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WESTCLOX’S ‘BIG BEN’ Style model: 9

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1979 - 2000

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TABLE OF CONTENTS CLOCK BOOK2.indd 2

Introduction The brand Big Ben Clox Colloquial terminology Tock whur tweet Reflection Warning Safety Westclox timeline Adjectives Purchasing Looking forward Mechanics Anything but clocks Opinion The need for access A breif history Time piece development Do we need clocks Measurements The evolving company Westclox now

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Barrel, Alarm, with spring Bridge, Alarm (only) Bridge, Time, with Barrel and Spring Dial, Luminous Glass Key, Alarm Lever, Repeating Nut, Pillar Pinion, Shuck Screw, Balance Screw, Bridge Washer, Regulator Washer, Trip Staff, Friction/Round Wedge, Hairspring Wheel, Balance Wheel, Alarm Escape Wheel, Time Escape Wheel, Forth Wheel, Hour Wheel, Third

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INVENTORY

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With increase in technology, old fashioned revolutionary inventions are overlooked, instead looking forward to a new way of digitalising a lifestyle. Has this object lost its selling point or is it merely being improved through combining it with technology. Howver, in this household time pieces are a facination point not just as decoration. Having never understood the objects past the point of practicality, I wanted to discover the angle of intrigue through taking the object apart physically and picking at it mentally. The object found and bought was a Westclox Style 9 clock from a car boot sale in Surrey for fifty pence. The mechanism that holds the object together is focused on balance, pace and accuracy. Possibly one of the most precise pieces of equipment with people basing their lives around.

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There are 20 asthetically varied outcomes for Westclox Style 9. With a range of colours to appeal to a wider audience, they began to be produced in 1979 and continued production until 2000. Changing the dial and face colouring but maintaining the same trustworthy mechanisms, one of the most obvious change was the luminous dials that some models were hand painted with. In 1917 a news story changed the production of the clocks dials and a health warning was made public for those who owned relevant time pieces. The hazard warning is viscious and to the point, exposing every reader to the full effects of inhaling the substance. This was made aware after ‘The Radium Girls’ escapade was uncovered. The female factory workers in 1917 contracted radiation poisening from the watch dials luminous paint that they applied to the clock parts. At the time the radiation was not linked to the paint therefore unknowingly the factory workers ingested the radium by constantly licking the paintbrushes to create a fine point to colour with precision. The women also saw this as a way to paint their teeth and also their fingernails, therefore constantly exposing themselves unknowingly to the substance. Some of the reactions to the radium were; bone fractures, anemia and ‘radium jaw’. This set panic into radium and watch dial companies which denied any link between the job materials and the spread of illnesses. The Radium Girls created a great historical impact as it affected both health and labour rights in the workplace, changing the clocks production and also popularity temporarily.

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BIG BEN The name ‘Big Ben’ is often used to describe the tower that is attached to the North end of the Palace of Westminster, ‘The Clock and the Bell’ was the name that was first given to T’he Great Bell.’ The Elizabeth Tower was completed in 1859 and the Great Bell started on 31 May, with the Great Bell’s strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September. The clock was designed in the style of Gothic Revival for a time defining outcome. In 1918 the clock was silenced for two years during World War I. The clock tower is now one of the most visited locations in London for tourists, becoming a part of the Capital of the City which is most recognised, being back drop identify the location in many films. The clock tower has not been changed by technology therefore there is not a lift to transport people to the top, instead there is a set of 334 limestone stairs to .allow people to transport themselves.

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CLOX This name has been owned by a shoe company, which combines the concept time and pace. Primarily based on the relationship between the sound effects of footsteps and the audio of the third hand of the clock moving around the dials.The story is relayed through the shoes highlighting the concept of merging movement and time a the wearable outcome. Onomatopoeia is a strong componant in the idea taking the sound of the clock and applying it to a mundane object and movement. On the top of each stiletto is a watch strapped around creating an abstract piece of clothing with.

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A PHYSICAL HEART A clock is used in slang to refer to a heart

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WORKS LIKE CLOCKWORK layers mechanisms cogs gold screws plastic metal springs engraved pins silver black support spinning clicking contraption round parts rubber screws ticking tocking

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tick click snap clunk tock whur tweet tick click tweet snap clunk tock whur snap clunk tweet tick

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e in. Tim s aga .. s e in s . u s n to b r word et dow e. In othe g o t Time e right tim th have

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WARNING Most older clocks and watches with luminous dials contain radium, a hazardous radioactive substance proven to cause cancer, and which produces radon gas. Careless handling of luminous materials releases microscopic particles into the atmosphere, where they may be inhaled and become lodged in the lungs. In addition, flaking of luminous paint, with fragments remaining within the clock, is commonplace. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should children be permitted to play with, or take apart, luminous timepieces.

