Sunday, April 22, 2012

Early Battery Operated Devices

Hubert Patent
I always enjoy finding gaps in my understanding of history. It gives me a reason to sift through areas and things I hadn't considered.

Being presented with a battery illuminated clock, my first impression was that it probably 1930's or 40's, but after a limited search it became obvious that earlier was more probable.

Ever Ready Advertisement 1910's
The piece is similar in design to Ever Ready clocks which I found a fair amount of information on. As an example - this patent from 1896

The clock in my shop differs in several respects. The bulb is inside the case and behind the dial, and the large plano convex lens over the face leads me to believe that it was possibly a projection clock but is missing the reflecting attachment.

Plano Convex Lens
Windup Movement
Battery Compartment

Image courtesy of Bob Croswell
The other similarity to the Ever Ready clocks are the two pin holes that you can just see in the photo of the battery compartment.

These would have accepted the "remote control" pictured here and would have allowed the user to turn on the clock from bed without leaning over to flip the switch on the clock base.

You can see more details and information at:
Electrically Illuminated Clock
Night Projection "Brothel" Clock
Projection Clocks
Google Patents