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fiftytwos

Do we have any antique clock experts in the audience?

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I have purchased a very old electric car clock. It is for certain, the oldest electric clock I have seen, but I am no expert. I am hoping to learn more about it like where it was used, when did it go into production and what were the competing electric clocks at the time.

What I know is that it was manufactured by the Keith-Landis Electric Company (Chicago, IL) sometime around 1920. It has an Ansonia (Brooklyn, NY) movement and is of the electro-mechanical type. i.e. it has a rather large solenoid that gives the clock a wind about every 45 seconds. It runs on 6V DC. What is interesting about the clock is that the movement is very delicate, almost pocket watch in size but the winding mechanism

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is built like a Sherman tank! There are two 1917 patent dates on the back of the clock.

I did run across a magazine ad from 1922 that had an advertisement that the clock could be purchased for $35.00 and that it came with a guarantee as to keeping perfect time. This is in keeping with my understanding that many of the clocks from this era were aftermarket and you purchased one and put it in you car, typically in the dash, or wherever you wanted to put it. I have spent several hours surfing the internet in hopes of finding one but to no avail....not even a photo.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone that has any clue as to the history of this clock. Thanks in advance...

Rick Koenig

Whitestown, In.

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Edited by fiftytwos (see edit history)

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These were generic clocks that could be purchased from automobile accessory merchants back in the teens and twenties and had "a fits most automobiles" mounting bracket. Oldsmobile used a similar clock but had an "Oldsmobile" script on the clock face. It's possible they were used by other manufacturer and may have had the appropriate script on them.

It's a nice looking clock. It could get a decent price on ebay. There was one with a cracked lens and not tested as working, fetch around $100 there.

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Thanks to Bleach and Landman for your comments. I have checked with a couple of the antique clock forums. They know all about their clocks that sit on a mantle but not so much the ones that are mounted to a car dash. 6 volt D.C. does not register with them either.

It seems the major players in this arena are Waltham, Chelsea, Octava, Keyless, and Phinney Walker......and nothing electrical. They were all either stem wind or rim wind 8 day clocks. I will keep looking.

Do any names come to mind as to someone I should contact?

Thanks again...

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