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FOR SAFETY REASONS: DO NOT OPEN CLOCK OR WATCH CASE

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WESTCLOX TIMELINE 1910

1911

1912

1913

1914

1915

1916

1917

1918

1919

1920

1921

1922

1923

1924

1925

1926

1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

1932

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

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MAKE ‘EM AS YOU LIKE ‘EM

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To hit someone with force

CLOCK YOU

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regularity smoothreactions intricacy reliabledelicate pacedwindable constructed vibrationaudio precision movement contraption dependant consistant fast

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WHERE TO PURCHASE? Antiques fairs Car boot sales Odds and Ends shops Online shopping Catalogue Home ware stores Jewellers Auctions Charity Shop Markets Wholesalers Scrap stores Gifts Hand me downs

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LOOKING FORWARD Clocks in the 21st century have become less of a necessity and more of an ornimental fixture. Which rasies the question; How important are watches and clocks? As with most things technology has overpowered previous ground breaking inventions and created objects that combine as much useful information together as possible. After realising that many homes do not even display clocks it led me to look into other forms of technology which does the functions of a clock and more. Methods of reading time in the 21st Century include; laptops, computers, DVD players, tvs, ipods, phones, oven timers, e-readers, tablets, watches and radios. A clock has become a novelty or a statement piece, transforming what was once a necessity has become more of a decoration. Therefore Westclox’s production timeline has faced technological competition through the last few years of sales, I believe this could be one of the problems that faced the company which resulted in its closure.

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I GUESS IT’S THE

MECHANICS

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE

MECHANICS

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counting day time analogue digital sun movement hourglass sundial clepsydra night time stopwatch pendulum equation clock atomic clock automic clock chronometer quartz clock

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STANDARD

REPETITIVE MUNDANE

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HANDY

DELICATE USEFUL

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pester frustration fumble nuisance repetitive fidget tamper testing fiddley impatient bore mundane irritable waste consuming fixed dull

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time

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“THE NEED FOR ACCESS� Measuring time has been a point of facination for humans for thousands of years, syncing activities to time for the past 6,000 years. Before any device to track this, people were dependant on purely day light and night time to sync their lives. Tracking the suns pathway across the sky and measuring it for the patterns and shadows. Egyptians were the first to create sundials, using daylight and shadows to seperate the day into sections. Measurements of angles meant that time could be told on a bright day, however proved failing when day length changed in the seasons and dull days for no shadow to be cast. Next in the journey for time came the hourglass. Originally composed of two transparent glass bulbs reflecting on top of eachother, which allows the sand to run from the top to the bottom bulb funnelling through the joining gap at a recorded pace.

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BRIEF HISTORY, WESTCLOX The Westclox Big Ben model was first sold in 1909, but managed to stay up to date with styles and trends for years to come, with 10 style updates from wind up to electric. The clocks mechanics was invented by Ernest and George Kernand casing was stylist by Ellworth Danz with prices originally starting at ÂŁ1.50. The model I have chosen was made between 1980-2000, with preliminary production in LaSalle, with full production taking place in Athens in 1980.

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TIME PIECE DEVELOPMENT In 1714, through the British government the Parliment offered the Longitude prize of £20,000 for the creation of a time device that could be used safely and consistantly at sea during long haul travels. In 1765, John Harrison recieved part of the award of £15,315 for the creations of his chronometer, with other clock makers receiving smaller sums for other contributions. The self educated carpenter turned clock maker created a device that could track longitude at sea. Previous to this wooden pendulum clocks could not survive the commute failing to present the accurate measurments and readings that it did when placed on the ground in a stable situation. Harrison created his first clock through his carpenting skills at the age of 20 in 1713 effectively presenting his woodwork as a joiner. Discovering the latitude of a location was the easiest part of the process, as it could be tracked through the altitude of the sun at noon, however longitude required measurement. ‘My own pendulum clock is adjusted to one second a month.’ John Harrison

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Do we need a clock to tell time? 26 watches 1 pocket watch 6 televisions 1 e-reader 1 tablet 1 computer 1 laptop 3 ipods 4 phones 1 oven timer 1 time clock 3 clocks 1 egg timer

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nanosecond millisecond microsecond centisecond decisecond dekasecond hectosecond zeptosecond femtosecond attosecond picoosecond megasecond

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THE EVOLVING COMPANY The ‘United Clock Company’ was originally created by Charles Stahlberg and others in 1885, it began situated in Illunois, manifacturing clocks based on Stahlberg’s device designs. This was later patented only to be followed with bankruptcy due to short demand. The next pathway for the company was in 1887, under the name of ‘Western Clock Company’ which again was short lived and faced bankruptcy. Once more reorganised F. Matthiessen created ‘Western Clock Manufacturing Company.’ followed by the patent for the design of the ‘Big Ben’ alarm clock. This shortly became the first alarm clock advertised nationally, including in the press. ‘Westclox’ became a registered trademark company in 1916. During World War II, Westclox and General Time Corporation produced compasses and clocks for both the United States Army and Navy. In 1959, Westclox produced one of the first types of ‘drowse’ alarm clocks powered by electricity which allowed the owner to put the alarm on ‘snooze’ for it to reactivate later, the trend was later a necessity for clocks. After another bankruptcy in 2001, the ‘Westclox’ and ‘Big Ben’ trademarks moved to Salton, Inc. But in 2007 Salton sold all the time pieces and the business, wiping away the Westclox name and its already existing items. In 2012 the Westclox compound in Peru was set fire to at the time of New Years celebrations, the arson attack was the end of Westclox.

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WESTCLOX NOW Westclox in the 21st century has become a fashion item, a company that is looked upon as being in a vintage trend. Supplying customers for a thousand years through different company names, can now be bought online and in antique stores branded as fashionable as they capture wearing and scratches that previous owners have created. Each Westclox style holds a trend of the time it was produced which emphasises which period of time it was from, identifiable through; type faces, the way the dial is painted, the face colour, the case materials. All the exteriors changing with the mechanics remaining in the same materials and layout.

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n at s h; he ut.

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