Thursday, March 21, 2013

Finer Things in Life: the bicycle clock

Ten years ago (or thereabouts) a seller walked in our shop. In a shoe box he brought in a small pile of parts and a frame which resembles a 'bicycle' clock.

The dial looked American, of Ansonia clock style, so my offer was $20. He said the $20 is better than what he was hoping for; the pile was destined for rubbish anyway.

With way more important jobs to concentrate on, the bicycle clock remained in the shoe box until last Christmas. Amazingly, not only were all the parts there, but I got it ticking in no time.

On closer inspection, it turned out that the clock was manufactured in 1900. by the British United Clock Company, Birmingham, And unlike many of similar clocks made by the BUCC, this one features a barometer as well.

But why did I mistake it for an American clock?

The mighty Google solved that mystery: the British clock company was founded and operated by Edward Davies, brother of none other than clockmaker Henry Davies who was the founder and president of one of the largest American clock manufacturing facilities in mid to late 1800s.

A great tale of two clockmaker brothers working in the same field, on either side of Atlantic.

As I type this, the BUCC Bicycle clock is cheerfully ticking and telling the time. Next time you visit our premises, ask me to wind it up for you, for your enjoyment.

Watercolour by TanyaH

No comments: