The real First Talking Clock!!!!

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by 442cain, Feb 26, 2012.

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  1. 442cain

    442cain Registered User

    May 27, 2010
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    #1 442cain, Feb 26, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
    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
     
  2. soaringjoy

    soaringjoy Registered User

    Feb 12, 2009
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    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.

    SprechendeUhrDUZ1913.JPG
     
  3. 442cain

    442cain Registered User

    May 27, 2010
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    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 Files: Download all post attachments

  4. Tony10Clocks

    Tony10Clocks Registered User

    Aug 10, 2010
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    Hello, excellent find. The count wheel looks a bit unusual. All the notches are equally spaced. why would that be.
     
  5. soaringjoy

    soaringjoy Registered User

    Feb 12, 2009
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    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...
     
  6. Fitsandgaps

    Fitsandgaps Donor

    Feb 23, 2012
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    way cool clock! learn something new every minute on this forum. neat find! :)
     
  7. 442cain

    442cain Registered User

    May 27, 2010
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    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. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    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. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator

    Sep 7, 2000
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    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. 442cain

    442cain Registered User

    May 27, 2010
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    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. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator

    Sep 7, 2000
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    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. sigihils

    sigihils Registered User

    Jan 18, 2010
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    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 Files:

  13. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    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. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
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    #14 George Nelson, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    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 Files:

  15. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator

    Jan 15, 2004
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    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.
     
  16. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User

    Oct 5, 2007
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    Hi, Steven,

    How right you are! I superimposed the picture of the movement in the link you provided over the talking movement, zoomed in on the Waterbury logo, faded the two together and they were a perfect match! Too bad I didn't notice how old the first postings were. I guess I read 2012 as 2017-both postings were in March. Now, it seems, we'll never now...

    Sadly yours,

    George
     
  17. sigihils

    sigihils Registered User

    Jan 18, 2010
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    Hi All,
    interesting to read your comments.
    I am just doing Research on "Sprechende Uhr" / "Talking clock" and I have already found a lot of new information, so, most likely I will write a book about this objet(s).
    In respect of "Talking Clock Manufacturing Co.", which was a shareholders Company in St.Louis, I wonder if there is no information available about what time-period this Company was existing.
    Can the NAWCC Supervisor ask 442cain per e-mail to give some News about his extraordinary valuable objects and documents, or is this against the Forum rules?

    Any informations about this "Talking Clock and Company would be very much appeciated.

    Thanks for comments and best regards

    Siegbert Hils
     
  18. 442cain

    442cain Registered User

    May 27, 2010
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    Sorry everyone I haven't logged on here in awhile but I still have the clock and would love help researching it. And can get better specific pictures. I need to turn on email notifications to this thread so I know about new messages. Also my email is 442cain@gmail.com . Believe it or not im actually bringing my clock to the Antiques Roadshow tomorrow since I finally received tickets and maybe come back with more info this way. Ill keep you posted this time around
     
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