Poole Bakelite Battery Powered Clock

This model 20 "Melrose" clock was made by the Poole Manufacturing Company in the late 1920's in Ithaca, NY.  

Though it uses a traditional pendulum to establish the timing, an ingenious mechanism closes a set of electrical contacts when friction and air resistance has reduced the angle of its swing to a certain degree.  When that happens, an electromagnet powered by three D-cells is used to give the pendulum arm a gentle nudge to keep it swinging.  This cycle is repeated several times per minute.  This clock is capable of extreme accuracy though, for best performance, it must be carefully leveled prior to use.  Each clock included an integral bubble level for this purpose.  The sound of the mechanism in operation is distracting, though, which may have limited this clock's appear, and inexpensive and very accurate AC line powered clocks were appearing about the same time.  Production of clocks using this movement continued throughout the 1930's, though, under the Barr name.

The clock shown has the traditional Gothic shape, but the unique case is made of red Bakelite with black marbling, and the base is black Bakelite.  The clock was also available in dark green and dark brown.  This clock is more commonly found with a glass dome over a round, brown Bakelite base.

The red section slides forward for removal and easy access to the internals.  The batteries are located in a compartment molded into the rear of the case.