Westclox ClocksWestclox is one of the best known brands of clock worldwide. The name is is probably most associated with the Big Ben alarm clocks and Scotty pocket watches together with the modern Travelmate portable.
Since its beginnings way back in 1884 Illinois, Westclox has been through many changes as a company. However the name is alive and well and you can still buy Westclox products - the trademark is now owned by the Salton Group.
HistoryThe company was initially founded in 1884, although the name "Westclox" didn't appear until much later. The impetus for the company's formation was a patent granted to one of the founders, Charles Stahlberg, for a new clock mechanism. Ironicaly this type of clock was not produced long and has disappeared, apparently without trace.
Initially the company was the United Clock Company, after which it was in rapid succession the Western Clock Co (1887) and the Western Clock Manufacturing Co (1888). Company fortunes improved and by 1901 alarm clock production was up to half a million units a year.
The famous Big Ben alarm clock appeared first in 1908. This was an alarm clock where an integral bell back produced an extremely loud alarm. The first Big Bens were sold in 1909 and in 1910 the smaller Baby Ben was introduced to the market. A variety of styles of Big and Baby Bens have been produced over the years.
1910 also saw the introduction of the Westclox name, although this was not actually registered as a trademark until 1916. In 1912 the company name was changed back to the Western Clock Company.
The Westclox name continued to move around for the rest of the century. In 1930 the Western Clock Company merged with the Seth Thomas Clock Company to form the new General Time Corporation. In 1936 it became the Westclox Division of the General Time Corp.
In 1948 a Westclox plant was opened in Scotland and by the following year this had produced a million units.
In 1959 the company started to sell alarm clocks with a "drowse" feature - what we'd now call a snooze alarm. At the time it was the only one you could buy where you had a choice of either 5 or 10 minute snooze period. Another Westclox innovation from the 1950s was the Moonbeam, an alarm clock which used a flashing light as a silent alarm; you can still buy modern vintage style Moonbeams today.
General Time was bought by Talley in 1968 and a management buyout took place in 1988. General Time declared bankruptcy in 2001.
Today the Westclox trademark is owned by Salton, a leading designer and distributor of a broad range of household products.
This site is not associated with or endorsed by Westclox or Salton