I found this lovely electric clock at the thrift store a month or so ago. The case is rather beat up, but I love the art deco dial. I looked the model up on telechron.net, if you have a Telechron or want more info about these clocks this is your website! The site has all Telechron models organized by year with model numbers and pictures. I found my little clock pretty quickly listed under the 1928-1932 era as a 327 “Salisbury”, however the dial didn’t match. The next era of clocks “1932-1938” has a clock listed as a f327 “Sudbury” with the correct case shape, and dial but with a closed wooden back. The site author writes “A few models from the Early Years were sold into 1935…” so I would guess this is an older case with the newer motor and dial but it could also have been some old owner’s repair job marrying the two pieces. Either way it seems this clock is from sometime in the 1930’s.
Old clocks sitting in the thrift store are tricky, if they aren’t electric there is almost no chance that they are working. The old gears and curious hands have usually stopped the mechanisms, and repairs are usually too advanced for the average diy-er. Electric clocks however are much harder to stop up, however the cord and plug are usually in poor shape, mine definitely was:
I plugged in the clock long enough to see that it worked, and actually kept really good time! The plug and rotted cord however needed to be replaced. I ordered new brown rayon covered cord and a reproduction polarized plug from sundialwire.com. You can also get replacement wire from Amazon: Rayon Antique Wire. The repair process was very simple, I removed the back cover and undid the screws holding the motor and dial to the case:
As you can see in the picture above there were two twist on wire connectors linking the wiring coming out of the motor to the cord. I removed these and prepped the new cord to add to the motor:
I replaced the wire connectors, as you can see I knotted the cord so when it is pulled the knot bumps against the back of the case instead of yanking the wire connector or the motor:
I wired the new plug and added the included cardboard plug protector:
Lastly I screwed the motor and dial back into the case and done!
I love the quiet whir of its motor, and it keeps perfect time! While researching the make and model of my clock I found a variety of theories on the red dot in the top middle of the dial. Many people listed it as an am/pm marker, however it is actually a loss of electricity indicator. During the 1930’s intermittent power loss was still a very common occurrence. Telechron clocks are “self starting” meaning when they have power they move. So this little cutout shows red if power is lost, even if the power comes back on. In this way if you lost power for a few minutes overnight you would know the clock is inaccurate even though it’s working again. To reset it, you open the back panel and flip the little level to turn it back to gold.