Secondary or Slave Clocks by The Standard Electric Time Company

This page is dedicated to the memory of William T. (Bill) Thrasher, who started with Standard in 1923 and headed its secondary clock department for many years.

Bill Thrasher compares large and small clocks in this circa 1930 factory photo
Bill Thrasher compares large and small clocks in this circa 1930 factory photo. The large clock is a 36-inch marble dial with raised bronze numerals; the small one is a copper-cased clock with a dial measuring approximately 8 inches.
1904 brass-rimmed marble dial clock 1904 brass-rimmed marble dial clock
1904 brass-rimmed marble dial clock at the Rockville Public Library, Rockville, CT. Powered by a Standard Electric Time Co. #2 movement.
Eyebrow style secondary clock made in October, 1916 for Chazy Central Rural School, Chazy, NY
"Eyebrow" style secondary clock made in October, 1916 for Chazy Central Rural School , Chazy, NY. Standard Electric Time also made a 120-beat clock, with or without hourly correction, in a slightly taller and deeper case of this same style.
Former Federal Land Bank building in Springfield, Massachusetts
Former Federal Land Bank building in Springfield, Massachusetts. Large slave dial above front entrance also shown in SETCo Catalog #42 (1926). Not a true tower clock, this timepiece with glass-protected dial and hands uses a #3 impulse-driven movement.
Marble dial clock at the City Library Rotunda, Springfield, MA
Marble dial clock at the City Library Rotunda, Springfield, MA.
Boiler room clock, circa 1920
Boiler room clock, circa 1920. Cast iron case with screw-on nickel plated bronze bezel.
Marble dial bank clock
Marble dial bank clock photographed September, 2000 at the Brimfield (MA) flea markets. Dial may have been purchased by Standard from ITR/IBM-- note the flat-topped figure 8, which has never been observed on another "Standard" marble dial secondary clock.
120 beat secondary clock, circa 1925
120 beat secondary clock, circa 1925. Available with or without hourly correction from a master clock. An earlier version was made in an “eyebrow” style case similar to that of the clock shown at top of this page, but somewhat taller and deeper to accommodate its electrically-wound pendulum movement.
Black Mantel Clock Electric Time Warner System
Circa 1890 mantel clock containing original movement bearing May 24, 1887 patent date. Case, made of Belgian limestone with marble inlay, most likely supplied by the New Haven Clock Company. Note the absence of keyholes in porcelain dial, indicating this is not a windup clock converted. “ELECTRIC TIME WARNER SYSTEM” probably hand painted or stamped over glaze. Compare to New Haven "Peerless" model (#1002 in Tran Duy Ly's NEW HAVEN CLOCKS & WATCHES book.)
Round metal case of copper with original "library green" paint or lacquer finish
Circa 1923 14-inch metal secondary clock; case of copper with original “library green” paint or lacquer finish. The measurement given normally refers to the approximate diameter of the dial opening; the clock as a whole is bigger. Most clocks of this size were used by schools for the larger spaces, as more typically, 12-inch clocks were placed in classrooms.
Seconday Clock No. 2
Circa 1887 example of what is listed in an early catalog as “Secondary Clock No. 2”. Dial diameter is about 7 1/2", with larger clocks also having been made. On later version, “Warner System” appears under “TIME”.
Secondary Clock No. 3
“Secondary Clock No. 3” as shown in an early (pre-1900) catalog of The Standard Electric Time Co. A rare clock, owing to the fact that as electric clocks were coming in, Victorian case styles were going out.
Secondary Clock No. 4
An early case design, known as “Secondary Clock No. 4”. City name removed from dial after the company moved. Mahogany case. Essentially a round clock on a square backboard with egg-and-dart molding all around.
6-inch panel mount clocks
6-inch panel mount clocks with adapters for use as semi-flush wall mounted clocks.
Square oak case with Roman numer dial
Very early 20th Century 12-inch square oak secondary clock made when the company was still located at Waterbury, CT. A popular style in schools built at that time. Note the corner spandrels, which were omitted with the later reduction in case size. Listed as “Secondary Clock No. 1S”.
8-inch round walnut-stained birch cased clock
8-inch round walnut-stained birch cased clock from the mid-1930's featuring a sunburst aluminum dial. Bezel is that of a flush mount clock, with matching adapter for surface mounting. This method of construction enabled the factory to use the same bezel for both types of clock.
This is called a 10-inch clock, although the bezel opening is closer to 9 inch
This is called a 10-inch clock, although the bezel opening is closer to 9" and the extreme diameter is 12". As specified on factory data sheet, "#703 brown lacquer with ivory dial". From the World War II era.
Nameless 10-inch clock made entirely by Standard Electric Time in the late 1930s
Nameless 10-inch clock made entirely by Standard Electric Time in the late 1930's, possibly as an experimental model or prototype. Note that the figure 2 is different compared to the regular Art Deco dials which were so popular from then thru the early 1950's.
12-inch brass cased clock from 1924
12-inch brass cased clock from 1924, one of the last of this style, which used a wood face board and brackets soldered to the inside of the case. At that time, copper was the commonest metal used for cases, with somewhat fewer being produced in brass and steel.
This is the largest of the regularly listed wood cased clocks, having an overall diameter of 30 inches
This is the largest of the regularly listed wood cased clocks, having an overall diameter of 30". Its dial was executed just before the Springfield, MA factory building was purchased, when manufacturing was done in Foxboro, MA, and the main office located at 35 Congress Street in Boston.
