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Geo Kuehl Cuckoo clock co. of Schleswig and Black forest Germany

john48

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Jun 1, 2004
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I looked at what looked like a very nice cuckoo clock today at antique shop my sister took me to. When Man found out I collected clocks he mentioned having a nice cuckoo clock. Most that I have seen are very common and do not interest me! But thought I would take a look as he talked it up. I dont know a lot about cuckoos but when I saw it was very nice, and certainly old. From what I can remember Wolf carved at bottom and Eagle / bird at top He had original paper work part of which stated Geo Kuehl Cuckoo clock company of Schleswig and Black Forest Germany. And I believe something about Chicago IL. Clock had Two doors and two birds, Had three weights and brass plates where very thick. Did'nt see any maker marks on movement But paper work showed that . Needed new bellows and Minute hand was broke, but all carving and rest of clock, pendelum, etc. looked very good. Any and all info very much appreciated!!! Man wanted $600 with original paperwork and all! Should I have bought? How good is this cuckoo? Thank you, John
 

Jeremy Woodoff

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John,

It sounds like a cuckoo and quail. The quail counts the quarter hours and the cuckoo counts the hours. They are much less common than standard cuckoos. If the movement is cast brass, I believe that would date the clock to before WWI. As for the price, I would check ebay for cuckoo and quail clocks that look similar to the one at the shop and see what they sell for.
 

John Hubby

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The George Kuehl company of Chicago, IL, was initially an importer of clocks from Germany to the U.S. in the early 1900's. They started a manufacturing operation for Black Forest style clocks including cuckoo's about 1908 that operated into the 1920's. They were a major importer to the U.S. of all kind of clocks from Germany, including 400-Day (Gustav Becker, Kienzle, others), mantel clocks, wall clocks, etc. In 1908 and earlier, generally you will find "Made in Germany for Kuehl Clock Co, Chicago" written on the dial just outside the minute ring at 6:00. After 1908 and into the late 1920's you will find "K.C.Cº. Germany" written in the same location.
 

eskmill

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For what it's worth, below is a scan of Kuehl's advert in the Sept 1905 Jeweler's Keystone trade publication.
 

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John Hubby

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Les, thanks for posting the ad. Based on that, it appears they may have been making the Black Forest clocks earlier than 1908 as I had found from other sources. I'll need to dig some more . . :rolleyes:
 

john48

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Jun 1, 2004
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:) Thank You All!!! For Information sister is getting some Pic's of Clock, Movement, Original Paper work, etc. When I receive I will try to post. I only have one cuckoo in my collection, and thats because it was my mothers but am certainly considering buying this early one! Many Thanks again, John
 

robertleth

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Apr 23, 2013
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:) Thank You All!!! For Information sister is getting some Pic's of Clock, Movement, Original Paper work, etc. When I receive I will try to post. I only have one cuckoo in my collection, and thats because it was my mothers but am certainly considering buying this early one! Many Thanks again, John
Hello.
I too have a "G.K." cuckoo clock. Much confusion on G.K. meaning.
Some say, "George Kuehl".
Some Say "Gebruder Kuner = Brothers Kuner".
I think it means, "Gebruder Kuehl" = Brothers Kuehl".
I think too that the brothers were immigrants and had a clock store long before the turn of the century.
Here is an excerpt of Theodore's, George's brother, obituary:
"The brothers prospered and the business developed until in 1891 it was incorporated."
Here is a link to the Google Books site. The book is a jeweler's magazine or journal of some sort. You need to scroll down a little and you will see "Death of Theodore Keuhl".

http://books.google.com/books?id=_E...wBw#v=onepage&q=george kuehl clock co&f=false

Rob
 

soaringjoy

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Feb 12, 2009
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Welcome to the Message Board, Rob and thank you for your thoughts.

Actually, I don't think there is much confusion about G.K. / George Kuehl, Chicago, here at NAWCC. ;)
In fact, I will stick to the anouncements of the U.S.Patent Office in this case, as shown below.

