bought by Hamilton for Copps Coliseum but that ones digital of course. Some strange reason I have this vision of all the old NHL arena scoreboards in a desert junkyard, like down in Vegas with the Neon Museum & Boneyard; The Golden Nugget & Silver Slipper etc. Be kinda neat to dig those old things up...
The Boston Garden clock was destroyed in 1967 - I saw it smashed in the storage area.

Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Providence and Buffalo had Bulova clocks and Mike Emrick told me Indianapolis had one as well.

I saw the Forum clock in operation at a box lacrosse game in 1965.

Montreal went digital in 1966 and the Bruins used the same company (Day Industries from Toronto) the following year and the Hawks also bought a digital clock from Day.

Montreal and Chicago would upgrade their boards in the 80's but the Bruins stayed with the 1967 model until the Garden closed in 1995. That clock lives in a Boston area mall in a food court.


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08-12-2013, 01:40 AM
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^^^ Isnt that interesting, and thanks for the inf & picture. What a shame they dismantled the old Boston clock. Still, at that time, no one really thought much about it I suppose, that it could be used as an iconic architectural type decoration or feature as they did in that food court with the Gardens old one. Ballard in Toronto pretty much trashed everything as your likely aware. Ripping out Foster Hewitts old Gondola, into the dumpster. The Maple Leaf Gardens clocks werent nearly as impressive in terms of style as the US based models but still... once gone, lost forever Im afraid. Not completely certain, but I think Montreal Forums may still be on display in that building, since converted to retail etc. A small display area setup with a nod to its origins, invoking memories.

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10-02-2014, 08:52 PM
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Fenway
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On March 20, 1941, the Boston Bruins installed a new clock for the 1941 playoffs. It cost $40,000 ($ 641,412.08 today)

I am puzzled because this is not the same Bulova scoreboard the Garden used into the late 60's.

Boston Globe 3/20/1941



Last edited by Fenway: 03-01-2015 at 08:03 PM.
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10-02-2014, 09:12 PM
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Killion
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^^^ Hmm. Mystery. Its clearly not the one you remember, the one thats in yer avy & that hung at Boston Garden. No idea what thats all about. Perhaps re~faced & re~configured at some point between 1941 & the 60's?.... mustve been. Yet doing a quick search, couldnt find a thing mentioning it.

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10-02-2014, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Man View Post
...
The Stadium had an "auxiliary scoreboard" on a balcony off to one side.that featured the out of town games. (Remember, in the O6 era, there were a maximum of three games on a given night!) It was a manually operated thing that just had an abbreviated name and number for each team. Some guy seated in the row behind it would drop these numbered slots over a lighted area. You'd see BOS 0 above DET 3, but no idea whether it was a final or what period was in progress. Or maybe it was just B 0 D 3 -- I do recall that it was minimal.
Y'know, I have the vague recollection that there was an inconsistency in the abbreviated team names on the simplistic auxiliary scoreboard at Chicago Stadium. I was puzzled that while four teams (CHI, DET, BOS, TOR) were identified by city, the Rangers and Canadiens were RAN and CAN respectively.

I just realized that the distinction may date back to the years before the "O6" era, when New York and Montreal had two teams apiece!

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10-02-2014, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
^^^ Hmm. Mystery. Its clearly not the one you remember, the one thats in yer avy & that hung at Boston Garden. No idea what thats all about. Perhaps re~faced & re~configured at some point between 1941 & the 60's?.... mustve been. Yet doing a quick search, couldnt find a thing mentioning it.
I am guessing that Boston must have gotten the first one and Bulova then redesigned it after getting feedback. I never saw a picture of this one until tonight.

I had the chance last spring to chat with Doc Emrick and I asked if he remembered these clocks and he told me Indianapolis had one along with the ones I knew. (Boston, Providence, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago and a one sided version at Boston Arena )

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11-30-2014, 04:53 PM
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Have some info and pics of clock that was in Maple Leaf Gardens and the Montreal Forum.

SporTimer clock was made locally (to me) in Port Arthur (now part of Thunder Bay). Made by the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company (aka PASCOL aka Portship).



Was in local arenas (ones that no longer exist)




Pics of the clock in Maple Leaf Gardens were relatively easy to find





Montreal Forum found a photo of part of the clock and took a couple sceenshots of old Stanley Cup videos online. My french is non-existent so that may be part of the problem in finding photos:







Found an old newspaper ad with the SporTimer featured in a whiskey ad:



The patent drawings of the SporTimer (8 images) are available online here:
http://www.google.com/patents/US2071274


Last edited by greyraven8: 11-30-2014 at 05:32 PM. Reason: adding link
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11-30-2014, 07:17 PM
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^^^ Very cool. Thanks for posting those. Had no idea about this, that they were made up in Thunder Bay.

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11-30-2014, 07:46 PM
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Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame has a SporTimer clock, but unfortunately it's not currently on display; I think they told me it was in storage at the moment.

They did have on file an article they submitted to the local paper a couple years ago and gave me a photocopy


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11-30-2014, 09:28 PM
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^^^ Isnt that something eh? Quite the find! Came across an unsold Sportimer Clock in a crate while cleaning out the old Port Arthur Ship Building facilities & donated it to the Hall of Fame up there for posterity. Real piece of history. So many if not all of those old clocks gone forever.

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11-30-2014, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
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^^^ Isnt that something eh? Quite the find! Came across an unsold Sportimer Clock in a crate while cleaning out the old Port Arthur Ship Building facilities & donated it to the Hall of Fame up there for posterity. Real piece of history. So many if not all of those old clocks gone forever.
I don't believe any of the Bulova clocks survived. The Providence clock wound up at a local high school rink but they got rid of it years ago.

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