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  1. #16

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: NECCnut)

    Dear Gold,
    Thank you for what you've written. I have a special interest as I am trying desperately to find out what years the Cuckoo Clock Mfg. Co. was locate in the building 32 West 25th Street, NYC 10010.
    I own the NY Dog Spa & Hotel, which is located in that spot now. Before us was NY Sewing Machine and I believe Cuckoo Clock Co was the tenant prior to them. There is a "use issue" due to a complaint to the Dept. of Buildings and if I can prove that the tenants prior to our use were Mfg companies, I will be able to get the violation dismissed.
    I thank you in advance for any help you can give me and I apologize to the rest of the forum for going off topic.
    Dale
    dale@dogspa.com

  2. #17
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Dale VP)

    Just a side-note reminiscence: In the late '60s I was loosely "apprenticed" at a clock shop in Los Angeles that I understood was the west coast warrantee center for Cuckoo Clock Manufacturing Company. I learned clock repair on cuckoo clocks and 400-day clocks, learning how to clean them, re-bush worn holes, "bend wires", set up strike trains, replace bellows, replace chains and fix birds on the cuckoos, and adjust escapements and replace suspension units and mainsprings on the 400-day clocks. I recall large assortments of factory replacement parts for the cuckoos. I also got to work on some other clocks and improved my watchmaking skills as well. It was a great experience for a high-school student.
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  3. #18
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Dale VP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale VP View Post
    Dear Gold,
    Thank you for what you've written. I have a special interest as I am trying desperately to find out what years the Cuckoo Clock Mfg. Co. was locate in the building 32 West 25th Street, NYC 10010.
    I own the NY Dog Spa & Hotel, which is located in that spot now. Before us was NY Sewing Machine and I believe Cuckoo Clock Co was the tenant prior to them. There is a "use issue" due to a complaint to the Dept. of Buildings and if I can prove that the tenants prior to our use were Mfg companies, I will be able to get the violation dismissed.
    I thank you in advance for any help you can give me and I apologize to the rest of the forum for going off topic.
    Dale
    dale@dogspa.com
    You should be able to find some archived material at city hall indicating who was tenanted in the building for what years. Maybe tax records. How cooperative city hall will be if you are fighting them might be your problem to find this. But it should be public accessable. However, just because the name of the company was the Cuckoo Clock Manufacturing Company doesn't necessarily prove they actually manufactured anything.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  4. #19

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: harold bain)

    Thanks for your help. I will try every avenue I can.

  5. #20
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Gold)

    Hey Gold.

    I have to say that the Linden clocks are about the sweetest sounding clocks I have ever experienced. There must have been some design feature (perhaps the Linden wood) that makes them resonate soo well.

    I have not repaired that many soo far, but every one has this resonating dream like quality sound that I find is even better than most Grandfather clocks...!!!!

    It also stands to reason that they made music boxes too. I think somebody was really on the ball when it came to the sound quality.

    I imagine it has to be the Linden wood. Perhaps too that it being 50+ years might mean the wood has dried/seasoned to perfection. I think as wood dries out over the years it causes better resonance.

    The Westminster Cuckoo clock mfg clock are a little bit quirky for me at first. But once I got the hang of the strike/chime mechanism never had problem since. Never even had to bushing one yet either. So that is good statement of quality.

    Just my 2 cents.

    RJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold View Post
    I can't give you info on the Schulman family but I can certainly tell you a lot about Cuckoo Clock Mfg. My father, Fred Gold, in the 1960's and 1970's, was one of the owners of Cuckoo Clock Mfg, along w/ Max Adler. One other minority partner was Walter Fleischer. My father died in 1980. Max Adler is alive and well and enjoying his retirement. Personally, I worked for the clock company from 1979 through 2009.

    Where did the name "Linden" come from? The company wanted a brand name for their clocks. Cuckoo Clocks were made from the wood of the Linden tree. Thus the name Linden.

    Cuckoo Clock Mfg (on some of the mechanical movements you often saw the initials CCM standing for Cuckoo Clock Mfg.) started with cuckoo clocks but branched into a full line of clocks (with the exception of grandfather clocks). The company also carried a line of music boxes that were sold to gift and jewlery stores across the USA. Cuckoo Clock Mfg. / Linden was always known as an innovative company and a company with great integrity. It was a real American success story.