It is however, well known, that many American and English people involved with the clock business
were of German origin, oh yes, quite a few...

Gebrüder Kuner, BTW, was founded in 1926 and used different logos.

Geo. Kuehl TMs 1909.jpg
 

robertleth

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Apr 23, 2013
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Yeah, I agree. Thank you for the data! I do think it is most likely G.K. is for George Kuehl, now. But do you think that G.K. could have meant different things at different times? I thought I saw an ad somewhere where they called themselves "Keuhl Brothers". I could be wrong on that. I know that this sort of stuff is so hard to find-out sometimes, as there were so many manufacturers making pieces for each other. I have an old G.K. clock that has a date of 1900. Of course, maybe the movement and case were not originally together. Is it possible that they had G.K. marked movements made for them in Germany before they patented the logo in the U.S.? Do you know anything on that? Thanks for the welcome!
Welcome to the Message Board, Rob and thank you for your thoughts.

Actually, I don't think there is much confusion about G.K. / George Kuehl, Chicago, here at NAWCC. ;)
In fact, I will stick to the anouncements of the U.S.Patent Office in this case, as shown below.

It is however, well known, that many American and English people involved with the clock business
were of German origin, oh yes, quite a few...

Gebrüder Kuner, BTW, was founded in 1926 and used different logos.

165019.jpg
 

soaringjoy

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Feb 12, 2009
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Yes, I would suppose there is information on the movement subject.

To start out with, I would like to remind the Users of this old thread, where we can let "Zep" and others
speak out aloud again...
https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?48218-Dated-(!)-1910-Cuckoo-clock

Certainly, I would suppose there are many cobwebs covering the early history of the Kuehl Co. of Chicago.
It was, however, not at all unique that Germans founded stores or importing businesses in the United States and in fact
Stevenson wrote an extensive article on Black Foresters in America, "Ships Passing in the Night", which was published
in Berthold Schaaf's reference book "Schwarzwalduhren".
The way it was, there is only one mention of the Kuehl Co. in a German Journal before WW 1. Kuehl boasted about being
involved in lowering the (American) taxes on cuckoo clocks (oh well, do good and talk about it...).
Personally, I believe that Kuehl then made arrangements with German BF movement producers, i.e. with Burger, the largest
German supplier.
Be assured, movement producers like Burger or Siedle did not only make them for American importers or wholesalers, but
for many reknown German "makers" too. If you ordered enough of them, they would set up a new manufacturing line with
whatever logo you wanted. :)

Burger1900.jpg
 

Jeff LaCrone

Registered User
May 1, 2012
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I looked at what looked like a very nice cuckoo clock today at antique shop my sister took me to. When Man found out I collected clocks he mentioned having a nice cuckoo clock. Most that I have seen are very common and do not interest me! But thought I would take a look as he talked it up. I dont know a lot about cuckoos but when I saw it was very nice, and certainly old. From what I can remember Wolf carved at bottom and Eagle / bird at top He had original paper work part of which stated Geo Kuehl Cuckoo clock company of Schleswig and Black Forest Germany. And I believe something about Chicago IL. Clock had Two doors and two birds, Had three weights and brass plates where very thick. Did'nt see any maker marks on movement But paper work showed that . Needed new bellows and Minute hand was broke, but all carving and rest of clock, pendelum, etc. looked very good. Any and all info very much appreciated!!! Man wanted $600 with original paperwork and all! Should I have bought? How good is this cuckoo? Thank you, John
I'm kind of new to clock collecting and don't see alot of true antique ones (cast brass movements) but if it were me and I liked the look of the clock I would offer him $400 and see where it goes from there. Probably would end up buying it.
 

munnerlyn3

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Dec 6, 2019
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Welcome to the Message Board, Rob and thank you for your thoughts.

Actually, I don't think there is much confusion about G.K. / George Kuehl, Chicago, here at NAWCC. ;)
In fact, I will stick to the anouncements of the U.S.Patent Office in this case, as shown below.

It is however, well known, that many American and English people involved with the clock business
were of German origin, oh yes, quite a few...

