ONTARIO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM
FRANCIS G. CLAX MOTOMETER COLLECTION EXHIBITION
On Friday, February 2nd, 2018 the Grand Opening Gala of the Francis G. Clax Motometer Exhibition at the Ontario County Historical Society Museum in Canandaigua, New York took place.
There was very good support by local history enthusiasts, antique automobile owners, local car club members and museum members making for a very energized group.
Gala attendees seemed rather amazed at the sheer volume and depth of the collection complete with hundreds of motometers from denoting the entire period 1913-1934 of their primary usage along with original advertisements; documents, booklets, pamphlets; ultra rare catalogs, manuals, product installation sheets and genuine patents; even auto manufacture corresponding logo radiator badge/emblems and employee badges among other one –of – a kind items.
The MotometerCentral™ staff placed as many items into the gallery space as it would allow – literally from top to bottom making use of all wall space for posters and ephemera to transform the space into a true journey back into early automotive history. Yet, there were still many items that did not make the current exhibition. Francis’ collection is incredibly vast with few duplicate examples. The exemplary condition of each artifact and the top quality manner in which every item is displayed is worthy of presentation at any museum in the world.
Ontario County Historical Society (OCHS) Museum member Rob Lewis and his wife donated all the wonderful wines, tasty food and unique deserts. The deserts included exquisitely tasting “motometer cookies.”
Financial donations came in from numerous members of Francis’ wide-ranging friends and personal contacts to help the museum offset their event marketing and promotional expenses and are still being accepted. The OCHS Museum is a 501 C (3) not for profit charitable corporation so financial and/or in-kind donations are tax deductible.
Many very kind, generous and interested people contributed to this on-going exhibition and to its success.
His is the only motometer collection that is genuinely historically significant, unique and as vast, let alone on general public display.
Francis is jubilantly quoted as saying, “Working (OCHS Museum Executive Director) Ed Varno and the entire museum staff is a pure joy and a wonderfully exhilarating experience. They are all very fine people who get it! They understand that regional museums cannot sustain an audience by doing and showing the same thing year after year and expect anything but diminished results. Ed and the staff gets that and is obviously doing something about that by exhibiting my rather different collection and reaching out to a much different and often overlooked, affluent community.”
The Ontario County Historical Society Museum is housed in a 1914 completed, well-preserved ionic column framed building making it a perfect location for the motometer exhibit. Canandaigua is the hometown of automotive industrialist and 2008 Automotive Hall of Fame inductee John North Willys of bicycle, Overland, Willys Overland, Willys Knight and Willys Jeep fame. (John's last name is correctly pronounced as "Willis" and not "Willie's.")
The Ontario County Historical Society (OCHS) Museum Clax Motometer Collection Exhibition is located at 55 North Main Street, Canandaigua, New York and is scheduled to run until September 8th, 2018 unless otherwise held over. Already requests are coming in to extend the exhibition for regional Antique Automobile Club of America Chapters whose members have expressed interest in coordinating a visit with their later Fall events.
Exhibition attending groups can contact the OCHS by Internet at www.ochs.org/contact or by telephone: (585) 394-4975 to make arrangements including an exclusive personal event tour by the collection owner.