Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Plymouth Clock Company

 Through out the 30 years I have been a clock repairman, I have worked on several "Plymouth" clocks.  Many times the customer will feel that this is a rare clock as they cannot find any information on the company. 
The Plymouth Clock Company was actually formed in the early 1930's as a work around for the Seth Thomas Clock Company to dump low cost clocks on an already depressed market.  Seth Thomas insisted all of their dealers adhere to strict selling and pricing agreements to protect their market shares.  This agreement worked well for Seth Thomas, but boxed their dealers into a tight area not allowing for discounts on pricing to move more clocks.  The Seth Thomas Company took advantage of these agreements by crafting a line of clocks that undersold their main line of clocks by a 30-40% price margin.  The Plymouth Company used the workhorse #89 clock movement that had the front and back plates modified to use 30% less brass as well as a less expensive and harsher sounding striking bell and/or rod.  The majority of the cases produced by the Plymouth Clock Company were tambour construction mantle clocks with inexpensive, low quality wood cases that had minimal ornamentation and printed appliques that were to mimic inlaid veneer work.  One banjo style clock was also offered.
This less than above board marketing and manufacturing arrangement worked well for the Seth Thomas Company until the late 1930's when the Seth Thomas family sold their interest in the clock company to the General Time Company, at which time the old #89 movements were put in anything that could be sold.  After the entire stock of these movement were exhausted, General Time began installing whatever movement they could obtain cheaply into these clocks.  The Plymouth Clock Company ceased operations at the outbreak of World War II.
The remaining examples of the Plymouth Clock Company clocks that exist and come in for repair and for the most part repairable at a fair cost that is for the most part far less than the value of the time piece.  Current value of a Plymouth Clock in good condition is $150 - $300.


3 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for this great information.
    Thank you.

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  2. Good information, because I have a 1938 Plymouth, that belonged to my mom and dad, and I grew up with the clock ( I am now 62 years old). A 2 rod strike, mantle clock. It is not a bim-bam, but a simultaneous strike. The springs are overpowered, which wore out out the 2nd wheels on the time, and strike sides. Mostly the time side. A .016 mainspring would have been sufficient, instead of the .018 that is in it. Every Plymouth that I have ever seen has had evidence of a 2nd wheel being rebushed, or was badly worn, and in need to bushings. I plan on getting around to fixing the old clock, myself. Just that the sentimentality is so strong, I am afraid to touch it, even tho I repaired 2 clocks with the same movement. Go figure. When I do work on it, it will be perfect!

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  3. My mother was selling her Plymouth mantel clock at her yard sale for $5.00! Yes, I brought it back to keep it in the family. This clock sat in my great grandmothers' log cabin home since the early 1940's. I would like to know of a trusted repair store in the Boise, ID area, any suggestions?

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