|Clock Signs (page 1)
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|The photos and links in this section are meant to accompany an article that I wrote for the SCA (Society for Commercial Archeology) Journal. The focus of the article and this page is on signs with clocks rather than street clocks or clocks by themselves. Most of these clocks no longer work and their original clock faces have been replaced. However, most of the original sign panels which accompany them remain intact.
Fort Madison, IA
|Ray Wolf Jewelers
The Elgin Watch Company was established in Elgin, IL in 1864. Although the company was sold in 1968, the brand name lives on, having been resold several times. By the early 1940s and into the 1950s, the company was marketing signs to jewelry stores that were Elgin's best-sellers. These porcelain-enamel, neon signs were produced by the Libby Neon Product Company and Brinckley Displays, both based in Elgin. Apparently, stores had three options: a projecting sign with a clock below the text panel and the same design but with a neon diamond panel on top. The third option included the clock and diamond panels with an additional giant blade panel for the store's name.
Dana Bushong Jewelers was founded in 1924. The store's Elgin sign was installed in the early 1940s. Most of the neon has been missing since the 1960s. One of the clocks still works. [map]
Teske's Jewelers opened in 1931. The store is closed but the sign remains. It appears to be the original Elgin clock. [map]
Karl Mouch Jewelers had opened by 1933 and was still operating in 1971. It may have opened sooner and closed later on. This photo is from 2009. The sign was still there in 2014 but gone by 2016.
Beasley's Jewelry was originally located in Dallas. The business moved to Lewisville in 1949. The store moved to another building in 1955 and must have brought this sign with them. The clock panel is missing from the bottom but the upper diamond panel is still there. The text panel was changed at some point to remove the mention of Elgin. [map]
The Ray Wolf Jewelers store closed in 2008. This photo is from that year. As of 2012, there was an antiques shop at this location. The store is vacant now but the sign remains. For more, see this website. [map]
|Bryant's Jewelers [gone]
|Ruud's Hearing Aid Service [gone]
Bryant's Jewelers became a Health Mart Pharmacy in recent years. This sign was removed in 2022 by a sign seller.
The vertical panel of this Elgin Watches sign was painted over and the bottom panel with the clock was removed many years ago. [map]
Ruud's Hearing Aid Service was established in 1961. This sign is a reworked Elgin Watches jewelry store sign. The text panels were apparently replaced when Ruud's took over the space. The clock face was replaced at some point as well. It would have read Elgin originally. This photo is from 2016. By 2019, the business and sign were gone.
|Meredith's Jewelry opened in 1925. This sign was installed in 1935. It was originally an Elgin Watches sign like those shown above. By 2016, the top panel had been reworked for TeMari Designs. That store closed in 2018 and the name was painted over. The clock has now been covered up as well. [map]
|Karl's Jewelry [gone]
|The Karl's Jewelry sign is from the 1940s or 1950s. The store was vacant when these photos were taken in 2008. In 2012, the building housed the La Tapatia Special Events Supply Center but this neon sign was still there. The letters on the building had been changed. By 2015, the neon sign was gone and the building was vacant.
|Erickson Jewelers (now Potbelly Sandwich Shop)
|Erickson Jewelers opened in the early 1940s. At some point, the name "Elgin" was replaced with "Omega" on the sign. The first two photos above are from 2006. The store closed in 2008. In 2010, new panels were built to adapt the sign for this Potbelly Sandwich Shop. The clock was replaced as well. The vitrolite facade was preserved but the name was changed on it. [map]
More Elgin Signs:
Nelson's Jewelers (Palatka, FL) [gone]
Dalton Pawn Brokers (Dalton, GA) [map]
Aurora Cleaners (Aurora, IL) [gone]
Creighton's Jewelry (Decatur, IL) [gone]
Little's Jewelry (Mt. Sterling, KY) [map]
Jewelers (unidentified city, LA) [gone?]