    The company changed ownership several times in the mid to late 1980's. It was sold to Colibri in 1991. Colibri later bought the brand name SETH THOMAS and much of the clock offerings were sold under the SETH THOMAS name as opposed to the Linden name. Colibri went out of business in January of 2009. Colibri is back in business - owned now by a company called Alliance Time (based in New York). Most of the clocks they sell now are under the Seth Thomas name. I do believe they own the Linden brand name.
    Is FATCA going to be a slow drip to economic destruction or a gusher..?

  6. #21

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Kleck)

    This thread has recently come to my attention and i can correct some of the errors in Mr Kleck's history of the Cuckoo Clock Mfg. Co. Irving Schulman, one of the founders of the company, was my father and his brother Max was my uncle
    Irving was not a refugee from Germany. He was born @ 1903 in Maladechna, now a small city in what is now Belarus. At the time it was either in Poland or Russia. Irving's father came to the US first and, when he could afford to, sent for his wife and son. Two other children, Evelyn and Max, were born in New York. Both parents died, I was told, in the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 and the children were separated. Irving went to live with his grandparents in the Bronx. Evelyn lived with relatives in New Jersey. Max lived with relatives in Rhode Island.
    Irving quit school immediately and had to work. He delivered telegrams at first. The company would give him money to take public transportation to deliver the telegrams but he would run to the destinations and pocket the carfare. He later worked in the garment district (separating thread fragments, if I recall) and then in the toy business. He was drafted into the army in WWII, though he never left Fort Dix in New Jersey.

    After the war Irivng was able to buy a lot of clock (maybe watch) movements and he was planning to fit them into clock bodies but the movements were cut in the metric system and the bodies were cut in the English system. Gen. Omar Bradley was President of Bulova and agreed to swap some English clock bodies for metric bodies. This was the start of the company.

    My father had a partner whose name was Irwin (?) Cohen. I don't know where the idea to import cuckoo clocks came from. Mr. Cohen was European--probably a German refugee (his wife was French) and may have suggested this. Max was living in Rhode Island. His wife died in a car accident and he and his two children moved to New York. He worked, if I recall, for his brother-in-law, Milton Liebman (Evelyn's cousin) who ran a novelty company on Union Square. Shortly after he joined Cuckoo Clock. My mother worked for the company as a bookkeeper. A few other relatives were hired.

    The company didn't really manufacture cuckoo clocks; they assembled them from parts bought in the black forest region Germany. The clockmakers who put the cuckoo clocks together and tested and repaired them were mostly German refugees (I remember seeing numbers on their arms).

    Partners were added: Walter Fleischer, Max Adler, Fred Gold. Cohen was no longer associated with the firm after some time--I don't know when. The company was the largest importer of cuckoo clocks in the country. At some point in the 50s they expanded to 8 day clocks and mantel clocks, music boxes, silverware, a whole slew of new products.

    A brief profile of the company was published in Parade Magazine in the 1950s sometime.

    My father retired from the company in 1972. Max developed heart problems and died a few years later. My father died in Florida in 1992.
    Paul Schulman

    Quote Originally Posted by Kleck View Post
    Irving Schulman, and his brother Max, were Jewish refugees that fled Germany during the war years. I haven't found any census or immigration documents yet, but I'm guessing prior to WWII or around the beginning of it. They settled in New York and incorporated as the Cuckoo Clock Manufacturing Co. (date unknown). I don't know if they lived in the Black Forest region of Germany, but they definitely believed the Black Forest Cuckoo Clock market could be huge in the US and set-up shop in the Gift District of NYC. They initially planned on organizing a tool and die shop and other areas needed to make the clocks, but after realizing the higher costs of parts and labor in the US, the two brothers decided it would be easier to just import clocks. Pretty much just be a US seller/distributor of Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks.

    There were three Black Forest families that I found that made clocks for Cuckoo Clock Mfg. Co., the Herrs, Kammerers and Bergers. None of the Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. cuckoos I've seen have ever had any markings from those families though, and I'm not sure about the markings on the movements from some of their older clocks. I don't know if that had something to do with Germany's wartime restrictions to manufacturers who didn't produce items to be used in war, or forcing manufacturers to produce war items.

    I'm still not sure on any exact dates of when Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. started, but I did find some things about the Co. later starting to make mantle style clocks under the "Linden" name (late 1950's). So they must have gotten their clock shop up and running. Most of these mantle clocks I've seen have markings on the movement that say "Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co.", but I haven't seen any cuckoos that do which makes me believe they never got into making cuckoo cases and left that to the Black Forest families.

    Later on the Schulman's started selling portions of the company to their top employees. One of them, Max Adler, then became the owner and retired in 1988. After that I don't know who owned the company and have no further info about Irving or Max Schulman.

