Gastown steam clock

This clock produces a whistled version of the Westminster Chimes.

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The World’s first steam powered clock has been created for the enjoyment of everyone

From the plaque on the clock

The Westminster Chimes ringing out from Big Ben is a familiar sound. A breathy version of the same tune is also played by this clock. The notes are created by steam being forced through whistles.  Built in 1977, the whistles are driven from the system of underground pipes that supply steam to heat downtown buildings.


305 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B9, Canada. Best heard on the hour.

There are other similar steam clocks in The City of Otaru, Japan, and the Indiana State Museum.


Photo: By Leonard G.

Author: Trevor Cox

I am a Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford where I carry out research and teaching focussing on architectural acoustics, signal processing and audio perception. I am also an author and radio broadcaster having presented many documentaries on BBC radio and written books for academics and the general public.