former Leggett's Jewelers (Plymouth, NC)
Lake's Jewelers (Franklin, OH) [gone]
Los Angeles, CA
Gowdy's Jewelers was established in 1948 and this sign is likely from then. The store has been gone for many years but this sign remains. These signs were mass-produced for the Gruen Watch Company by the Lackner Sign Company. [map]
The Gem Box Jewelers store was here by 1958 but it is long-gone. I don't know if that was the original occupant. The sign is probably from the late 1940s or early 1950s. In 2022, the sign was replicated for the Jewel Box Lofts. [map]
DavEd Jewelers opened in 1946 and the sign was installed around then. The name was derived from the two owners' first names, Dave Fertel and Edward Weyls. In 2020, this sign was restored by YESCO. Part of the funding came from the Heart of Willoughby. The diamond at the bottom was replaced with a modern clock. For more, see this website. [map]
The Gruen Watch sign at Wanna Buy A Watch is from the 1930s. The owner purchased the sign for his store in the early 1980s from an antiques dealer. The sign supposedly came from a mini golf course in North Hollywood where it was displayed as a pole sign. The watch store has moved three times and the sign was reinstalled at each location. The text is still lit with white neon while the functioning clocks are lit internally with pink neon. For more, see this website. [map]
More Gruen Signs:
Drake's Jewelers (Chicago, IL) [gone]
Rich's Jewelers (Covington, KY)
Rogar Jewelers (Cleveland, OH) [gone]
Sutton's Jewelers opened in 1899. This street clock was built in 1908 by the Brown Street Clock Company. The sign attached to the upper part of the sign is probably from the 1920s or 1930s and most likely had neon. The store closed in 1973. The clock sign is now installed in front of the Carnegie Library. It was restored in 2005. For more, see this website. [map]
Molinelli Jewelers opened here in 1903. The first clock was installed in front of the jewelry store around 1920. Neon was added to that sign in 1956. That clock and sign were replaced with this one after it was damaged by a delivery truck. It is not known when this current Brown Street Clock was installed or when the neon panels were added. The first two photos above show that street clock sign in front of the store. The third photo shows the clock sign at the building's rear entrance. That sign is a reproduction of the one on front of the store. It was built around 1973 and restored in 2014. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]
Little Rock, AR
Las Vegas, NM
Cave's Jewelry opened in the early 1930s. When the store moved to Main St. in the mid-1940s, this clock was installed. The clock was moved to its current location in 1978. By the 1980s, Cave's left downtown and the clock stayed behind. The clock was restored in 2005 and again in 2017. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]
Gordon's Jewelers opened in 1902. This street clock was installed in the late 1920s. It was built by the Brown Street Clock Company. It probably had neon at one time. The store closed in 2013. In 2018, winds nearly toppled the sign and it was removed from the pole. It was restored and reinstalled in 2021. [map]
|Fred Mayes Jewelers
Jackson Jewelers opened in 1944. This sign was installed around 1945. It was removed in 1988 during street improvements. The clock face was replaced with one with Roman numerals. In 2023, the sign was restored by the Salem Sign Co. The clock was replaced with regular numbers, as well as new wiring, paint, and neon. For more, see this website. [map]
S.E. Needham Jewelers was established in 1896 and is believed to be the oldest jewelry store in Utah. In the 1910s or 1920s, the store had street clock installed from Brown Street Clock. In 1935, the neon panels representing a diamond ring were added around the clock. The clock face is illuminated with a neon ring inside the glass cover. There was also a neon text panel with the business name and an arrow pointing at the store. That sign was hit by a truck and removed in the 1950s. A modern, four-faced reproduction street clock was added at Needham's back entrance in 2008. [map]
The Fred Mayes Jewelers clock is believed to have been installed in town the early 1900s. It was originally displayed in front of Wiesen & Monk Jewelers. The clock was surrounded by bulbs at that point. The neon sign which surrounds the clock face was added in 1946 when the sign was moved to its current location. Fred Mayes Jewelers moved into the shop in 1963. A neon text panel was built or the Wiesen & Monk sign was adapted. The clock was donated to the City in 1993. It was restored in 2012 and relit. For more, see this website. [map]
More Street Clock Signs:
Katayama Jewelers (Guadalupe, CA) [map]
C. I. Josephsons Jewelers Clock (Moline, IL)
M.A. Selbert Jewelers (Frankfort, KY)
Skuller's Jewelry (Lexington, KY)
|Wright's Jewelry Co. [gone]
St. Joseph, MO
|Wright's Jewelry Co. has been closed since at least 2008. The neon sign was removed sometime between 2018 and 2023. The clock was surrounded by a neon ring. The painted sign is still there. For more, see this website. [map]
Main SCA Article
|Main Signs Page
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