Antique American Clocks                      January 2022


138.     $750

New York Standard Watch Co. “Fischer Electric Clock”, 1896-1902.  For six years the NYSWC sold clocks that used S. Fischer’s patented movement that used electric impulse power (similar to that used by the USS Enterprise in Star Trek when traveling below the speed of light) but here provided by two dry-cell batteries.  Specifically, “A recessed block on the crutch of the pendulum is engaged by a pendant (Hipp toggle) pivoted to a fulcrumed level, said pendant engaging the recess of the block when the beats of the pendulum are becoming shorter, so that the lever actuates a circuit closing device, closes the circuit and energizes an electromagnet which attracts an armature attached to the crutch and imparts an impulse to the pendulum” (From Patent #555313).  Despite that straightforward explanation, I was not able to get this guy to run, although my consignor said he had it running.  There is an adaptor included to allow it to run on household current, replacing the dry cells that would otherwise be in the top behind the crest.  The case is mahogany, 32 inches in length, with a 14-inch dial.  The glass is old, the dial repainted by The Dial House, with proper hands including a sweep second hand.  There is no strike on this example. The dial is labeled with a Jeweler in Lima OH.  The Fischer movement and the NYSWC history of these clocks are described in Crum and Keller, 150 Years of Electric Horology, 1992, pages 50-51.   I can find no sales records for this rare clock. $750-$1500.

Thanks to Pat Loftus for providing the Crum and Keller reference!

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