Misuse of Cuckoo Clocks by Missionaries

Another gem from the mists of history, and a lesson in technology,, which is only as good as its maintenance.

“About 1796 some missionaries took out to Ton-gataboo, one of the Friendly Islands in the South Sea, among other things, an assortment of cuckoo-clocks, which soon became to the natives objects of universal wonder, the general opinion being that a spirit spoke in them, and would detect the people if they stole anything from the ship or the missionaries.

Toogahowe, one of the natives, stood in such awe of them, that he would not have one in his house.

Moomooe, his father however, regarded them differently; and when he found himself dangerously ill, he requested that some of the brethren would come and sing psalms for him, and bring a cuckoo-clock to assist in healing him.

The high priest, knowing perhaps the mysteries of his own profession, was exceedingly delighted with these clocks, desired to have one, and as soon as he got it home he took it to pieces to examine the inside. To put it together again was beyond his skill, and unluckily it was beyond the skill of the missionaries also. None of them had been instructed in this branch of mechanism, and the discovery of their ignorance excited the contempt of the natives. “

 

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