The Good Time Clock is a magical motion machine. It has delighted children and adults who have visited Cermak and Plaza over the years.

The balls clank up the conveyor like the start of a roller coaster and then cascade down taking a different paths; clanging banging and ping-ponging into different noisemaking, musical obstacles.  It is true that it is a piece of art, it is also true that the Good Time Clock is a piece of joy. This sheer magical delight it brings to visitors is a joy to behold.

The “Good Time Clock” will make you smile.

Come see the magic for yourself at Cermak Plaza in Berwyn Illinois at the corner of Harlem and Cermak!

As of 2015 the Cermak Plaza “Good Time Clock” has been completely restored by Mike Helbing Studios.


The clock is operated by an electric motor.  Balls are carried to the top by a chain with hooks, are dumped onto a track which divides by means of swi tches into six·· tracks.  The balls cause 5 chimes and numerous bells to be struck, and perform acrobatics, including loop-the~loop. The clock keeps good time, but not the kind that will tell you when you have to do something.  There is a cuckoo that sounds periodically.  The clock is made of welded steel, took a year to build, and uses chromium plated steel balls, 1/2″ in diameter.

David W. Bermant was responsible for selecting the art.  Sometimes his purchases and installations were controversial but everyone  who saw the Good Time Clock really liked it.

George Rhoads created at least 5 variations on the “Good Time Clock” for David Bermant including other pieces like Good Time Clock III at West Erie Plaza in Erie, PA and the Magic Clock at Hamden Plaza in Hamden, CT:

and also the Good Time Clock IV installed at the Santa Barbara Airport in Santa Barbara California:

Having A Ball (seen in the picture below) was a George Rhoads rift on the Good Time Clock.  It was installed as the backdrop of the elevator to the lower level of Allendale Shopping Center in Pittsfield Massachusetts.  Having A Ball used golf balls as a substitute for the metal pin balls in some of the other Rhoads clocks.  Having A Ball would start when a visitor would call the elevator to be transported up or down to the “Underground At Allendale”.  A glass rear panel of the elevator allowed passengers to view the activity of the piece as they rode down and up.  Balls moved fan shaped wind mills as they scooped up the waiting balls.  The clanking of metal and clacking of wood blocks sounded as the balls bounced and spun down the tracks.  Joseph Bermant was the long time manager of Allendale Shopping Center and also managed Cermak Plaza in the late 1980’s.  

George Rhoads was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1926 and graduated from the University of Chicago.  Rhoads has no engineering training, he is a painter and origamist.  His work has been shown on nationalTV shows and is part of the permanent collections of such museums as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Chicago Art Institute.

Magic Clock by George Rhoads at Gaien Higashi Street in Aoyama,Tokyo Japan

The Good Time Clock has been a fantastic addition to the shopping experience at National Shopping Centers properties.  Below are some of the reactions, reviews and interviews.


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