Lars and the Hourglass

In about 1975, Clae and I “invented” a “Hostess Diary” to help the busy entertainer and homemaker keep track of functions and events by recording information about invitees, menus, preferences, problems, etc.  We had the booklets printed for sale, advertised, and waited for the deluge of orders.  In the process we felt the need to devise a business name and a logo.  We came up with “Sandin Enterprises” and an hourglass.  In case it isn’t painfully obvious, think what motivates the hourglass.  Yep, it has SAND IN it!

After I retired, got into genealogy pretty deeply, and started putting my findings on a website, I just automatically used the hourglass logo for the Sandin side of the family.

With several months of researching I found the end (or rather the beginning) of the Sandin line in one Lars Mattsson Sandin.  Lars father was Matts Larsson, so according to the patronymic naming convention in use in Sweden at the time, he would be Lars Mattsson.  In the clerical survey he was shown with that name until after his first son was born.  Then apparently he completed his training or apprenticeship qualifying him as a clockmaker.  Once he became a professional, Lars chose a non-patronymic name, as was commonly the case.  The name he chose was SANDIN, and ever after his descendants, both male and female, used that name.

To close the circle, I can’t help but wonder if Lars saw the same connection we did.  He became a clockmaker – hourglass is a kind of clock – hourglass has SAND IN it!  I checked the Swedish and sure enough sand means sand and in means into.  In all fairness however, I must confess that the farm Lars was born on was named Sandsjön – sand lake.  This may also have influenced the choice of Sandin.

So now we know who originated our Sandin line, but I guess we will never know for sure what was in his mind when he chose the name.

Never giving up, I have assigned myself a follow on study to find an antique clock with Lars Sandin’s mark on it.  I carefully examined three grandfather clocks at the American Swedish Museum in Philadelphia and found dates and names on the clock face and bodies.  Wouldn’t it be great to find Lars' initials or name in the outline of an hourglass stamped on a clock that he had made?