|New Haven Digital Clocks|
|These unusual clocks were
introduced circa 1938 and made by the New Haven Clock Company, of New
Haven, Ct. They cost about $13.00 when new.
At least two distinct case variants exist. The nameplate on the one below identifies it as a model NHS 611-2471, made by New Haven. The one above is shown as a model WS 611-4371 made (or sold) by the Westinghouse Electric Supply Co. I don't know what relationship existed between New Haven and Westinghouse, but these clocks are mechanically identical. Both cases were made of mahogany, with lighter trim made of holly wood.
|The ingenious mechanism
consists of two reels containing 60 metal plates. The minutes reel
turns at 1 revolution per hour. Each minute, one of these plates
flips over to reveal the next number. When it the "up"
position, a plate shows the upper half of a given minute (11).
When it flips over to the "down" position, it shows the bottom
half of the next minute (12).
The actual "flip" action is created by the little metal fingers restraining the plates at the top, which bend them very slightly as the reel turns. Once the edge of the plate passes the finger, the energy released by the plate regaining its normal shape causes it to flip. Once flipped, gravity holds it down. Whoever designed this mechanism must have been a card player.
The hours reel turns at 1/12 the speed of the minutes reel. To give the two reels the same "flip action" (and the same appearance), each hour is repeated 5 times (5 x 12 = 60). Or, in other words, the hour reel flips every 12 minutes, but the numbers repeat as needed.
The red and black disk seen in the above picture turns as the clock runs. The mechanism is protected by a glass cylinder.
These are well made clocks, and the only problem I have seen with them is the tendency of the plates to stick together if the clock has not been run for a long period.