Master Crafters Model 209 Mystery Clock
|This is the
1950's model 209 clock made by the Mastercrafters Clock and Radio
Company of Chicago, IL. Mastercrafters made huge numbers of
novelty and decorative clocks, though they don't seem to have ever sold
a radio under their name. They did make the non-electronic parts
of the Majestic Melody Cruiser ship radio, however.
Most Mastercrafters clocks were egregiously ugly and in amazingly poor taste, which is probably why so many were sold. This one is one of their better efforts. The mechanism is unusual. Between two pieces of flat glass is a thin sheet of clear plastic which pivots from a point just behind the "12". A motor driven eccentric wheel in the base causes the plastic sheet to rock back and forth just enough for two pawls attached to the sheet to engage teeth on a tiny drive gear which, in turn, drives the hands. Each rotation of the motor caused one back and forth cycle of the plastic sheet and two advances of the drive gear.
Like most "mystery clocks", this one suffered from mechanical problems. Wear at the pivot point was a problem, and the hand movement was not smooth (though they move so slowly it is not obvious). The motor was a cheap unit identical to that used in many Sessions clocks, and it had to be carefully centered for the mechanism to work properly. A misadjusted clock would not keep time, or would not run at all.
The clock is set by rotating the minute hand clockwise. Any attempt to move it counterclockwise will bend the pawls. Even inverting the clock can sometimes cause the pawls to jump out of their proper position. In either event, disassembly (not difficult, fortunately) is necessary.