Westclox (clock manufacturer)

wikicollecting

wikicollecting

2015-06-26 10:35:13

Westclox is a US manufacturer of collectible clocks.

History

The company was established by Connecticut clock manufacturer Charles Stahlberg as the United Clock Company in Illinois, US in 1885.

Following two bankruptcies, the company reappeared as The Western Clock Mfg. Co. in 1888 and began using the Westclox name on its timepieces in 1909. It opened a sales office in Toronto, Canada in 1912.

The company is notable for being one of the driving forces behind improved working hours for staff. From 1918, in addition to Sundays, staff were no longer required to work Saturday afternoons, and by 1933 workers could enjoy the whole weekend off.

The company merged with Seth Thomas Clocks in 1930 to become the General Time Corporation.

In addition to production facilities in Canada, the company enjoyed expansion to Scotland after the second world war.

It produced more than 50 million clocks in Scotland, which were exported to more than 100 countries, until its Dumbarton factory closed in the late 1980s.

Talley bought General Time in 1968. The company was declared bankrupt in 2001 and the Westclox trademark was acquired by Salton before being bought by NYL Holdings in 2007.

Notable clocks

The company is well known for its Big Ben - first produced in 1909 - and Baby Ben alarm clocks, which were manufactured throughout the 20th century.

Westclox produced its first pocket watch in 1899 and continued to make affordable pocket watches up until the 1990s.

Westclox patented the “drowse alarm” in 1959, an early form of the “snooze alarm”.

Harder-to-find Westclox alarm clocks include some models made in Canada, such as the Pixie, the Early Bird, and Woody’s Cafe.

Guide to Collecting

Many collectors focus purely on the favourite Westclox models, the Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks. The earlier wind-up models are more sought after and valuable than the later electric examples.

Others seek more obscure Westclox models.

Some may focus on clocks produced in Canada or in Scotland.

Westclox clocks can be found on eBay, through specialist dealers, at second hand stores, flea markets and garage sales. When sold on eBay, they are often sold as part of a bulk lot of vintage clocks.

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