"Gog" and Magog" have long been the names for London's wooden deities in the Guildhall.
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
This park was named for the newspaper that was once published directly to its north. The City of New York acquired the area in 1846 as part of the opening of Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway). By the early 20th century, many printers and publishers had located in the area. The New York Herald, founded by James Gordon Bennett in 1835, was best known for its sensational coverage of scandal and crime, and for its enormous circulation. Herald Square's centerpiece monument to Bennett and his son houses a sculpture and clock that formerly topped the Herald building. The bronze figures include Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and invention, and two bell-ringing blacksmiths. The clock and figures were installed on the monument in 1940, and blacksmiths "Stuff and Guff" or "Gog and Magog" have chimed the hours ever since.
New York Songlines
As in, "Remember me at..." Named for the New York Herald, a racist, anti-Semitic newspaper founded by James Gordon Bennett whose offices were directly to the north of this triangle. The paper introduced such features as the gossip column and Wall Street coverage. Later merged with the New York Tribune; the International Herald-Tribune is the surviving relic. The clock and statuary, crafted in 1895 by Jean-Antonie Carles, are from the old Herald building; the goddess is Minerva, complete with owls, and the bellringers, which swing their hammers on the hour, are nicknamed Stuff and Guff.
New York Architecture Images
Statuary usually just stands there and does nothing. Not so Minerva, the Bellringers and Owls by Antonin Jean Carles, which originally graced the nearby New York Herald building which gave the square at Sixth and 33rd its name. Every hour on the hour, Stuff and Guff ring the big bell. The statues were moved here when the Herald building was torn down.
Next time you're shopping on 34th St., take a break in the beautifully restored Herald Square Park, on the north side of the street where Broadway and Sixth Ave. converge. There, amid pots of brightly colored petunias and newly installed chairs (the work of the 34th Street Partnership), you'll be in the company of the goddess Minerva and bell-ringers Stuff and Guff, whose attention is fixed on a huge bell they are poised to strike.
From 1895 to 1921, the trio adorned the top of a two-story Italianate building, located just north of the square on 35th St., that McKim, Mead & White built for publisher James Gordon Bennett's N.Y. Herald.
University of Pennsylvania: Alumni Notes
67 Frederick B. Gleason III C'67 WG'70 and his daughter, Ann Powell Dewart Gleason, grandson and great-granddaughter respectively of William Dewart, president and publisher of The New York Sun from 1926 to 1944, last year donated to the Museum of the City of New York a bound volume of the first 84 issues (dating back to 1835) of The New York Herald. (In 1920, the Sun Organization bought The New York Herald and its evening counterpart The Telegram; in 1924 the Herald was sold to the owners of the New York Tribune, thus creating the Herald-Tribune.) Not all Herald memorabilia was transferred to the new owners, however; The Sun retained a life-size bronze figure of Minerva, as well as bell ringers Gog and Magog (also called "stuff and guff"), from the clock atop the old Herald building. In 1928 Dewart gave the clock figures to New York University, which lent them perpetually to the City of New York: the city erected the clock tower in Herald Square in 1940. Now, years later, another relic of The New York Herald has found a permanent home.
New York City Guide:
A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Boroughs
by the Federal Writers' Project
New York: Random House
The great Bennett clock, whose two figures (nicknamed Stuff and Guff) had long...
3 July 1940, New York Times, pg. 19:
Bronze Bell Ringers Coming Back
To Herald Square to Toll Hours
"Stuff and Guff" Returning After 19 Years
- Ground to Be Broken Today for
Restoration of the Area
Ground will be broken today for the Herald Square improvement, which eventually will include the return to their old haunts of "Stuff and Guff," bell-ringing bronze blacksmiths who beat out the hours with smithy hammers for twenty-six years to the greater glory of the younger James Gordon Bennett and the old New York Herald. The bell-tapping smiths disappeared from Herald Square in 1921.
Incorporated in a forty-foot granite monument and standing at the foot of the old Herald Minerva, "Stuff and Guff" will resume, probably within a few months, their old-time signaling task. During the twenty-six years of their previous service they thumped the bell 3,188,680 times.
Once Upon a City:
New York from 1890 to 1910 as photographed by Byron
described by Grace M. Meyer
New York, NY: Macmillan Company
...of the McKim, Mead & White palazzo (with its famed clock and the bronze figures of Minerva and the Bell Ringers—nicknamed "Stuff and Guff"—by Antonin Jean Carles) that housed The New York Herald,...
New York City • Art/Sculpture • (0) Comments • Sunday, September 18, 2005 • Permalink