I don’t wear a watch. That’s the excuse I use for
many clocks. Sometimes I’ll look at a clock and admire it so much I
don’t even notice what time it is. Two of my favorites are
the starburst, or spike, clock (c.1950s) you see at
the ball clock below (1947). These are
the real deal from Howard Miller
Clock Co. (USA), design credited to George
Nelson. Shown smaller and to the right are a couple of
the dozens of rip-offs the Nelson clocks inspired. Most of these
rip-offs, like the top one,
are truly hideous; some, like the bottom one, aren’t too bad.
Historically, technology in the home has been hidden—house
wiring and plumbing all out of site, electrical outlets down behind
and stereos hidden in a piece of traditionally-styled furniture. My
mother has her video player on the floor behind a plant, for crying out
loud. Clocks are the one bit of technology allowed out in plain
many are stylish.
The beautiful black & gold Sheffield (above) is battery powered
and from Germany c.1960s. Below it, the wind-up Clock of Tomorrow by Westclox (1955, USA). Above center
is a delightful clock that reminds me of a 1950s Chevrolet emblem. It’s
a wind-up Rhythm “Auto
Calendar Alarm Clock” (c.1958, Japan). Above right is the fun Blessing wind-up alarm clock from
West Germany, c.1960.
To the right, another Howard
Miller vintage clock. It’s perforated steel and
wood, electric, and 11-3/8 inches across. Below in purple and white
plastic is a Goldbühl
wind-up alarm clock on a pedastal base (c.1967, West Germany). It’s
about four inches across.
As huge a company as General
Electric has been for many years, they’ve produced remarkably
few stylish things. The red satellite GE
Telechron electric kitchen clock shown below right (c.1959) is
one of those things.