Gebrüder Kuner, BTW, was founded in 1926 and used different logos.

View attachment 174668
Hi There is a book out entitled "The Black Forest Cuckoo Clock" by Karl Kochmann that has pictures of the Gebruder Kuner plates that date from 1875. I am members of a few cuckoo clock sites on facebook and this argument comes up all the time. I have told people that you state that Gebruder Kuner was founded in 1926 but every time they point this book out that has several updates to it. So are you telling me that the information in this book is false? Please advise. Thanks.

GK Gebruder Kuner plates from a book.jpg
 

munnerlyn3

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Dec 6, 2019
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Unfortunately, we have found that Kochmann's books contain errors.

Kuner was not in business until the mid-1920s.

Regards.
When you saw "We have found" where do you get your source that shows that information because your title says "New2clocks"? Is that something that the NAWCC board members have found? Just curious. There are a lot of people out there that are being led to believe that Kuner is older than what I have found but my resources are this NAWCC website. This is the only reason I ask. Thanks and sorry if I sound brutal.
 

JTD

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Sep 27, 2005
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When you saw "We have found" where do you get your source that shows that information because your title says "New2clocks"? Is that something that the NAWCC board members have found? Just curious. There are a lot of people out there that are being led to believe that Kuner is older than what I have found but my resources are this NAWCC website. This is the only reason I ask. Thanks and sorry if I sound brutal.
The firm Gebr. Kuner was founded on 1st January 1920 by three brothers, Benedikt, Max and August Kuner. The firm was in Schonach and held various patents concerning the manufacture of cuckoo clocks. The company was closed in 2000.

However, in an advertisement in the year 1938, the firm claimed to have been established in 1876, which may indicate that the predecessor of Gebr. Kuner was the Uhrenfabrik Gregor Kuner, as that company was indeed founded in 1876, though very little is known about it and the last mention of it was 1889. [On the other hand, it is also possible that Gebr. Kuner thought it would look good to have an earlier date on their letterhead and simply 'adopted' Gregor Kuner , who was likely a relative].

Benedikt Kuner was a convinced and active member of the Nazi party. In 1935 the mayor of Schonach, Blasius Müßle was removed from office by the Nazi party, Benedikt Kuner was installed and he later became district Gauleiter. In 1944 he ordered the illegal execution of 5 American airmen who had escaped their damaged plane and landed by parachute. In 1945 Kuner was being hunted by the military police to answer for this crime, but fled and shot himself on 14th May the same year, before he could be captured.

This information is taken from H.-H. Schmid's 'Lexikon der Deutschen Uhrenindustrie 1850-1980' 3rd. edition. This reference work is the latest and most comprehensive history of the German clock making industry. The portion in italics is my own suggestion, not Schmid's.

To answer your question about Kochmann's books, the answer is yes, they do contain many errors, but they were compiled sevreal years ago, before some information had been brought to light.

I hope this may help.

JTD
 
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new2clocks

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When you saw "We have found" where do you get your source that shows that information because your title says "New2clocks"? Is that something that the NAWCC board members have found? Just curious. There are a lot of people out there that are being led to believe that Kuner is older than what I have found but my resources are this NAWCC website. This is the only reason I ask. Thanks and sorry if I sound brutal.
OK. Let me re-phrase my response. I will limit my response to German made clocks.

The horological researchers who are members of, and contributors to, the NAWCC have proved Kochmann wrong in many instances, especially when it comes to trademark identification, trademark registrations, company registrations. Their proof comes from many sources - government registrations, trade journals, company provided information, such as catalogs and announcements, and even proper, technical interpretation of the German language. Finding birth information about the creator of a particular company. Knowing the history of local German patent requirements before the unification of Germany in the 1870s and the subsequent, country-wide requirements of patent registration post-unification. Knowing the difference between functional patents and utility patents. Understanding self-functioning kingdoms and areas of Germany post-unification. Understanding patent and corporate law through years of experience in those areas. Providing proof of tariffs between countries. Providing copies of various U.S. and British laws with respect to importation requirements. Providing results of court cases allowing continuation of tradenames. The discovery of new data and information, theretofore unknown to not just Kochmann but horologosts in general and incorporating such information into their research and adjusting their data and results accordingly.

