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Gastown Steam Clock Is A Fraud!!!

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Aug 22nd, 2001, 09:35 PM
  #1
Carl Z
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Gastown Steam Clock Is A Fraud!!!

Well I usually just answer questions here but today I feel a need to rant.
To Whit-The (so-called) 'Steam Clock' here in Gastown (Vancouver) is a Fraud!
It's not a 'Steam Clock' in any way shape or form except in the fevered minds of Tourism Promoters/Operators.
In the begining Yes the Clock was run by steam but after a few months the steam started to rust out the internal parts-I mean DUH!!!- so they switched to a regular electric battery mechanism and now it lets off a polite little puff of steam at quarter-hour intervals.
Big Deal!!!!
I drove by there today and I wanted to stop my truck and shout at all those people-every one of whom I'm sure is a sincere individual-you're being deceived!
Lied to!!
Duped!!
Wasting your time gawking at a pile of rusty metal that isn't substantially different than the watches you have on your wrists!!
Of all the fun interesting and different things to do here and to see those Folks actually taking pictures of that abomination!!
It is to weep/laugh.
Now as to the Capilano Suspension Bridge-don't get me started!
 
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Aug 23rd, 2001, 12:40 AM
  #2
Robyn
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Haha Carl,

I completely agree with you!

This is what I have written on my Vancouver page on www.virtualtourist.com/carmanah under the topic "Tourist Traps"

"Gastown & the Steamclock. Gastown is mainly a tourist trap with silly souvenir shops and the like. They try to attract you there to see the `Steamclock`. People go and take pictures of the clock thinking it`s some great ancient treasure, but don`t be fooled! The Steamclock is not historic. They say it`s the `oldest steam clock in the world`, yet fail to mention it`s the only steam clock in the world, and that it was built in 1977 to cover up a steam vent on the street! Not only that, but it`s no longer powered by steam! I`ll admit that Gastown is still a must see. This is Vancouver`s oldest area. The cobble stone streets and red brick buildings aren`t found anywhere else in town, and the atmosphere is definitely unique. Water Street can be tacky, but the side streets like Cordova and Cambie are the places you`ll want to explore for some really unique cafes and shops."

So yes, the "Steam Clock" was built in 1977 to cover up a steam vent. It still runs, but no longer by steam even though it still vents steam. It's an odd clock, but definitely not a "must see".

Capilano - haha... $9.00 to cross a bridge with hundreds of other people. It has that Knotts Berry Farm atmosphere - family restaurant, gift shops, fake totem poles, etc. Why pay $9.00 to go to a tourist trap if you can drive a mile east to Lynn Canyon Provincial Park and cross their similar suspension bridge, but for free. And at least you get a park with Lynn Canyon to explore afterwards!
 
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Aug 23rd, 2001, 10:48 AM
  #3
Lidija
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Haven't been to Gastown in years but did work in an office on Water Street for a few years and had to walk by that stupid clock every day, I don't think the clock ever had the correct time showing.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2001, 11:23 AM
  #4
A.M.
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I seem to remember it being there in 1973 when I lived in Vancouver, are you sure your info is correct?
A.M.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:53 PM
  #5
Robyn
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Perhaps it was 1973. I do remember reading the date as 1977 *somewhere*, so perhaps they had it wrong.

I was born in 1980, so I wouldn't have remembered it from personal experience, but at least we have the decade right.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:53 PM
  #6
Robyn
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Just for fun

http://home.t-online.de/home/uwewehking/page/steam.htm
 
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Aug 23rd, 2001, 08:53 PM
  #7
Robyn
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Just for fun

http://home.t-online.de/home/uwewehking/page/steam.htm
 
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Aug 24th, 2001, 07:42 AM
  #8
John
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The Steam clock was there in the 60's when I was growing up in Vancouver. Not that this topic ia important but you should check your ranting facts.
 
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Aug 24th, 2001, 01:12 PM
  #9
Robyn
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I believe this is the website where I first saw 1977 as the date in which the steam clock was built:

http://www.vancouvertourist.com/attr.../content30.htm

Perhaps send a message to the webmaster?
 
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Aug 24th, 2001, 01:24 PM
  #10
Robyn
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Also, on the www.city.vancouver.bc.ca website, they claim the clock was unveiled in 1977:

http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/comm...oz/S_Steam.htm

I've searched elsewhere to, but I haven't found any other date yet.
 
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Aug 25th, 2001, 09:49 PM
  #11
Mike Bilinski
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Sorry John you're wrong-there was no Steam Clock in Gastown in the '60's-Heck there wasn't even a 'Gastown' as such just a seedy dumpy 'hood.
Your memories are fading as you age-no offence it happens to all of us.
The clock went in in '77 as per the site Robyn has supplied-ah yes I remember it well!
 
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Aug 25th, 2001, 11:00 PM
  #12
Tom Morse
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The city tour bus driver told us Gas town was named after some mayor or somebody who was known for his abundant flatulance! And we thought it had something to do with gas lamps!
P.s. Don't visit Vancouver over Victoria Day weekend unless you enjoy deserted cities.
 
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Aug 26th, 2001, 12:18 AM
  #13
Robyn
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Gastown was named after Gassy Jack Deighton, apparently very talkative (hence, gassy). He was the first man to open up a saloon in what was otherwise a strip of sawmills. That was really the first of Vancouver, although back then it was known as "Granville". When Granville got bigger and more neighbourhoods joined together, that's when the city was named "Vancouver" after the explorer, George Vancouver.

I don't know when Gastown was named, but Mike Bilinski said, it wasn't anything more than a dumpy seedy neighbourhood. And wasn't it until the city started to plan to demolish it, that locals wanted it preserved because it was home to the city's oldest buildings. So it was in the late 1970's that Gastown was changed into the funky restored tourist neighbourhood that it is now. I'm assuming that's also when they put in the steam clock to cover up the steam vent.
 
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Aug 26th, 2001, 12:20 AM
  #14
robyn
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Tom - that's funny you mention gas lamps, because I'm sure that's what others think as well. I've heard tons of visitors refer to Gastown as "that Gas Light district", hehe
 
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