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  1. #1
    Registered user. 442cain's Avatar
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    Default The real First Talking Clock!!!!

    I am new to the clock collecting, ive always loved antiques however i stumbled upon an amazing clock in a basement of a closing down warehouse and its turned out to seem its actually the first known talking clock dated even before the Hiller clock. It stand 9 ft tall and has an looking almost homenade phonograph in the lower half of it the whole clock is not working or assembled but i believe to have most all the parts. the glass has gold scrolling saying "Talking Clock Mfg Co." Ive even found a stock certificate and the owners of the building gave me some papers they found there with the TCMC letterhead and its typed of a contract to the advertising sales of this particular clock hand signed by the president of the company. it dated 1909 even. Ive since found more details of the building i got it out of and it just so happens this building was a clock makers mfg company in the early 1900's. it is a very amazing handcrafted clock beautifally crafted. i even found some blueprints in the base of the clock for a particular piece of the clock, and i also purchased a larger mechanism to a bigger talking clock and its made with an original edison phonograph in the bottom, so i even got the patent papers on this with a matching picture of this device, patent dating 1916, anyone have any details or help with my research would be great or if anyone had any inquiries
    Last edited by 442cain; 02-26-2012 at 11:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    442cain, can you post some pictures of clock and movement?
    Then we can see, what you've got, which does sound horo-sexy indeed.
    The talking clock with an Edison device was mentionend as early as 1892, being
    on display in St. Petersburg, Russia.
    Next was a similar type of clock, made by the clockmaker Sivan of Geneva, Switzerland,
    and displayed in the Louvre, Paris, in 1894.
    The ad shown is from 1913.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  3. #3
    Registered user. 442cain's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Here are some pics. the smaller box has a columbia phonograph on it. and its the one i believe goes in the big clock.. the big steel thing with the edison phonograph belongs to a different clock but i did find the patent for that exact device circa 1914 i believe and it has a picture of it on the patent.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1010001-1.jpg   P1010004-1.jpg   P2220289.jpg   P2220290.jpg   P2220291.jpg  

    P2220292.jpg   P2220294.jpg   P2220295.jpg   P2220296.jpg   P2230302.jpg  

    P2230314.jpg   P2230325.jpg  

  4. #4
    Registered user. Tony10Clocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Hello, excellent find. The count wheel looks a bit unusual. All the notches are equally spaced. why would that be.
    Too many clocks and not enough time, Tony

  5. #5
    Registered User soaringjoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: Tony10Clocks)

    Boy, oh boy! Great horo-stuff.

    I suppose, the countwheel is different, because the clock doesn't strike counting upwards and I guess the countwheel
    just had to start a sequence.

    Who made the movement - I can't read what it says.

    It seems you've already got more information on your clock than most people ever have, including the employment
    contract of the former owner (?)
    You might want to consider contacting the NAWCC museum on the subject.

    http://www.nawcc.org/index.php/museumlibrary


    Now let's see. What are you planing to do?
    Do you want to gather more information on your clock (I hope, the boys will drop in), or do want to get it
    restored, or repair it yourself (quite a job)?

    We do have clock repair and case restoration forums - the phonograph will be itchy, though...
    Jurgen "tempus nostrum"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: soaringjoy)

    way cool clock! learn something new every minute on this forum. neat find!

  7. #7
    Registered user. 442cain's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Ya thanks. I've done alot of research. But no one with any real knowledge of the makers or the rarity or value. I know it's not working and maybe missing stuff but the bulk is there. And very interesting to boot. I'm going to try an contact the museum as you suggested and see if they could help. I plan on joining the group to get acces to all the books. Thanks for looking!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Hi
    The reproducers are still to be found.
    I suspect these are standard Edison mechanics.
    Creating the recording will take some creative
    work.
    Tinker Dwight

  9. #9
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Quote Originally Posted by 442cain View Post
    Ya thanks. I've done alot of research. But no one with any real knowledge of the makers or the rarity or value. I know it's not working and maybe missing stuff but the bulk is there. And very interesting to boot. I'm going to try an contact the museum as you suggested and see if they could help. I plan on joining the group to get acces to all the books. Thanks for looking!
    442cain, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board and hopefully to membership in the NAWCC. Thanks very much for posting your inquiry and the photos of your clock; this is a true horological rarity that well deserves to be researched and restored to working condition if at all possible. Congratulations on your evident interest and dedication to digging in to find out everything you can about it, we'll look forward to your keeping us up to date as you make progress.

