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Seth Thomas “ Sonora Chime”  History
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4-Bell “Sonora Chime” Movement
(click to enlarge)

The name “Sonora” comes from the Sonora Chime Company. William Hoschke of New York, New York applied for his patent on this design on April 16, 1907, and the patent was granted on April 18, 1908. Hoschke apparently had a background with music box engineering that he utilized in his design of the Sonora configuration. Seth Thomas purchased the rights to Hoschke's bell chime mechanism and resonators patent around 1912, changed the movements to suit their own manufacturing techniques, cut the price substantially, and successfully marketed a full line of “Sonora” clocks with numerous models and configurations. The unique, rich, resonant sound of Sonora bell chimes comes from the wooden expansive sound chamber in which the cup bells are mounted. They are struck with leather-tipped hammers. These movements were made with as many as eight bells playing two different tunes, some even alternating between tunes each hour!

More Seth Thomas History:


This example is from the Sonora Chime Company that preceded Seth Thomas' licensing of the Sonora patent.

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