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  • Ruth Spayer

Where Have All the Kids' Clocks Gone?


Here at the museum, we would never claim to have one of everything Westclox ever made. We're not even close, in spite of the extensive array on display. We are always thrilled when new items arrive, even if they are duplicates or triplicates of what we already have. Each piece of Westclox history represents someone's memories, and we treat them with care to preserve those memories for everyone to enjoy. Our collections span the ninety-five years of Westclox's continuous operation in this location.

Lately, we've been welcoming more and more younger people to the museum. By “younger”, I mean those who were born after 1980. Some of these young visitors are initially “dragged” into the place by their parents, grandparents or other relatives, but most are soon amazed at what they find. Naturally, the younger visitors are more attracted to the more colorful, fun designs from the 1960s and 1970s – the retro-look of today. This has gotten me thinking about the children's clock series produced in that era.

Early in our work of setting up the museum, we had hoped that some of these clocks would come in. Surprisingly, very few of them have appeared. What happened to the Wee Winkies? This was such a popular series of children's clocks in the 1970s. We are fortunate to have the Little Red Barn with its big-eyed cow pendulum, but where is the See-Saw model with the cute see-sawing pigs on top? And someone must surely still have The Grenadier with its musical parading wooden soldiers and Fairy Tale, featuring a musical revolving Cinderella. Let's not forget the other models in this series – Jumbo Alarm, Circus Parade, the Block Clock and Hickory Dickory Dock, with the enchanting little gray mouse perched on the side of the electric peacock blue case.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the cute, fuzzy Animal Clockers. These colorful, animal-faced table top clocks were all dressed up in furry costumes to go with their names – Funny Bunny, Kool Kat, Lion Tymer and Bear Fax would undoubtedly be just as irresistible today as they were almost 50 years ago.

Westclox made children’s clocks earlier than the ‘60s and ‘70s, most notably the Woody Woodpecker styles of 1959. A while back, a young guest (no more than 10 years-old) took me by surprise by asking, “Who is Woody Woodpecker?”. I guess I didn’t realize that Woody had quietly slipped into retirement, but at least we have one of the clocks to show to everyone, along with a few other examples from that same era. We also have a few examples of the children’s line of pocket watches, including Woody Woodpecker and Johnny Zero models.

Where have all the Kids’ Clocks gone?

Do you remember those Wee Winkie and Animal Clockers models? Do you happen to have one or more of them that you would consider donating or placing on loan to the museum? We’d sure like to add them to our collection for all of our young and young-at-heart visitors to enjoy. If you can help, please contact us at info@westcloxmuseum.com or stop in at the museum during any of our regular hours. M, W, F – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sat. – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

“You never know what you might find at the Westclox Museum!”

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