  10. #10
    Registered user. 442cain's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Thanks. Would the NAWCC be able to help me research or willing for that matter. How would go about recieving help from them? Thanks

  11. #11
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Quote Originally Posted by 442cain View Post
    Thanks. Would the NAWCC be able to help me research or willing for that matter. How would go about recieving help from them? Thanks
    The best way to get started for NAWCC assistance and access to the information that may be available is to join the NAWCC. A regular annual membership including hard copy delivery of our bi-monthly publications is $70, you can also opt for online access only which is $60. Just click on the link in the header at the top of every page of the Message Board. Once you are a member here are a few of the avenues you can use to pursue information about your clock:
    • You will have free access to the NAWCC Library, where you can request them to do a search for information related to your clock, its maker, patents, etc.
    • Our Research Committee may be able to identify NAWCC members with an interest in your type of clock who can then provide private assistance in your research.
    • You will have complete online access to all issues of The NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin, which can be searched for articles regarding talking clocks as well as references to the maker of your clock.
    And of course you can continue to post questions here that could lead to good information regarding your clock. We will look forward to hearing more about your clock as you make progress in your research and restoration.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: 442cain)

    Hi 442cain,
    your Talking Clock is an excellent and rare object, and it is a pity, that nearly nothing is known about the manufactoring Company "Talking Clock Manufacturing Co."
    I am collecting Details about the Hiller Clock during the last months, and in this searches I have found an Report of a German Newspaper "Die Woche" Berlin in 1904, showing a speaking Clock. It is told, that an Italien citicen of Philadelphia, named Vincenzo Pina, has made the Invention of this. As you can see from the Picture, this is also a very toll model. There is a patent US 602,490 of Josepf A. Vincent in Philadelphia which was filed already in 1898, which also patents a clock with Phonograph, but most likely this are two different issues. More suitable ist the fact, that Charles C. Bishop has got a patent about a Talking Clock in 1905 under # US 830,200. Charles C. Bishop seems to be the president of "Talking Clock Manufacturing Co."
    Unfortunately your posted letter is not readable very clearly. Can you send a better scan per E-Mail?
    There is also a Report about a very tall talking clock, which was presented at World Exhibition in Paris 1900. If you are interested, I can send a copy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sprechende Uhr 1904.jpg  

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: sigihils)

    442cain Hasn't posted since this last post. It is not to
    likely that he/she will see the note. It is an interesting concept.
    Tinker Dwight

  14. #14
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: Tinker Dwight)

    Hi, All

    I can speak as to the Edison phonograph section of the clock. It looks like the countwheel of the movement will merely activate something once per hour, if my count of the slots is correct. That action, I suspect, will operate the Edison phonograph for a short period of time. I also suspect that the cylinder would have recorded on it someone speaking the time- IE: "Good morning. It is 8:00 AM." or something like that.

    The Edison cylinders are notoriously fragile. The earliest ones were made of beeswax, and few of them survive. Later editions were made of a more sturdy black wax, and quite a few of them are still available. Sadly, the cylinder on the Edison mechanism in the picture is missing. There are, however, companies in business today that will make new ones, so it will be possible to have an appropriate cylinder recorded. It is difficult to tell from the pictures, but the player mechanism seems to be a four minute unit, meaning that four full minutes of sounds could be played on it.

    Another option could have been that the Edison device was equipped with a recording unit, allowing the clock owner to personalize his or her time and message as needed. For example: "Good morning. It is 8:00, and time for breakfast at our food counter," or something to that effect. All Edison cylinder players can easily be equipped with a recording and playing device, so this possibility certainly exist.

    The recording/playback head is missing on the player in the picture, but replacements can easily be had.

    This is truly a fascinating find! I'm looking forward to following along with the restoration of this wonderful clock!

    Warmest regards to all,

    George Nelson

    UPDATE: I ran the printing on the movement through my primitive picture editing software, and have posted the results. Is it more readable to anyone? I can only make out the USA on the bottom line.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Talking.jpg  
    Last edited by George Nelson; 03-04-2017 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Add picture

  15. #15

    Default Re: The real First Talking Clock!!!! (By: George Nelson)

    The original post is now five years old, and restoration may have been completed. The basic movement looks like a Waterbury. Compare the movement in this post.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

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