REVIEW: Hellstern - The Culver Brothers (FASHION Clocks)

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Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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Sep 23, 2001
REVIEW: Hellstern - The Culver Brothers (FASHION Clocks)


The Culver Brothers - The Unfortunate Truth - by Don Hellstern.

ISBN 978-0-692-71159-0, No Publisher given (Privately published by the Author). 28 x 22 cm, perfect bound, softcover (tan), 119 pages, copiously illustrated (b&w), Bibliography. Available solely from the author: Don Hellstern [[email protected] ] for $ 17.95 plus shipping.
The 'Fashion' brand of St. Louis, Missouri made parlor cocks never was one of the largest makers of American clocks, but they always were highly sought, prestigious objects for their owners, both the original purchasers and todays collectors. It is therefore surprising that there never has been an authoritative publication on the subject
The only prior publication I am aware of is a 1978 saddle stapled, card cover booklet that appears to be essentially a facsimile reprint of a 36 page,1884 advertising booklet produced by 'The 'Southern Calendar Clock Company'. It is copyrighted by Susanne Hellstern, the wife of the author of the book under review.

The new book by Don Hellstern is a huge treasure trove of varied facts relating to the three Culver brothers the because around 1980 he had the benefit of meeting Bertram B. Culver a direct descendent of the founders, and gaining access to the family archives. In the 30+ years since then Hellstern has tirelessly collected documents, publications and isolated facts. The book under review is not narrative history of the brand or the family, but a treasure trove of reproduced documents, news clippings, images and family history.

The author is very careful to not present his opinion but to state facts and quote sources. Few horologist short of extreme Fashion clock enthusiasts will read this book cover to cover but it needs to as a reference tool on the bookshelf of collectors of Fashion clocks.

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ, Dec. 2016 There are however many Bulletin Articles relating to the brand, dating back to the February 1950 article by Robert Tshidi.

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