Westclox Moonbeam Style 1

Westclox Moonbeam Style 1

Date Summary:

1948 - 1957 and reproductions starting in 2001

Characteristics:

Rounded Yellowish Butyrate plastic case (Reproductions made in China in various colors since 2001)

Style Information:

Made with both plain and luminous dials

Had a power outage indicator until 1954

The case is made of Cellulose Acetate Butyrate.

There are 2 Models of Westclox Moonbeam Style 1 in the database

Westclox Moonbeam Style 1 Plain
Moonbeam flashing light alarm clock with non-luminous dial. The alarm buzzes if the light isn't shut off in 10 minutes.
Dates made: August 1948 - 1957
Westclox Moonbeam Style 1 Luminous
Moonbeam flashing light alarm clock with luminous dial. The alarm buzzes if the light isn't shut off in 10 minutes.
Dates made: 1949 - 1958

History

Here is a quote from Westclox former chief stylist Ellworth Danz:

"Westclox engineering referred to the plastic for the 1949 Moonbeam case as "Butyrate", however, the whole name was really "Cellulose Acetate Butyrate." That plastic used Buteric Acid as one of the ingredients, hence, the name (also the odor). Buteric Acid is present in rancid butter. I don't recall Butyrate being used on any other case at Westclox."

Here's more information from Ellworth Danz:

"The 1949 Moonbeam (which we called blinking light clock) was being developed by Westclox Engineering when I came back from the Army Air Force Service in 1946. It was an outside design and I believe made under license. My only contribution was the dial design.

The power interruption warning was dropped from most electric clocks in 1954 including Moonbeam with its new dial, probably for the following reasons:

  1. Eliminating it was a cost saving. It was probably not worth the expense of putting on clocks since it gave no indication of the length of outage.

  2. Most urban centers had dependable power by that time with only momentary interruptions."

A reproduction style 1 Moonbeam has been made in China since ca. 2001. L. L. Bean and other catalogs list it. It comes in pink, blue and green as well as the original pale yellow. The reproductions may be identified as follows:

  1. They say Big Ben on the dial

  2. Made in China

  3. Have a battery compartment (as well as a power cord)

  4. The audible alarm is a bell (after the light has flashed for several minutes)

  5. Lighted dial.

See History of the this style series (Westclox Moonbeam)


References