Typical circa 1930 classroom clock assembled at branch factory in Berkeley, CA
Typical circa 1930 classroom clock assembled at branch factory in Berkeley, CA. Parts probably made in Springfield. Has aluminum case with metallic copper finish.
Late square oak clock made to City of Boston specifications
Late square oak clock made to City of Boston specifications. Art Deco dial.
Construction according to City of Boston specifications
Construction according to City of Boston specifications.
One side of a double dial clock built around 1930
One side of a double dial clock built around 1930. The 2 individual clocks could be turned 90 degrees for ceiling mounting.
Marble dial clock made in 1919
Marble dial clock made in 1919 for the Hampden Savings Bank, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Double-dial corridor clock
Double-dial corridor clock at the old Isolation Hospital, Springfield, Massachusetts.
14 inch marble dial with raised bronze numerals
14 inch marble dial with raised bronze numerals and minute markers. The commonest size and style.
Speaker clock from the 1930s
Speaker clock from the 1930's. Although this general type of clock is commonly found among the more modern systems, few were made prior to the 1960's, making this early example quite a rare clock.
quarter-sawn golden oak case secondary clock Standard Electric California dial
This is the most popular style of wood-cased classroom clock sold during the early 1920's. Unusual features shown here are the quarter-sawn golden oak case and California dial; beginning in 1920, quarter-sawn oak was a special order item for which an additional charge was made.
Diamond-shaped clock from the late 1890s
Diamond-shaped clock from the late 1890's, featuring solid cherry case, corner spandrels, Howard-style hands and painted dial. This is a true diamond-shaped clock having the face board in 4 mitered sections, each with its grain running parallel with that of the corresponding side. Most others were made with a solid or laminated face board with its grain parallel to 2 sides and at right angles to the remaining 2, making the clock look like a square model hung from one corner.
Another cherry clock, this one circa 1890
Another cherry clock, this one circa 1890. “Warner System” appears below ELECTRIC TIME on a heavy paper dial. Originally known as “Secondary Clock No. 1”; later designated as “1D” (Diamond) or “1S” (Square).
Copper cased 12 inch clock form around 1930
Copper cased 12" clock from around 1930. The factory had switched to aluminum cases by this time, but copper was still available on special order. Some customers preferred it, and even though most copper cases were painted just like the aluminum, a purplish “antique” copper finish was available. Almost never were cases polished and lacquered originally, but in recent times many have been stripped and brightly shined.
Secondary clock, 8 inch square case
Early example of clock with 8-inch dial in a plain square case.
Circa 1926 round oak clock
Circa 1926 round oak clock with approx. 12" dial, from Classical High School in Worcester (NOT Springfield), Massachusetts.
10-inch boiler room clock in optional all-bronze case.
Circa 1925 10-inch boiler room clock in optional all-bronze case.
10-inch square aluminum-cased flush mount clock
Circa 1960 10-inch square aluminum-cased flush mount clock.
Square oak secondary clock circa 1926
Square oak secondary clock circa 1926 as shown in Catalog No. 42.
classroom speaker clock ca. 1939
Another classroom speaker clock, this one dated December, 1939 and from Pulaski Academy and Central School in Pulaski, New York. "Standard" AR3 movement; RCA speaker. Photo courtesy of J. P. Wing, an alumnus of the school.
Special order bank clock
Special order bank clock; dial approximately 24 inches across.
Kent County Courthouse, Rhode Island
Kent County Courthouse, Rhode Island. Dial probably a later replacement.
Courthouse clocks from the Brimfield, MA flea markets
Courthouse clocks from the Brimfield, MA flea markets. These are from a “Standard” system installed around 1900, with movements and dials having all been replaced in the late 1920's. The early dials were painted on zinc and prone to flaking.
Round oak case which once contained a 120 beat movement
Round oak case which once contained a 120 beat movement. Although not a master clock, it contained the same basic mechanism except for the shorter pendulum length. May have had hourly correction from a more accurate clock.
Interior detail of case. Note Patterson battery holders
Interior detail of case. Note Patterson battery holders. "This battery holder licensed only for use with PATTERSON TYPE BATTERIES. Use of other than licensed batteries in this holder violates terms of license."
Earlier clock by Pacific Electric Clock Co., San Francisco
Earlier clock by Pacific Electric Clock Co., San Francisco, Cal., containing movement by Joseph Mayer, Inc., believed original to this example.
Four-dial clock at Comanche County Court House, Texas
Four-dial clock at Comanche County Court House, Texas. Building constructed in 1939. John Scruggs photo.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To make this project a success, your help is needed. If you can provide a good picture of a special clock, it could well prove to be something that others would enjoy seeing here. Owners of clocks will receive credit unless they wish to remain anonymous. In return, or as a public service, we can provide in over 90% of cases, copies of original factory publications pertaining to a specific clock. These include master clock instructions, technical bulletins and wiring diagrams.

Inquiries concerning available materials may be E-mailed to

Thanks for looking!

Top Of Page

© 2003 - 2016 Jeffrey R. Wood