Antique Clock Collecting : Antique Clocks: Master Clocks


There’s a special kind of large wall regulator
called a master clock. They were master clocks because these were the clocks that hung in
factories and schools which then controlled the time that was shown by the other clocks
in the school or even by the clock that was up in the tower of the factory or the school.
This happens to be one by the Standard Electric Clock Company in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Not only do you see a large wall clock. This is about 5 feet tall probably. But inside
you also see the program tape where this would go around and would indicate when to ring
the bells in the church or factory with punches in that particular program tape. These clocks
were also electrically wound. They were mechanical clocks which ticked but they didn’t want to
rely on the janitor remembering every Monday morning to wind the clock and if he didn’t
all the time keeping in the building would be messed up. They wanted it to stay running.
So every minute with these particular ones you’d hear clunk, clunk and the clock wound
itself electrically first from dry cell batteries and then later they used converters and were
able to plug them in. They’re impressive big clocks. They’re not always the fanciest clocks
because they were used in commercial settings again rather than in homes. What we see here
is the companion to a master clock. This is a slave clock. And this is what would have
been hanging on the wall in each classroom or in each department of the factory. And
this was not an independent time keeping clock. This one ran from signals issued from the
master clock. So if you remember early schoolhood days. If you are an older person you probably
would have remembered clocks like this and you’d watch and watch and eventually the minute
hand would jump to the next minute even though it seemed like an hour had passed. This no
longer has it’s slave mechanism in it because I wouldn’t be able to use it as a clock. But
instead as with many of these I simply converted it to a battery unit so that it now keeps
the right time and this oddly enough is the regulator for the shops in my clock now since
it’s a quartz battery unit which always keeps perfect time.

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