    After researching this I'm very curious to know more. Especially about the Schulman's early life in America and when they started importing cuckoos. If anyone has any more info, or can disprove some of what I found I'd love to hear it!
    Last edited by John Hubby; 01-18-2014 at 11:43 PM. Reason: Inserted quotation source

  7. #22

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Paul S)

    Paul Schulman's reply is very interesting, so I have moved this thread to the Clocks General forum for better exposure.

  8. #23

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Kleck)

    My father was the Irving Schulman who, along with Erwin (?) Cohen, founded Cuckoo Clock Mfg. Co. He was born in Russia in a town called Molodetzner, near Pinsk. We have no records of his birth but he always said it was 1903, probably in the summer. His father came to this country some time after and then he and his mother came in 1909. The name on his Passport was Schumacher. I don't know where Schulman came from. So contrary to what Mr. Kleck, above, surmised, he was not a Jewish refugee from Germany, but a Jewish refugee from Russia. After the assassination of Czar Alexander II in 1881 for about three decades the Russian regime followed a policy of pogroms against Jewish communities, and of impoverishing Jews through expulsions from cities and restrictions on trade. And Jewish boys were drafted into the army where they were expected to either assimilate or die. The number of Jews emigrating to the US rose from a few thousand to 300,00 in the 1890s and between 1900 and 1914, 1.5 million. (These figures are from a book called The American Jews by Arthur Goren, Belknap Press, 1980) The Russian policy for the 'Jewish Problem' was that 1/3 would die, 1/3 would emigrate and 1/3 would assimilate.

    If my father was actually born in 1903 (I really think it was later), he was about 6 when he emigrated to the US. His sister Evelyn and brother Max were born in the US. Both parents died when my father was, according to his recollection, in 8th grade. He would have been around 13. It may have been a botched appendix operation that killed his mother. He said his father died of a broken heart a few months after that, though it may have been an influenza epidemic. The children were sent to different relatives. My father stayed with his grandfather in the Bronx; Evelyn stayed with relatives in New Jersey. Max stayed with relatives in Rhode Island. My father's education ended when his parents died. His grandfather sent him to work--they were undoubtedly impoverished also and needed the money-- as soon as he arrived in the Bronx.

    He delivered telegrams for a while. The company would give him money for carfare but he would run to the addresses and pocket the carfare. He sold toys and worked in the garment district as a thread sorter and maybe in the button business.

    He married my mother Anne Krieger, from Amsterdam NY, in the early 1940s and was drafted into the army for WWII. He never left Fort Dix. After the war he bought a shipment of clock movements from Europe (maybe Germany) and was able to get clock bodies here. But the European movements were cut in the metric system and the bodies were cut in the English system (if I recall this story correctly). He somehow made an appointment with the president of the Bulova Watch Company who was General Omar Bradley. Because my father was a veteran, Bradley agreed to trade to make the stuff compatible, and my father was then in the clock business.

    I don't know much about the operation of the business or when they expanded into mantel clocks and music boxes and silverware, etc. They became the biggest importer of cuckoo clocks in the country--the clocks were from Germany. My mother and few relatives and my uncle Max were hired (Max was a partner). The watchmakers were refugees or concentration camp survivors from Germany (numbers on their forearms).

    In the 1950s Parade Magazine (a Sunday supplement) did a profile of my father and Cuckoo Clock. I do not have a copy. My father often said that his strength was that he could get along with people--and there were all kinds of people who worked for the company--a cross section of the working class in NYC. He retired in 1972 or 3 and died a few months after my mother in 1992.

  9. #24

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Steven Thornberry)

    I couldn't find my post so I posted another one--a little different,

  10. #25

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Dale VP)

    If you could find the Parade article in the 1950s, it might say when the company was started.

  11. #26

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Gold)

    That's interesting. I didn't know what happened after my father left the company, though I did know your father (and we probably met).

  12. #27

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Paul S)

    Very interesting read. Well done

  13. #28

    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: Paul S)

    My first cuckoo was (still is) a cuckoo clock manufacturing Co. piece. It is a larger cased one day hunter style case, got it off eBay being labeled as "31 day cuckoo clock". I was really puzzled with this description but bought it anyways. Glad I did. After replacing the bellows, cleaning the movement, getting a new pendulum.... it is a WONDERFUL clock. LOVE IT!!!

  14. #29
    Registered User Jeramy Cleghorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co. (RE: klikmaus)

    At least one movement manufacturer C.C.M.C. purchased movements from was Badische.

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