Westclox Waralarm Style Series

"Waralarm" refers to alarm Clocks made during World War II that say "Waralarm" on the dial. The first Waralarm was cased in a molded wood fiber case. Later, they were had metal cases.

There are 3 styles in the Westclox Waralarm Style Series

Westclox Waralarm Cardboard

Characteristics:

Rectangular molded wood fiber case

Dates made:

April 1943 - late 1943 or early 1944
Westclox Waralarm Metal

Characteristics:

Round metal case, black or ivory, 4 1/4 inches diameter. 4 3/8 inches tall.

Dates made:

Late 1943 or early 1944 to May 1944
Westclox Waralarm Baby Ben

Characteristics:

Style 5 Baby Ben case, says "Waralarm" on the dial, doesn't say "Westclox"

Dates made:

1944

History

The April 1943 Westclox Tick Talk has the following article about the Waralarm:

"WESTCLOX is now making plans to produce a Waralarm, a conservation model alarm clock, the production of which was requested a short time ago by the War Production Board.

In this model the W.P.B. specifies the use of but 7 pounds of brass for every 1000 clocks, whereas in normal production we use 300 pounds for every 1000 clocks. We have found suitable substitutes for the restricted metals.

Despite the difficulties, we believe the clock is pleasing in appearance, and will be readily acceptable by the buying public.

It has a case of moulded wood fibre, which will be lacquered. It stands 5 5/8 inches high, and is 5 1/4 inches wide, with a large, easy to read dial. It has a bell alarm, but plans call for the eventual use of a buzzer.

The clock will be assembled in the Four Inch Assembling, and finished in the Four Inch Finishing."

The Waralarm and other inexpensive Westclox clocks use the "model 66" movement. Max Schlenker's patent, applied for on Sept. 4, 1943 and issued on Oct. 17, 1944, #2,360,589 describes a cheaper version of the model 66 movement, in which the alarm hammer strikes an extension of the trip spring, making a bell not necessary (referred to above and below as the "buzzer" alarm).

Brief Chronology:

The Bingo that was introduced in 1936* appears to be the same case used for the metal case Waralarm, except for the difference in alarm shut-off. The Bingo was out of production during the war (along with other non-war production) starting July 31, 1942. The Waralarm was introduced around April 1943. It was first made in a molded wood fibre case, then the metal case.

The Waralarm was discontinued in May 1944*.

The "Raven" in the same (metal) case was introduced Sept. 21, 1944, and discontinued in January 1947*+.

The Bingo was re-introduced Sept. 25, 1947*.

Detailed Chronology:

July 31, 1942 - All non-war production ceased

Ca. April 1943: Fibre case Waralarm introduced.

  1. Early fibre case examples have BELL alarm and the $1.65 information is on a sticker, not imprinted on the case. Case back NOT marked "Pat. Pdg". I have one example of this, with an off-white rectangular sticker on the back of the case with the $1.65 information. On my example, the front movement plate is brass, and the back plate is steel!

  2. Slightly later fibre case examples have BUZZER alarm, and have the $1.65 price information imprinted on the back. Case back NOT marked "Pat Pdg". I have one example of this.

  3. Later fibre case examples - have the $1.65 price information imprinted on the back. Case back IS marked "Pad Pdg" The patent was applied for on Sept. 4, 1943, so these were made after this date. My three examples have the buzzer alarm.

Sometime late 1943 or early 1944: Metal case Waralarm introduced (and the fibre case model probably discontinued). My three examples (2 black, one ivory) have "Pat Pdg" on the back of the case, and they all have the bell alarm.

May 1944* : Waralarm discontinued

Sept. 21, 1944*+: Raven introduced (in same metal case as Waralarm, painted black)

I have 3 examples of Raven, all in black cases and having the $1.65 information imprinted in the back, and having patent number 2360589 on the back. This patent was issued Oct. 17, 1944. It should be possible to find a very early Raven with "Pat Pdg." on the back, since in went into production before the patent was issued. My Ravens all have the bell alarm.

January 1947* - Raven discontinued

Sept. 25, 1947* - Bingo back in production.

*Dates from a Westclox price change book in the possession of Ellworth Danz, former chief stylist at Westclox.

+Sept. 21, 1944 is the first date listed for the Raven, but it is possible it was introduced earlier. The price change book gives dates that prices were established or changed, and gives discontinuation dates.

Note: The Bingo has a top alarm shutoff knob, the Waralarm and Raven have a back shutoff knob.

Maybe someone can research the government's material restrictions, and how they were changed with time. There may have been a change that allowed Westclox to start using substantial amounts of steel in the metal cased Waralarm. So perhaps restrictions on steel were removed or relaxed. (Remember the steel pennies made during the war)

It is interesting that Westclox called their clock the "Waralarm" (one word), where the other companies called theirs "War Alarm" (two words).

Other Waralarm clocks:

The "Baby Ben" Waralarm, made in army olive drab color, and ivory. This did not have an OPA price on it, perhaps because it was not for sale to general public. We would like to find out more about this clock. (Did the military buy them to issue to military personnel?)

Telechron had two War Alarm models (1 and 2). They are both illustrated on page 218 of Jim Linz's Telechron book. Gilbert also made a War Alarm

References