Antique Clock Guy - America's Antique Brokerage
Herschede Hall Clock Company History
Clockguy Reference Library - Antique Clocks Guy

Franklin "Frank" Herschede was born on July 30, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1873, at the age of 16, he began working as an apprentice watch and clock repairman for Charles Cook.

In 1877, he went into business for himself and moved to Vine and 5th Street in Cincinnati. He diversified into jewelry, watches, diamonds, etc., and in 1885, the store moved to larger quarters at the corner of Arcade and Vine.

In 1885, noting the success of Walter H. Durfee, Herschede began importing movements and having cases made in a nearby cabinet shop on Front Street in Cincinnati, Ohio. Frank’s clock business expanded to the point that he purchased the cabinet shop in 1900.

In 1901, Frank exhibited in the South Carolina and West Indian Exposition at Charleston, South Carolina, where he received a gold medal for his hall clocks. This was the first of several medals earned by the firm.

Frank's son, Walter, graduated from high school in 1902, and began work in the cabinet shop. On December 29, 1902 the Herschede Hall Clock Company was incorporated. In that same year, Herschede began to produce his own tubes and install them in his clocks.

In 1903 the Herschede Hall Clock Company factory moved from Front Street to 1011-1015 Plum Street.

In 1904 the Herschede Hall Clock Company won several medals in the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904: a gold medal for the best hall clock, a gold medal for the best hall clock cases, and a silver medal for tubular chimes.

In 1909, the Herschede Hall Clock Company leased the building next door at 1007-1009 Plum Street to manufacture clock movements. The first movement passed final inspection on January 10, 1911. In 1913, a third melody, “Canterbury Chimes” was added to the Whittington and Westminster chimes. The tune was composed by Charles Eisen, "a gifted American pianist," especially for Herschede. (If you have a Herschede clock with this tune and are a musician, we'd appreciate having the tune so we can add it to our clock chime tunes page in this reference library... contact us and let's talk about how to make this happen... thanks in advance. We'd also like to have a digital recording of this tune.)

At the Panama-Pacific International Exposition the firm won two additional major awards: grand prize was presented to the Herschede Hall Clock Company for chime hall clocks and mantel clocks, and a gold medal was awarded for the hall clock cabinets manufactured by the company.

Herschede 1915 Grand Prize applied to subsequently produced clocks ~ Antique Clocks Guy

By the early 1920's the Herschede Hall Clock Company had opened branch sales offices in New York City, then in Chicago and San Francisco. Frank Herschede died on September 15, 1922, and Walter was named president in January of 1923.

In 1925, Walter began to work with Mr. Warren to develop electric movement chime clocks. By April of 1926, the Revere Clock Company came into being.

By 1927 the Herschede Hall Clock Company had added a pair of smaller lines of clocks, including a “grandmother” clock (about 6’ in height) and a “petite” clock (generally under 7’ in height). These were produced in the same styles as the larger hall clocks.

By 1929 the Herschede Hall Clock Company had some 300 employees, but the Great Depression caused a significant reduction in demand for hall clocks (and just about everything else except jobs)!

By 1933 the Herschede Hall Clock Company changed its primary focus on the lower end, introducing an inexpensive line of electric clocks called “Crown Clocks”.

On February 4, 1934, Walter's son, Richard Herschede, began working fulltime with his father.

The Herschede Hall Clock Company ceased clockmaking during WWII, focusing its manufacturing expertise on observational instruments and optical components for the military. Subsequent to the war, clockmaking resumed, but never regained its pre-war momentum. Eventually, the firm branched out into, of all things, the manufacture of parking meters!

In 1952 the Herschede Hall Clock Company began using imported Junghans movements in its non-tubular bell clocks.

Then, in 1959, in the midst of extreme economic difficulties, the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association lured the Herschede Hall Clock Company to move its plant  to Starkville, Mississippi, with the new factory opening in May of 1960.

In 1973, the Herschede Hall Clock Company merged with Howard Furniture and Briarwood Lamps to become Arnold Industries, Inc.

On September 23, 1983, Herschede announced a plan to restructure the Herschede Hall Clock division from a manufacturer of the finished clocks to a supplier of quality tubular bell movements to the industry.

The firm briefly resumed production of clocks in 1989, making approximately 20 clocks between that year and 1992 under the ownership of Howard W. Klein and Robert Eggering of St. Louis, MO. The firm was then sold to R&M Imports of Waynesville, OH, which manufacturers replacement parts for existing Herschede clocks.

