Looking For Information on Akin Man'f g Co.

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by RAK, Sep 30, 2019.

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  1. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    I'm looking at a clock that was for sale made by the Akin Man'f g Co. out of New York City circa 1880's. Please note it is not Atkin, it's Akin.

    I know next to nothing about Akin clocks and was hoping someone could give me some background or let me know if they have ever worked on one or maybe even just know someone who has worked on one. It has a Seth Thomas 10 movement for the time and two additional movements to rotate a drum. One of the secondary movements is stamped Seth Thomas but I have no idea if it is a standard "off-the-shelf" movement or custom.

    I will try to get more pictures as soon as possible.

    Thanks in advance,

    Bob

    IMG_20181106_152340.jpg Seth Thomas Flipper Movements.jpg Flapper Case 2019x.JPG
     
  2. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Dec 5, 2014
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    Here are two patents related to William Akin and advertising clocks. The second appears to be the 1882 patent on your clock. He also patented his invention in Canada.
    https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/41/4c/52/6fce4a005d92f8/US309182.pdf
    https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/a0/be/e7/9d806c7ed9a85c/US268595.pdf

    In 1889, Akin Automatic Advertising Clock Co, William Akin President was listed in NY Trow City Directory. Hopefully this will get you started on learning more about your clock. Looking forward to seeing additional pictures and hearing more about your great clock.

    Pat
     
  3. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Hi Pat,

    Wow I can't thank you enough for finding those Patent documents! Talk about invaluable. And the descriptions as to how everything is suppose to work looks to be exacting. Which is great as the rotating drum can be actuated by hand but it something isn't quite right to allow it to fire off automatically. As I mentioned, it has three movements, the time movement works independently. The second movement is to time the frequency of when the third movement rotates the drum (which would have advertising papers attached to it).

    I will be able to post some better photos in a few days. I will arrange to get a camera and it in the same room over this weekend.

    Thank you again. What a great start in learning about this interesting clock.

    Bob
     
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  4. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    And here are additional photos:

    The clock with the dial face is almost complete. It is missing finals (the one on it is from the other case) and the top gallery(?) decoration which can be see on the empty case in the photo of it on the wall. It is also missing all the paper advertisement that would have been attached to the rotating drum. The clock uses a Seth Thomas no. 10 movement and I have one for the empty case, just not installed at picture time. The empty case came from a gent who used to be on this message board (maybe still is). He was getting rid of it. Nobody was sure what the case was for so I took a flyer and bought it. Now that I see this other example it is very clear that it was an Akin Flipper clock as well.

    Bob

    Akin Flipper.JPG Akin Flipper2.JPG Flippers2.jpg Akin Case sm.png
     
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  5. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Opps... and it's missing it's minute hand. Hope to find an original.

    Bob
     
  6. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Nov 26, 2009
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    Interesting clock, interesting thread!

    Never even knew clocks like this existed.

    Another example of how good and informative the MB could be.

    Thanks for sharing.

    RM
     
  7. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Thanks RM,

    They are called Flipper or Flapper clocks. I made a mistake in not putting that in the header of the thread.

    Back in 1984 a gent by the name of Bernard Edwards put out a book/pamphlet on Advertising clocks that is available from the NAWCC lending library. In it is a couple photos of a clock that is very similar to this one except it's case was made so that the bottom decoration could be removed and it could be placed on a countertop. It also has a nicer top decoration but otherwise it is the same. Anyway, somewhat like a Sidney Ad Clock, the drum rotates (in this case every half minute and horizontally) to flip over another paper advertisement. Apparently there would have been 18 or 24 of them (I still haven't counted the number of places on this example). There also was a BULLETIN article about the same clock in 1983. He states that it was the only one he had ever seen.

    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/1980/articles/1983/223/223_211.pdf
     
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  8. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

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    Thank you for bringing this clock to the forum. Most interesting ! Will you be using the kerosene lamp or gas jet with chimney when you have everything else in place ? An illuminated advertising clock. Can it get any better ?
     
  9. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Hi Senhalls,

    I'm glad to hear people are finding this clock of some interest.

    To your question, first I can't thank Pat enough for finding the right patent information on these clocks. If you read the article I gave a link to, I believe they were referencing a patent that was similar but not the one that was the basis for these clocks. Even the drawings of the clock case are close in the patent documents that Pat supplied. That being said, I checked to see if either case had been manufactured to allow for the chimney to be installed and neither have that option. Perhaps you had to special order it that way. Unfortunately, I can't post it here because I don't own the rights to the images, but several years ago on Ebay, a trade card for these clocks was for sale. I never thought in my wildest dreams that one of these clocks would become available so I chose not to buy it. I can't tell you how much I regret the decision to be frugal when that opportunity presented itself. The clock model was called "The Akin" Automatic Advertising Clock, with T.S. Powell as the agent selling them. On the front of the card it has a nice cut of the clock and on the back a description of how the clock functions. The description mentions 18 paper cards. My point is that although these seem to be uncommon clocks, they were a regular production item and the selling agent probably could have them customized however you wanted them. They could add a chimney if you ordered it. Perhaps that explains why the one case has a glass that says "Cards change every half minute" where the other does not. Both tablets appear to be very original. BTW, the clock cases are numbered. One is stamped 50 and the other is stamped 25.

    Again, thanks for your interest, Bob
     
  10. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Nov 26, 2009
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    Thanks! Great info.

    Again, another thread that demonstrates how informative the MB can be!

    RM
     
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  11. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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  12. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Hi Pat,

    Thanks for finding this latest information. What I really like about this is how inventive this time in history was. Here is a person who has had this idea that had shown some promise and they probably had some sales (maybe a couple hundred or a couple thousand units?), and he wants to expand on it to attract a new audience: schools, etc. Very cool.

    Bob
     
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  13. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Well the digging continues... This is from the a 2004 Bulletin. On the second page there is a photo of one of these clocks that was found and shared by a member. Interesting that they would consider hanging a wooden clock on the outside of a building. These clocks really had to perform in some tough conditions. Bob

    https://docs.nawcc.org/Bulletins/2000/articles/2004/350/350_384.pdf
     
  14. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    one hopes that the clock was brought inside at night and in inclement weather....
     
  15. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Very cool!! Two observations/questions from the small inset picture in the lower right corner of the image:
    1. There was an awning that might have protected the clock somewhat if it wasn't moved indoors on a regular basis.
    2. This small image shows displays of the watches/clocks, etc. set up outdoors, so perhaps everything went in and out on a daily basis?
    Thanks for continuing to share your findings!
     
  16. RAK

    RAK Registered User
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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Good point Pat. That awning may have normally been extended and they just rolled it back for the photo (or for pleasant rain less days). Bob
     

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