These researchers did not create a conclusion that was beneficial to them and look for "proof" to substantiate that conclusion. They started with a "clean sheet", gathered information from source documents, adjusted their findings when proof dictated. And best of all, when no proof was to be found and only deductive reasoning was available, they clearly stated their assumptions.

The list of proof goes on and on and it is all contained within these forums.

because your title says "New2clocks"?
A screen name is just a screen name.

As I said before, the answers are within these forums. Feel free to use the search function to find the answers.

Regards.
 
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munnerlyn3

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Dec 6, 2019
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Thank you for that detailed information. I will pass this along with satisfaction.
OK. Let me re-phrase my response. I will limit my response to German made clocks.

The horological researchers who are members of, and contributors to, the NAWCC have proved Kochmann wrong in many instances, especially when it comes to trademark identification, trademark registrations, company registrations. Their proof comes from many sources - government registrations, trade journals, company provided information, such as catalogs and announcements, and even proper, technical interpretation of the German language. Finding birth information about the creator of a particular company. Knowing the history of local German patent requirements before the unification of Germany in the 1870s and the subsequent, country-wide requirements of patent registration post-unification. Knowing the difference between functional patents and utility patents. Understanding self-functioning kingdoms and areas of Germany post-unification. Understanding patent and corporate law through years of experience in those areas. Providing proof of tariffs between countries. Providing copies of various U.S. and British laws with respect to importation requirements. Providing results of court cases allowing continuation of tradenames. The discovery of new data and information, theretofore unknown to not just Kochmann but horologosts in general and incorporating such information into their research and adjusting their data and results accordingly.

These researchers did not create a conclusion that was beneficial to them and look for "proof" to substantiate that conclusion. They started with a "clean sheet", gathered information from source documents, adjusted their findings when proof dictated. And best of all, when no proof was to be found and only deductive reasoning was available, they clearly stated their assumptions.

The list of proof goes on and on and it is all contained within these forums.



A screen name is just a screen name.

As I said before, the answers are within these forums. Feel free to use the search function to find the answers.

Regards.
Thank you for that detailed information. I am happy with this extensive detail that you provided. Thanks again.
 

munnerlyn3

Registered User
Dec 6, 2019
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The firm Gebr. Kuner was founded on 1st January 1920 by three brothers, Benedikt, Max and August Kuner. The firm was in Schonach and held various patents concerning the manufacture of cuckoo clocks. The company was closed in 2000.

However, in an advertisement in the year 1938, the firm claimed to have been established in 1876, which may indicate that the predecessor of Gebr. Kuner was the Uhrenfabrik Gregor Kuner, as that company was indeed founded in 1876, though very little is known about it and the last mention of it was 1889. [On the other hand, it is also possible that Gebr. Kuner thought it would look good to have an earlier date on their letterhead and simply 'adopted' Gregor Kuner , who was likely a relative].

Benedikt Kuner was a convinced and active member of the Nazi party. In 1935 the mayor of Schonach, Blasius Müßle was removed from office by the Nazi party, Benedikt Kuner was installed and he later became district Gauleiter. In 1944 he ordered the illegal execution of 5 American airmen who had escaped their damaged plane and landed by parachute. In 1945 Kuner was being hunted by the military police to answer for this crime, but fled and shot himself on 14th May the same year, before he could be captured.

This information is taken from H.-H. Schmid's 'Lexikon der Deutschen Uhrenindustrie 1850-1980' 3rd. edition. This reference work is the latest and most comprehensive history of the German clock making industry. The portion in italics is my own suggestion, not Schmid's.

To answer your question about Kochmann's books, the answer is yes, they do contain many errors, but they were compiled sevreal years ago, before some information had been brought to light.

I hope this may help.

JTD
Thank you for this information. I will pass it along also.
 
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