Personal Affects; Sept. 8
Published 9:48 pm Friday, September 7, 2018
Question: Jerry, This carriage clock was given to me by my older brother which my mom gave to him. I’m curious about how old and its value. I can remember watching this clock when I was a little boy.
Answer: I love these kitschy clocks. You have a clock that was made by the United Electric Clock Corporation. As grand as this is, there is little information on the internet about them. They were based in Brooklyn, New York, circa 1905. This 1905 date is somewhat of a misnomer, as they more than likely made other items.
It was founded by Abraham Levy who ran the company until his death in 1961. I think there might have been a son in there somewhere, as 56 years is a long time to head a
large business. But again, information is sketchy. They bought out or merged with The Sessions Company in 1956. In 1958 the Sessions Company sustained heavy losses, to the tune of over $1 one million.
The Sessions / United Company was sold out, lock, stock and barrel to Consolidated Electronics Industries Corp. of New York. Consolidated continued to manufacture in Forestville, Connecticut, for another decade. At that time, the inventory and equipment was sold to the United Metal Goods Company of Brooklyn, New York.
In 1968 something happened, I’m not sure what, but the company ceased all production at Forestville. Two years later the empty buildings were sold. Thus ending the
United Electric Clock Corporation.
From what I can tell, your clock dates to the 1940s. United was well-known for making unique and decorative clocks. Some clock collector forums that I visited called them Carnival Clocks.
Carnival clocks, as they were featured as the “big ticket” item at county fairs and carnivals, and at games of chance booths. These games were rigged, so no one really won these fancy clocks.
Because they were clocks with electric movements, there is not a lot of love for these garish clocks. However, those with a penchant for for funky, retro or kitsch, they are much loved.
I figured that eBay would be the best venue to search for comparable sales. Prices ranged from $100 to as high as $250 for the couple of dozen examples that were featured. BUT, in reality, there were only about three that had actually sold. These had sold for around $50.
I’d wager, that in a retail environment, a likely price would be in the $100 range. It’s a cool piece. Keep it free of dust and out of direct sunlight to protect that gold paint. Thanks for sharing it.