Clearwater Credit Union Upgrading to the Latest LED Sign Technology

In 1993, Clearwater Credit Union (CCU) in Lewiston, Idaho, installed a new Watchfire sign, not knowing that the sign would outlast all of the credit union’s employees at the time. CCU has been in service for fifty-eight years, supporting local residents with a variety of financial services. In 1993, they installed a state-of-the-art Time-O-Matic 5-Watt wedge base lamp, Model 7000 as a time and temperature message center. The sign and its original software (still on floppy disks) outlasted two computers used to run it.

Clearwater’s President and CEO, Sue Darrow, began with the credit union in 1996, three years after the sign was installed. In the eighteen years that she has been supervising the sign, she noticed a slight slowing in the sign’s response time to updates, but it was otherwise still reliably promoting their services.

In 1932, Time-O-Matic began manufacturing rugged sign flashers that animated Broadway and New York City, as well as the incandescent time and temperature displays that lit up streets throughout the country. By 1993, the company was still exclusively serving the sign industry, building message centers like the one purchased by Clearwater Credit Union. Known today as Watchfire Signs by Time-O-Matic (or simply Watchfire Signs) the company manufactures outdoor LED signs and digital billboards in the same factory where CCU’s bulb-based sign was built twenty-two years ago.

Allen Phillips, with Sign Crafters, was the original salesperson for their sign and had been helping them maintain it ever since. “They still had an original model of the computer that operates the software and had not replaced anything on the sign but bulbs over the years,” said Phillips. When the sign was originally installed, Phillips trained the staff on the state-of-the-art advertising technology. “The sign could be somewhat limiting on messages, but it displayed time and temperature and was more reliable than anyone might have imagined in 1993.”

CCU decided to upgrade to the latest technology when replacement light bulbs were no longer available, not only to maintain their image but to better serve their members. “Of course they wanted another Watchfire Sign by Time-O-Matic,” says Phillips. “Sign Crafters has been an affiliated dealer for more than twenty-five years and we are happy to continue our relationship with Clearwater Credit Union with another fine product from Watchfire.”

“We are delighted with our new reader board. The clarity and brightness of the content is amazing. It is a great advertising method for our credit union,” says Darrow. “We experienced excellent service from Sign Crafters, Inc. We are looking forward to enjoying this signage for many years.”

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