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  • Ruth Spayer

Defense Won’t Wait For the Nation That’s Late


I’m guessing that the majority of you who read this column are at least one generation removed from World War II, and many of you are two or three generations removed from that troubling time. That’s why I decided that the story of Westclox during World War II needed to be shared now – 70 years after the war ended.

I don’t know why, but the 1940’s was the last decade that we had left to scan for our Tick Talk project. When I began 1942, I was stunned. The amount of information in these little books was incredible, a real time capsule that needed to be opened and shared with the public. That is exactly what we hope to do in our special exhibit November 11 through November 21. If you had relatives and/or friends who worked at Westclox and subsequently left to serve in the armed forces during World War II, this exhibit is for you!

Each month, Tick Talk magazine published photos of employees who were “answering the call to the colors”. They also published letters and photos received from the soldiers and sailors. Sadly, as the war intensified it was necessary to tell the stories of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We are reproducing these pages from 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 and organizing them by year and month to make it easier for you to review and attempt to locate your loved ones.

We’ll also display copies of Westclox’s award- winning advertising campaign in the Saturday Evening Post magazine. When I say award-winning, I mean national recognition for the excellent, tasteful advertising and support for the war effort.

Along with these memories on paper, you will see many war-related items that are always on display in our museum, including bomb fuses and miscellaneous military timing devices that were manufactured here right up to the time that the factory was closed in 1980. And, of course, all of our regular displays will still be there.

So - if you would like to find some information about your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents during World War II, this will be an opportunity for you to leisurely look through these reproduced pages to see what you can find. I regret that we do not yet have all of this information in a searchable data-base, but I think you will be able to search these pages easily.

Let me add this: If you think you know all about your ancestors during World War II, you might be surprised. You never know what you might find at the Westclox Museum!

Please Note: Some of the words, phrases and images you see in the exhibit may not be “politically correct” by today’s standards, but in the interest of historical accuracy, we have reproduced them exactly as originally written. Thank you for understanding.

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