NED: Why is it so important for your organization to participate in
projects like this?
JF: Participating in a project like this allows us to develop long-term thinking. We
NED: What were some of the biggest surprises or life lessons your
are all here for a certain period of time, and we have to make it count. What are
we going to pass on to future generations? The idea here is to inspire people and
try to change the way they think about time; try to make them take advantage of
it. Once in a while, we should take a moment to refect about what we are doing in
a long-term basis and ask ourselves, ‘Are we going in the right direction?’
And the 10,000 Year Clock is a pretty proud message we like to share whenever
people ask about the shelf life of ceramic bearings and how they hold up over
time. Is there any greater example of durability than a 10,000-year project? It’s a
fantastic illustration of modern ceramic bearing technology.
organization learned from this project?
JF: One of the biggest—if not surprises, but confrmations—for us has been just
how long these bearings are able to last. In working with the 10,000 Year Clock,
and witnessing the development of testing rigs that put millions of rotations on
the bearings, it was amazing to see the thought and detail that have gone into
this project. During our time working on this project, I had a son; and so thinking
about his future, and his son’s future down the line, 10,000 years was an incredible
moment that I still think about today.
NED: At what stage of development is the Clock?
JF: The full-scale 10,000 Year Clock is now under construction, with the mountain currently containing a
bored cylinder and a carved-out spiral staircase cut into its walls. Many of the Clock’s parts have been built
and are in varied stages of assembly, testing and shipping to Texas. Rest assured the process continues at a
feverish pace; more to come on offcial timelines.
NED: Anything else unique about this project that
readers might be interested about which to learn more?
JF: One interesting fact is that visitors can add energy to the Clock’s storage system by winding up a capstan,
in which a series of differentials turn three large pinion gears. These gears mesh with the three arms of the rack
segments, which in turn connect the power system to the counterweight. The capstan is fully built, tested and
has been shipped to Texas. Once installed, the more people who show up and wind the capstan, the longer the
clock can run; so it potentially could run beyond 10,000 years if maintained!