Herschede Hall Clock Co.


         Herschede Hall Clock Company Records, 1887-1964.

         Historical Note:
         Frank Herschede was born on July 30, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He operated a jewelry store at No. 9 Emery Arcade and began selling hall clocks in 1885. The clocks had imported mechanisms in locally manufactured cases. Herschede decided to exhibit his hall clocks at the South Carolina and West Indies Exposition, held in Charleston, SC in 1901. There his clocks won a gold medal, the first of several such awards. In 1902 the clock business was incorporated under the name of Herschede Hall Clock. Frank's brother, John A., acted as the general manager and salesman for the firm. Frank's son, Walter J., joined the business in 1902.
         The Herschede Hall Clock Company moved to Plum Street in 1903. Afew years later, the company began manufacturing its own clock movements. The cases and the movements won awards at several expositions and were sold across the country. In addition, the company supplied cases and movements to competitors. The company built a new plant at the corner of McMillan Street and Essex Place in 1913. The company also began offering a third melody, the Canterbury Chimes, in addition to the two tunes that had been offered from the beginning, the Westminster and the Whittington Chimes. During World War I, the clock mechanisms, which were the only ones made in the United States, were in high demand because the American market was cut off from European manufacturers. The Herschede Hall Clock Company also produced surgical and surveying instruments and compasses for the military. On September 15, 1922, Frank Herschede, the founder of the company, died at the age of 65, following an operation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Walter succeeded his father as president and experimented with the production of radios and other items.
         The company began selling electric clocks in 1926 under the name of the Revere Clock Company.
         In 1929 the company employed about 300 workers and had sales of $1.2 million. Fours years later, annual sales would be reduced to $187,000. Walter's sons, William Foy Herschede, Walter J. Herschede Jr., Richard L. Herschede, and Robert H. Herschede joined the company in the 1920s and 1930s. The company began manufacturing parking meters in 1936 and acquired the Karpark Corporation in 1938. During this time the Herschede plant was completely modernized. The old-fashioned long-line shafts used to drive the machinery were eliminated and individual electric motors were installed to power each machine.
         During World War II, the production of clocks and parking meters was stopped, so the company obtained government contracts to produce observation instruments. William Foy Herschede organized the Panocular Corporation to make the lenses. After the war, demand was high for clocks, and production began again on consumer products. A Clock Service Center was established in 1948 to improve the efficiency of the company's repair service.
         For the Herschede Hall Clock Company, the postwar period was not without problems. Union activity was increasing and in 1946 the first union contract was signed. A twenty percent excise tax was imposed on "luxury items" which included clocks, and competition became so severe in the parking meter industry that prices were forced down to levels which left little if any margin for profit.
         The Korean War saw the reactivation of the Panocular Corporation as the firm began producing tank periscopes for the military. The company's other products faced stiff competition in the 1950s. It became apparent the less expensive European clocks would soon be underselling American-made clocks, so the company began importing clock mechanisms, and complete clocks which were sold under the Herschede name. In 1959 the Rookwood Pottery Company was purchased. At one time, Rookwood Pottery had been the foremost art pottery in the county, and management felt that Rookwood might make a suitable companion sales item for their hall clocks.
         Due to labor, taxes and other expenses, the Herschede Hall Clock Company began considering the possible advantages of moving the company to a new location. In 1960, the company moved into a new plant in Starkville, Mississippi, where it continued the manufacture of clock movements and cases as well as importing German clock movements. Panocular, Karpark and Rookwood also moved to Starkville. In 1962, Walter J. retired as president and was succeeded by his son, Richard. Walter J. Herschede died two years later at the age of 79.
         In 1966, Robert Herschede, who had been the Vice President of Sales, became the last family member to be president of the Herschede Hall Clock Company. Under his guidance, the company developed a new product sold under the name "Motor Guide," which was an electrically powered, foot-operated outboard motor.
         The company continued to have financial difficulties and was purchased by local Starkville businessmen in 1967. Richard Herschede stayed with the company as the vice-president and general manager. In 1972 the Herschede Hall Clock Company merged with Howard Furniture and Briarwood Lamps to form Arnold Industries, Inc.
         (Sources: this collection, and newspaper clippings from the Cincinnati Historical Society files and from the Cincinnati Public Library's newspaper index.)
         Scope and Content Note:
         This collection consists of the records of the Herschede Hall Clock Company and its subsidiaries. It comprises four boxes (2 cubic feet) of materials. The collection begins with the clock businesses: Herschede Hall Clock Company, Revere Clock Co. and the Clock Service Center. These are followed by the other subsidiaries in alphabetical order: Jung Products, Karpark Corporation, Mar Lu, Panocular Corporation and Rookwood Pottery. Last are the oversized materials.
         The bulk of the materials from the Herschede Hall Clock Company, Revere Clock Co. and Clock Service Center are financial statements, advertising and publicity, histories and photocopies of photographs. (The original photos are located in the Photographs Department.) The Karpark Corporation records include financial statements, patents, photocopies of photographs, and information about competitors. The collection has the record of incorporation, financial statements, and photocopies of photographs for the Panocular Corporation and several magazine articles in English, German or Italian about Rookwood Pottery. The records of the other subsidiaries are limited to financial information.
         The records for the Herschede Hall Clock Company and its subsidiaries generally extend from the 1940 to 1964. The records for Rookwood Pottery include articles from the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.


         This historical note is from the inventory of Herschede Hall Clock Company Records, Mss 989. Published here with permission of the Cincinnati Historical Society Libriary, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. For more information, please visit the Historical Society Library catalog at library.cincymuseum.org.



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         Below is a serial numbers chart for clocks made by Herschede, including mechanical and electric clocks sold under the Herschede, Revere, and General Electric brands. The chart is unfortunately incomplete and has some inaccuracies, but it should be useful to clock owners who wish to determine when their clocks were made.


1 -         66
67 -       100
101 -       141
142 -       150
151 -       200
201 -       213
214 -       234
235 -       242
243 -       246
247 -       400
401 -       536
537 -       550
551 -       602
603 -       816
817 -     1000
1001 -     1491
1492 -     1802
1803 -     1852
1853 -     2302
2303 -     2600
2601 -     2604
2605 -     2664
2666 -     2670
2671 -     2750
2769 -     2792
2793 -     2801
2806 -     2847
2848 -     2900
2901 -     3218
3219 -     4233
4234 -     5122
5232 -     5556
6057 -     6554
7057 -     7337
7361 -     7445
7446 -     7454
7455 -     7466
7467 -     7475
7476 -     7535
7536 -     7559
7560 -     7664
7665 -     7700
7701 -     7800
7801 -     8800
8801 -   10350
10351 -   10354
10355 -   10362
10363 -   10400
10401 -   10425
10426 -   10450
10451 -   10457
10459 -   10477
10478 -   10500
10501 -   10534
10535 -   10555
10566 -   10575
10651 -   10760
10761 -   10813
10814 -   10850
10851 -   10900
10901 -   11950
11951 -   12076
12077 -   12100
12101 -   12155
12156 -   12266
12268 -   12350
12351 -   12400
12401 -   12600
12601 -   12650
12651 -   12800
12801 -   12850
12851 -   12950
12951 -   13000
13001 -   13500
13501 -   13732
13733 -   14016
14017 -   14150
14151 -   15000
15001 -   15117
15118 -   15350
15351 -   15800
15801 -   16204
16205 -   16669
16670 -   17600
17601 -   18000
18001 -   18450
18451 -   18500
18501 -   19000
19001 -   19100
20501 -   21700
21701 -   22500
22501 -   23400
23401 -   23500
23501 -   24700
24701 -   24850
24851 -   30000
30001 -   32000
32001 -   32009
32010 -   32026
32030 -   32050
32051 -   32100
32101 -   32105
32106 -   32121
32122 -   32200
32201 -   32298
32299 -   32415
32416 -   32421
32422 -   32486
32490 -   32503
32504 -   32505
32506 -   32512
32513 -   32750
32751 -   33000
33001 -   34000
34001 -   34004
34005 -   34012
34013 -   34014
34025 -   34027
34034 -   34035
34039 -   34040
34045 -   34049
34101 -   34121
34257 -   34258
34268 -   34272
34282 -   34283
34286 -   34290
34294 -   34297
34302 -   34304
34323 -   34324
34327 -   34329
34363 -   34366
34370 -   34372
34395 -   34398
34477 -   34480
35001 -   35100
35101 -   35300
35301 -   35500
35501 -   36000
36001 -   36350
36351 -   38400
79101 -   99900
99901 - 112500
113001 - 215600
250001 - 255700
255701 - 261000
261001 - 271381
271382 - 285268
285269 - 298323
298324 - 313243
313244 - 315745
315746 - 325376
347103 - 361368
362135 - 384133
386000 - 407326
411077 - 424068
424069 - 489768
491000 - 506000
512001 - 521535
521536 - 539535
539536 - 558535
558536 - 564535
564536 - 582535
582536 - 595035
595036 - 603965
603966 - 604174
604501 - 605000
605001 - 605843
605895 - 611902
612446 - 616881
616904 - 617405
617406 - 620403
620404 - 623403
623404 - 625903
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         You should also visit my Herschede website with over 200 pages from several vintage Herschede, Revere, and Telechron catalogs. They include both mechanical and electric clocks.








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