If you’ve been missing the Wellesley Square street clock, which the town sent out for repairs late last year, it’s time to take a look at the newly reinstalled and restored beauty. An Electric Time Co. truck rolled into town early this morning with the two-dial street clock crated and secured in the back of Medfield business’ vehicle. Between David Cintolo, the venerable company’s go-to guy for installations all over the region, and the Wellesley Department of Public Works crew members, the 15-foot cast aluminum clock was put in place in just over an hour.
(Thanks to Wellesley DPW’s Kevin Collins for the swell video.)
The clock looks fabulous and refreshed after its several months at the spa (as would we all with the kind of pampering such time would allow.) For its spa treatments the clock was stripped down, sandblasted, painted, and had certain parts replaced and upgraded (sounds like heaven).
Fun facts about Roman numeral IIII
Back when I was in elementary school, Roman numerals were drilled into me as efficiently as the multiplication tables. One thing I thought I knew for sure was that 1 = I; 2 = II; 3= III; and, wait for it, 4= IV.
Behold, the Wellesley Square clock expresses 4 as IIII. Was this a case of a paint job gone awry?
According to Electric Time Clock’s website, “There does not seem to be a definitive reason why the number four is represented by IIII rather than IV, but it is how the dials on tower clocks have been done for centuries.”
It goes on to say that possible reasons include IV was commonly used to notate the Roman god Jupiter (in Latin, Ivpiter), and the numeral IIII was used to differentiate between the lowly number and the exalted god; visually, IIII forms better symmetry with the VIII on the other side of the clock, as well as creating radial symmetry in that only I appears in the first four hours, V only appears in the second four hours, and X only appears in the last four hours; IV is oddly positioned and difficult to read from the normal angle where four appears; and/or Romans simply preferred IIII as they largely avoided subtraction.