The origin of the old fashioned alarm clock in the US or United States is broadly accredited to Levi Hutchins, who was considered to have made the first motorized alarm clock in 1787. Even if there is no disputing that Levi Hutchins made an alarm clock to sound a voice at 4am, the reality of such clocks in Europe goes before the 1780’s. Back in both the 14th and the 15th centuries, large and mechanical clocks chimed every hour in a number of European city squares.
There are some facts that far more primitive editions of old fashioned alarm clock designs were in use in the Ancient Greece. Many of the early motorized models are so popular among many collectors, and as a result of the development of the Internet, are fairly easy to set and one popular style was the marketing clock. Even though it required a little bit of an asset, companies soon caught on to the development of advertising their logos on the clock faces. Maybe the best known designs were the white and red cola branded ones, first produced in the 1890’s by Edward Baird Company. Many other firms went on to make time items for the cola company, amongst them, E. N. Welsh, Ingraham, and the William Gilbert Clock Company.
Moreover, the Art Deco style seemed to rule the design of clocks in both the 1920’s and the 30’s. The clean lines as well as geometric shapes were integrated into many mantle clocks. Prime in this style, were the Swiss and French, among them Cartier, who made an old fashioned alarm clock equipped with a square face, and also black enameled handles with gold hands. The Seth Thomas Company made an art deco clock as well making use of a green faux marble material so-called Catalin.
From the early motorized models, to the complex antique travel designs, to Westclox’s 1959 style, the Drowser, the first alarm clock with a feature which is indispensable in the present day, the snooze switch, they have come a long way away. Those who are pleased about this blend of style and precision will look for low and high for the next addition to their set. There is no doubt that an old fashioned alarm clock has a rich and colorful history. For its users, it is simply a legacy of precision and style and will be a valuable asset.