The War Years  1939 -1944

Even before War had broken out in Europe, The U.S. had begun to rearm herself.  The building of a two-ocean navy which caused minor materiel shortages snowballed into rearmament and then a full-scale War economy.  It was rare industry left untouched by shortages or the War Production Board which dictated whether certain products could be made at all.

Telechron felt the pinch.  The exotic hardwoods (Prima Vera wood, zebrawood, harewood, ebony, Burma Padouk, lacewood, satinwood--they spared no expense) imported in the 30's were replaced by domestic woods, facsimile leather and plastic.
Nickeled brass rotor cases were now copper.  Brass hardware was replaced with steel. Steel was replaced with nothing at all.  To save steel, bells were left off alarm clocks since the buzzer arm alone made for a powerful, if not melic, wakeup call.  Clock cases made of steel were largely replaced by bakelite.  Even bakelite got replaced when Telechron began using wood fiber in their commercial clock cases.

In 1942, the last boxcars of clocks rolled out of Ashland.  All consumer clock production was halted and the shop was put to work making defense-related goods.  (And a heartbreaking number of great models had productions runs cut short.)  Far from being a financial disaster, both G.E. and Telechron had all the work they could handle and there was a job for anyone who could work.

For me, the most notable thing about the clocks of this era was how much their quality didn't suffer because of shortages.  Any one of these clocks is better than what the company was turning out 15 years later and I don't just mean their style (of which they had plenty).  They used unmeltable bakelite instead of plaskon.  Behind glass--not plastic--crystals, were steel dials instead of foil or paper.  They had brass or steelworks instead of plastic, aluminum or worse.  It was a time when quality, even at a time of national emergency, still mattered and Telechron delivered.

Here's something appropriate to listen to while you're browsing in the War Years.

1 Series 1H508 1H512 1L715 1H912 1H915 1H1008 1L1215  
2 Series CH203 2H07 2H09 2H10 2H11 2HX12 2H13 2H14
2 Series 2HX16 2H50 2H52 2H54 2H56      
3 Series 3H77 3H79 3H81 3H83 3H85 CH387 3H88 3H89
3 Series 3H90 3H91 3H92 3H93 3H94 3H95 3H96 3H97
3 Series 3H98 CH399 3HX150 3H152 3H154 3H156 3H158 3H160
3 Series 3H162 3H164 3H166          
4 Series 4B07 4H08 4H10 4H12 4H76 4H78 4H80 4H82
4 Series 4H84 4H86 4H87 4H88 4H89 4H90 4H91 4H92
4 Series 4H93 4H94 4H95 4H97 4H99 4B151 4B153 4B155
4 Series 4H157              
5 Series CB505 5B07 5H57  5H59  5H61  5H68    
6 Series 6B06 6B08 6B10  6B11 6B12  6B13 6B14  6B15
7 Series CH785 7H89 7H91 7H93 7H94 7H95 7H96 CH797
7 Series 7H98 7H99 7H100 7H101 7H102 7H103 7H104 7H105
7 Series 7H106 7H107 7H108 7H109 7H110 CH7111 7H112 7H113
7 Series 7HX114 7H115 7H116 7H117 7H118 7H119 7H120 7H121
7 Series 7H122 7H124 7H125 7HX126 7HX128 7HX130 7H132 7H134
7 Series 7H136 7H138  7H140 7H142 7H144 #1 War Alarm  #2 War Alarm   
8 Series 8B13 8H14 8H15 8H16T 8H17 8H18T 8H19T 8029T
8 Series  8030

Have a look at the neat stuff Telechron was making when it wasn't making clocks.