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  • Electric clocks

    Mains powered clocks with an induction motor became popular in the 1930s but were still being made in the 1970s before battery powered quartz clocks replaced them. Smiths and Metamec appear to be the most common manufacturers. Mantlepiece and bedside clocks were more common in the 1930s but wall clocks were more common in the 1970s and tended to be used in commercial buildings more than homes.

    The ubiquity of electric clocks in the mid 20th century resulted in the creation of a secure plug and socket combination, where the plug was held in place with a screw to prevent it from being casually pulled out, called a clock connector. They are still sold today although they are more commonly used with alarms rather than clocks.

  • #2
    Re: Electric clocks

    My uncle and aunt had a mains-powered electric clock on their lounge wall in the 70s and into the 80s. That is the on;y one I can recall seeing in a private house. It always impressed me when visiting them as we were still using mechanical wind-up clocks in our house. Actually, I think there is something rather comforting and reassuring in the ticking of a mechanical clock.

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    • #3
      Re: Electric clocks

      Smiths were probably the best known and adorned many a school hall and factory wall, speaking of clocks reminds me of my dads wind up alarm clock it was called "Big ben" and not without good reason,the thing was deafening. My dad worked on the buses (his name was Stan....genuinely) and the big ben was set for 5 am but it would wake the whole house up (we were a family of eight)
      Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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      • #4
        Re: Electric clocks

        We had a wall-mounted Smiths "Sectric" in our living room. It was connected directly to the mains, not plugged in.
        Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas - go figure!

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        • #5
          Re: Electric clocks

          I remember my friend's house had one of those clock sockets on the wall, but no clock.
          The Trickster On The Roof

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          • #6
            Re: Electric clocks

            Originally posted by zabadak View Post
            We had a wall-mounted Smiths "Sectric" in our living room. It was connected directly to the mains, not plugged in.

            I think my uncle's clock was also directly connected to the mains, rather than plugging into a wall socket. His doorbell chimes were similarly connected.

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            • #7
              Re: Electric clocks

              I am sure that early 1980s Argos catalogues had them on their pages - and many classrooms at school had them as well.
              Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

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              • #8
                Re: Electric clocks

                Back in the 1970s we had a Smiths Sectric wall clock in the kitchen, two Smiths alarm clocks and a Kienzle wooden wall clock in the lounge - all mains-powered. The Smiths Sectric and the Kienzle lasted from when my parents were married (1963) until the mid-1980s! The Smiths alarm clocks were not very good though.

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                • #9
                  Re: Electric clocks

                  Impulse clock systems are probably the most interesting electric clocks. They consist of a master clock, which is a machine that produces high accuracy electric pulses, and a number of clock faces which accept the pulses and display the time. Some systems produced pulses every second but others every minute. Clock faces were originally analogue but digital displays also exist. Impulse clock systems were rarely used in homes but were common in offices, schools, train stations, and other locations where many clock faces were used. Master clocks could also control timed bells or time stamping machines as well as clock faces.

                  The most prominent British manufacturer of impulse clock systems was Gent.

                  http://www.aeolian-hall.myzen.co.uk/clocks.htm

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                  • #10
                    Re: Electric clocks

                    [QUOTE=Arran;229570]Impulse clock systems are probably the most interesting electric clocks. They consist of a master clock, which is a machine that produces high accuracy electric pulses, and a number of clock faces which accept the pulses and display the time. Some systems produced pulses every second but others every minute. Clock faces were originally analogue but digital displays also exist. Impulse clock systems were rarely used in homes but were common in offices, schools, train stations, and other locations where many clock faces were used. Master clocks could also control timed bells or time stamping machines as well as clock faces.

                    The most prominent British manufacturer of impulse clock systems was Gent.

                    http://www.aeolian-hall.myzen.co.uk/clocks.htm[/
                    We certainly found our expert on all things clocks, i bow to your knowledge Arran.
                    Ejector seat?...your jokin!

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