Determining the Age of Your Herschede Clock
By Movement Serial Number

Movements in Herschede Hall Clock Company clocks prior to 1911 were imported or made by other U.S. clockmaking firms such as Seth Thomas. Unfortunately, we do not have any serial number information for Herschede clocks manufactured after 1968, and we understand this information may not exist. The following table contains the recorded years and associated serial-number ranges.

You will find the serial number on the back of your Herschede Hall Clock movement. Often it is difficult to see, even when there are side doors. We suggest using a flashlight and a small mirror.

 

1911

1 - 66

101 - 141

151 - 200

214 - 134

243 - 246

1912

67 - 100

142 - 150

201 - 150

235 - 242

247 - 400

1913

401 - 536

551 - 602

1,001 - 1,491

1914

537 - 550

603 - 816

1,492 - 1,802

1,853 - 2,302

1915

817 - 1,000

1,803 - 1,852

2,303 - 2,600

2,666 - 2,607

2,901 - 3,218

1916

2,601 - 2,604

2,769 - 2,792

2,806 - 2,847

3,219 - 4,233

1917

2,605 - 2,664

2,671 - 2,750

2793 - 2,801

2,848 - 2,900

4,234 - 5,122

5,232 - 5,556

7,361 - 7,445

1918

2,751 - 2,768

2,802 - 2,805

5,123 - 5,231

6,555 - 7,056

7,338 - 7,360

1919

7,057 - 7,337

7,455 - 7,466

7,476 - 7,535

7,801 - 8,800

1920

6,057 - 6,554

7,467 - 7,475

7,701 - 7,800

8,801 - 10,350

10,459 - 10,477

10,651 - 10,760

10,851 - 11,900

12,401 - 12,600

12,651 - 12,800

1921

7,446 - 7,454

7,536 - 7,559

10,401 - 10,425

10,901 - 11,950

12,351 - 12,400

12,601 - 12,650

12,801 - 12,850

13,001 - 13,500

15,001 - 15,117

15,801 - 16,204

1922

10,363 - 10,400

10,426 - 10,450

10,478 - 10,500

10,761 - 10,813

12,077 - 12,100

12,156 - 12,266

12,851 - 12,950

13,501 - 13,732

14,017 - 14,150

15,118 - 15,350

16,205 - 16,669

1923

7,665 - 7,700

10,351 - 10,354

10,501 - 10,534

11,951 - 12,076

12,101 - 12,155

12,268 - 12,350

13,733 - 14,016

14,151 - 15,000

15,351 - 15,800

16,670 - 17,600

18,001 - 18,450

18,501 - 19,000

19,101 - 20,500

21,701 - 22,500

24,701 - 24,850

1924

10,355 - 10,362

12,951 - 13,000

17,601 - 18,000

18,451 - 18,500

19,001 - 19,100

20,501 - 21,780

22,501 - 23,400

23,501 - 24,700

24,851 - 30,000

36,001 - 36,350

1925

7,560 - 7,664

10,535 - 10,555

10,814 - 10,850

23,401 - 23,500

30,001 - 32,000

32,051 - 32,100

32,122 - 32,200

32,299 - 32,415

32,422 - 32,486

32,513 - 32,750

33,001 - 34,000

35,501 - 36,000

36,351 - 38,400

1926

10,451 - 10,457

32,001 - 32,009

32,106 - 32,121

32,201 - 32,298

32,490 - 32,503

32,751 - 33,000

34,002 - 34,004

34,008

34,021

34,029

34,034 - 34,035

34,101 - 34,121

34,257 - 34,258

34,268 - 34,272

34,282 - 34,283

34,286 - 34,290

34,294 - 34,297

34,302 - 34,304

34,313 - 34,316

34,323 - 34,324

34,327 - 34,329

34,363 - 34,366

34,477 - 34,480

35,101 - 35,300

1927

10,566 - 10,575

32,010 - 32,029

32,417 - 32,441

34,013 - 34,014

34,025 - 34,027

34,039 - 34,040

34,045 - 34,049

34,370 - 34,372

34,395 - 34,398

35,001 - 35,100

35,201 - 35,500

1928

32,030 - 32,050

32,504 - 32,505

79,101 - 99,900

1929

32,101 - 32,105

32,506 - 32,512

99,901 - 123,500

1932

250,001 - 255,700

1933

255,701 - 261,000

1934

113,001 - 215,600

261,001 - 269,381

1935

271,382 - 285,268

1936

285,269 - 298,323

1937

298,725 - 313,243

1938

313,244 - 315,745

1939

316,247 - 325,376

1941

347,103 - 361,368

1942

362,135 - 394,133

1945

386,000 - 407,326

1946

401,077 - 424,068

1947

424,069 - 489,768

1948

105,552 - 130,576

391,000 - 506,000

1949

130,577 - 151,226

512,001 - 521,535

1950

151,227 - 163,478

521,536 - 539535

1951

163,479 - 175658

539,536 - 558,535

1952

175,659 - 187,908

558,536 - 564,535

1953

187,909 - 194,158

564,536 - 582,535

1955

589,036 - 595,035

1956

595,036 - 603,965

1958

603,966 - 604,174

1959

604,501 - 605,000

1961

605,001 - 605,843

1963

605,895 - 611,902

1964

612,446 - 616,882

1965

616,904 - 617,405

1966

617,403 - 620,403

1967

620,404 - 623,403

1968

623,404 - 625,903

Herschede Owner's Manuals

Determining the date of some older Herschede hall clocks:

Let the clock run down completely. Remove one of the weights. Unscrew the hook (it is actually a nut at the end of a rod that extends from the bottom of the weight).

