We recently received a really interesting clock in the store, that is shaped like a horse and buggy. As the clock runs the whip in the coachman’s hand whips up and down. The clock was made by United Metal Goods Mfg. Co. Brooklyn, NY, Model No. 701.
Clocks like this are considered “schlock’s” in the clock industry. Also called carnival clocks in the antique world because they were given away at fairs and /or carnivals. Even though they have titles like “schlock’s” and “carnival” as I researched these clocks, it was repeatedly said that they “keep good time.” The clock companies found a market to sell their merchandise and their quality keeps on ticking.
There is very little info on line about the United Metal Good Mfg. Co., of Brooklyn, NY. It appears that Abraham Levy was the founder of The Sessions Company which was a division of United Metal Good Mfg. The first "carnival clocks" accredited to the company are from 1905. The height of their fame was in the 1930’s and 40’s. They incorporated in 1931. Mr. Abraham Levy died in 1961. In August 1968 United Metal Good Mfg. Co. bought Sessions and then at the end of the year both companies closed completely.
That makes the age of carnival clocks between 1905 and 1968.
The one that arrived here was titled “The Hansom Cabriolet” (cab). There is quite a history that goes with the Hansom cab. It was designed and patented in December 23, 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect. It was originally called the Hansom “safety cab.” It was designed for speed and safety with its low center of gravity. It was the first horse and carriage fixed with taximeters. It was in 1869 that it was set up in New York City and Brooklyn New York to provide transportation. The cost was .30 cents for one mile or .40 cents for two people for one mile.
For you Sherlockians, did you know that the Hansom cab was the taxi/cab of choice by the fictional character Sherlock Holmes. It would speedily and safely get Sherlock to the crime scene.
This taxi was the cause of the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894. It seems that the horses produced 15 to 35 pounds of manure per day and 2 pints of urine. It was becoming a major issue in England where this cab was originated. The last horse-drawn cab license was issued in London in 1947.
Mr. Joseph Hansom went on to become a famed architect. This is a picture of St. Beuno’s College near St. Asuph in North Wales, of which he was the architect. He was also architect to several churches in the Great Britain area.
Carnival glass is another item found in antique shops that was given away at fairs and/or carnivals. The first piece of carnival glass was a Fenton piece in 1908. No wonder it was such a draw to go to the fairs with all the fancy dishes and accurate clocks being given away.
I wonder, if it was on the midway, at the pie contest, or in the livestock shows these items were given away.
What do you think? :)