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Westclox History Written by the Company

This history was compiled by Westclox in the 1970's. It is shown here in its entirety, divided into sections for convenience.

I've made some additions for historical accuracy, particularly for 1885 - 1888. My additions are in italics like this note here.

Bill

1885 - 1899

1900 - 1919

1920 - 1929

1930 - 1939

1949 - 1949

1950 - 1959

1960 - 1969

1970 - January 1976


Westclox History from 1884 to 1899

1884 - 1885

United Clock Company - first organized

December 23, 1885 United Clock Company was incorporated

Stahlberg - FIRST MANAGER of United Clock Company - originally from Waterbury Connecticut, Inventor of original clock, predecessor of the clock "America"

Dolph - Waterbury, Connecticut

Davis - Waterbury, Connecticut

R. Patton, Sr. - Waterbury, Connecticut

Cartwright

Schiller

Klein - (First employee from LaSalle-Peru area - started 10/1884

Senfleben - Clock Machinist - later Hairspring Department

The above were the first employees of United Clock Company, and actually consisted of the entire force.

United Clock Company first started producing clocks in the back of Brylski's Department Store, until a three-story brick building was completed in 1885.

Production

First produced one clock per day, then 3 or 4/day; later 10-15 day, 20/day was considered a great day.

It was customary for one man to do Buffing, Plating, Assembling, and Packing.

Clocks were first sold through local merchants, brought to them by pushcart.

Clocks were also given as premiums, by local merchants, with $10.00 of merchandise.

Plant-First Engineer

Plant Engineer - Joe Bowers - Job consisted of Watchman, taking care of Engines, fired boilers to produce steam, Chief Electrician and did all the pipe fitting in the factory.

Plant-Went bankrupt and closed in 1887.

1887

May 14, 1887 The Western Clock Company was incorporated

United Clock Company

purchased by F. W. Matthiessen, Sr. (Mgr. and Pres. of Zinc Company in LaSalle).

Name Changed

from United Clock Company to Western Clock Company

Second Manager

Mr. Willet

Individuals Starting During This Year

Frank Holsinger (later was Foreman of the Automatic Screw Dept.)

1888

July 7, 1888 The Western Clock Mfg. Company was incorporated (the Western Clock Company having declared bankruptcy)

1889

F. Roth appointed General Manager (Thirty-four years later he was appointed President of the Company.) (should be E. Roth here and below)

 

A. Neurether - started - Later employed as Engineer (was the only individual in Engineering Department).

1890

Western Clock Company Had Only Three Directors At This Time

F. W. Matthiessen, Sr.

F. Roth

Captain George Blow

Employees

81

Production

380 Complete Units

Factory Area

12,400 square feet, first addition . Small wing at the west end of the original plant.

Individuals Starting During This Year

H. E. Hackman - started in the office - Office force numbered less than five employees at this time.

1895

1896

Western Clock Received Largest Clock Order To Date. . . 50,000 units.

Clock order was received from Mr. Williams, manufacturer of "NINE O'CLOCK" washing powder. . . . . .

The letters - NINE O'CLOCK TEA - used on the dial instead of numbers, signifying advertising of washing powder designed to have clothes washed and on the line in time for house-wives to have their tea at 9 A.M..

To meet schedule, the entire force worked until 9 P.M. daily.

Models Introduced

America

Ironclad (F.W.) - (first models called F.W. after Mr. Matthiessen)

Framed Clock

Employees

Listed below are some of the employees of Western Clock Company at this time -

H. Ohl (started 11/29/1893) - Casting Department; Chas. Cornish (st. 3/9/1896) 4" finishing - later Foreman of Department;
Wm Mauitzen (st. 8/1/1896) Big Ben Assembly; and --------------

Bishop, Willmer, Andrews, Schiller, Bentley, Hanson, Webster, Reeves, Holsinger, Keefrey, Hanry, Klaeber, Just, Strohm, Klein, Keeley, Zimmerman, Shulmock, Keenan, Dornensch, Nelson, Bauer, Senfleben, Halm, O'Bryne, Frizol, Hudak, Paton, Wolfe, Tesche, Hoenscheid, Ludwig, Swanson, Merrick, Strobel, King, O'Brein, Franks, McKenna, Owitzke, Cosgrove, Martin, Hoffman, Hanley, Bryne, Hollman, Tobler, Weir, Bornac, Kreuger - etc............

(These names were put in, since many are familiar yet today, as their descendants are still employed at Westclox.)

1899

One story addition to plant was built


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