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Cuckoo History of Cuckoo Clock Mfg Co.


Registered User
Aug 12, 2021
chimeclockfan The clock only lasted a week after I rotated using the key. Does that mean it is not Japanese movement? I had to wind up again.

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
The 31 day legion would be visible on the dial, it was not stamped on the movement.
It's a Japanese movement but we have a few possibilities:

1. The same movement that used 31 day springs could also be ordered with 8 day springs.

2. The original 31 springs were replaced with smaller 8 day springs.

3. Clock is worn and won't run the entire 31 day cycle due to age-related wear.

As long as the clock kept good time and struck consistently during the week, I wouldn't be bothered if it was an 8 day clock instead of 31 day.


New User
Jun 29, 2020
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.
I know this is an old post, but I thought someone may be interested. From what I can tell, the Parade Magazine and other papers printed the article March 31, 1968. See the attached or


Paul S

Registered User
Jan 18, 2014
Thank you for the interesting family history. Quite a story! It was a very difficult time for refugees, as was the Spanish flu. Glad your dad had a good, long life.
My father died in 1992 at the age of 89. He retired in, I think, 1972. He had a difficult early life but was confortable once the company was founded. He rarely talked about his early life, except one or two picaresque incidents (during the depression he would go to a restaurant, say he was waiting for a friend, eat all the complimentary rolls and pickles on the table, look at his watch, and leave, telling the waiter his friend didn't show up). Other than one or two of these, blank. Nothing. But he did have a good life. thanks

Paul S

Registered User
Jan 18, 2014
I know this is an old post, but I thought someone may be interested. From what I can tell, the Parade Magazine and other papers printed the article March 31, 1968. See the attached or

View attachment 741061
It never occurred to me to look up this article, though my father was proud of it, especially of the humaneness of quickly fixing clocks for people who lived alone. I copied this and sent it to my children.

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