Inside, you will find a lead insert that is usually wrapped either in a Cincinnati or German newspaper that will bear a date close to that of the manufacture of your clock.

DO NOT remove a weight that has not run down to the bottom, else you risk having the cable cross itself on the winding arbor of the movement. Letting it run down all the way makes the whole process simple; the alternative is not pretty!

Regarding Valuation of Herschede hall clocks:

There is a website that comes up fairly high on most web searches for Herschede clocks that indicates most Herschede hall clocks should be insured for $12,000-$25,000. Further, it states that most "should have a retail value of at least $20,000-$30,000." That's just plain silly!

Don't over-spend on insurance for which you could never collect, and don't over-spend on an over-priced clock, just because it says "Herschede" on the label. Though they are fine quality clocks, the market must dictate prices.

There may be people out there gullible enough to pay (or ask) those kind of dollars, but you should know that most Herschede hall clocks sell at retail for $10,000 or less, depending on the model, including the much-vaunted Model 250 "The Clock". Most contemporary Herschede models (1970-1980s era) sell for $5,000 or less at retail. We hate to see people led astray, so we tell it like it is. That leaves some clock dealers sqirming... sorry!

Herschede Edinburgh and Herschede Wellington Compared ~ Antique Clocks Guy

The top-of-the-line Herschede Wellington & Herschede Edinburgh models above have identical cabinet designs, with the only difference being that the Edinburgh has a leaded glass front door & side panels, while the Wellington (right) has brass fretwork (aka mullion) mounted outside the front door glass. Both models are considered scarce.

The mahogany Wellington model (above right) had the tubes and weights out at the time the photo was taken and will be replaced shortly with a "complete" clock photo. Cick the photo above to enlarge. The Wellington model shown above is currently awaiting service and is availalble for purchase – contact us directly for detailed information and photos.

Herschede Edinburgh Tallcase Clock ~ Antitque Clocks GuyHerschede described these two limited-edition models as the "World's Finest Grandfather Clock" This was the last model made before closing its doors. A true piece of working art by the Rolls Royce of America clockmakers. Precision crafted completely by hand. Their nine tubular bell movements play three chime tunes (Westminster, Whittington, Canterbury) The 14-karat gold-plated dial was hand-engraved and even the rivets that affix the dial to the faceplate were silver-plated.

According to Herschede, no shorcuts were taken in the manufacture of these clocks. The moon dials were painted by hand and feature two moons and two seascapes. The Ediinburgh case consists of rare burled veneers of Spanish Olive Ash and leaded glass on the front and two sides. According to Herschede literature, one of these clocks is inside the Kremlin and also in the finest estate homes throughout the world.


We are searching for Herschede color catalogues and descriptions to enhance our historical article here. If you have them sitting in a file someplace we would be delighted to have them to scan and use here. Please call or send us an e-mail. We'd love to talk with you about them and how they would contribute to everyone's knowledge instead of just collecting dust and waiting for the next generation to throw them out! Also, if you have high-quality high-resolution photos of Herschede clocks with neutral-colored backgrounds, we could use those as well. Thanks in advance.


Interested in purchasing a Herschede Hall Clock?
Visit our Tallcase Clocks page or give us a call.

Interested in selling a Herschede Hall Clock?
Click here for info?


Herschede Model 250 "The Clock" - Original Catalogue Photo ~ Antique Clocks Guy
Herschede Model 250
“The Clock”
Do you have a clock to sell? We'll sell it for you!
Are you seeking a clock? We'll find it for you!

Antique Clocks Guy
The Clock Guy Antique Brokerage
A family-owned company
founded on the "3 Rs"
Respect, Responsibility, Reputation
NAWCC #35749 Since 1973

-Vista, CA-
How To Contact Us

© 1998-2014