The Plato Clock
The Plato Clock was patented by
Eugene L. Fitch, NYC, in 1903 patent # 733,180 and was made in four basic models starting in 1904. Mr. Conrad Hubert, president
and owner of The American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company, 304 Hudson Street, New York, NY became interested
in Fitch’s Plato clock and financed its production and also handled the marketing. Hubert Conrad wanted the clock to have
a name and the patent attorney, Mr. Williams suggested they name it Plato (Plate-o), because of the plates to tell time.
Most people just assume that name Plato was named for the Greek philosopher. The Plato clock was one of the feature items
at the Ever Ready Exhibit, 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and appeared on Ever Ready Souveners and catalogs. Mr. Hubert called
the Plato Clock "The Wonder of The New Century." It is said that Mr. Hubert sold 40,000 Plato clocks but was met with resistance
at the retail trade level and they were therefore sold as novelty items.
As far as I can tell, the production of
these clocks, in the U. S., was made by The Ansonia Clock Co. and in Europe by The Junghans Clock Company. There was also
a French Company (name Unknown) That made a few Plato's. About 1900, Mr. Hubert brought in Samuel Stern, a German immigrant
with production connections in Germany and set up offices there and France to expand the line of novelty electrical items.
Many of the items sold by his company were made in Germany and imported into the U.S. In 1901 he started a British Company,
The American Electrical Novelty and Mfg. Company Limited, to sell his novelties.
The Plato clocks cases were most
often gilded or lightly plated so be careful when cleaning the outer case. The clocks can be found with plates in White,red,blue
and dark green with numbers in Black, White, Gold, and Navy.
The complete story on Eugene Fitch and the Plato Clock
can be found in the NAWCC Bulletin, October, 1964, Pages 445-460. An additional article can be found in the NAWCC Bulletin,
December, 1948, Page 516-519. Can also be found on Page 266 & 267 In "Collectable Clocks 1840-1940" by Alan & Rita Shenton.
If you have any additional information on the Ever Ready or The American Electrical Novelty and Mfg. Company
clocks, please email me.
Left Side is a Sterling Silver, Serial # 7286 with
Center is Enameled Flowers and Gild, no serial number, Ansonia Movement
Right Is Gild Brass with the
Ever Ready Trade Mark on top, Serial # 4626, Junghans Movement
1904 Silver Cased Plato
Serial # 7286
& Co. Makers Mark for Birmingham Circa 1904
Hallmarks on the Sterling Silver Plato
September, 1904 "The Keystone" Trade Journal
Ever-Ready Plato Clock
American Electrical Novelty and Mfg Co.
304-314 Hudson Street, NYC
184 Lake Street, Chacago