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"Plato" Clock
1904-06
Ansonia Clock Co.; Eugene L. Fitch
USA: New York, Brooklyn
Brass, glass, celluloid
overall: 6-1/4"h x 3-1/4"dia
Gift of Mrs. Willis R. Michael
85.108.18

Digital Clock; "leaf" design; numerals printed on celluloid leaves that change mechanically; bottom stamped "The Plato Clock / Patented / Dec. 16, 1902 / Apr. 28, 1903 / Apr. 7, 1903 / July 7, 1903."


In the early 1900s, merchant and inventor Eugene Fitch sought patents for a “time indicator” that showed hours and minutes on cards, or plates, rather than on a dial. The Ansonia Clock Company manufactured the Plato Clock, named after the plates that showed the time, from 1904 to 1906. Afterwards, the design lived on in Europe. Companies there sold variations of the Plato Clock through 1914. For further information, see http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2010/02/open-just-through-this-sunday-february-21st-the-exhibition-for-all-time-clocks-and-watches-from-the-national-heritage.html