After World War II, design evolved from Art Deco and Streamline Moderne to Mid-Century Modern, which reigned from the mid-1940s until the mid-1960s. No corner of the home was untouched by this new, casual, atomic-era aesthetic, including furnishings and accessories such as clocks.

The hint of timepieces to come began in the late 1930s, when the Glo-Dial Clock Corporation of Los Angeles began producing neon-illuminated clocks for business such as bars and garages. Most of these early Glo-Dials had neon behind the clock’s round frame to illuminate the dial (thus the company’s name), but later models had an additional ring of neon on the outside, too.

George Nelson was undoubtedly the most influential clock designer of the period. When he wasn’t designing furniture for Herman Miller Corporation he was working with the Howard Miller Clock Co. on a series of marvelous modern wall clocks. He made clocks whose hands pointed to colored balls on the ends of slender shafts; clocks that resembled sunbursts, sunflowers, and asterisks; and even a clock that suggested a human eye.

Nelson had countless imitators, from Seth Thomas to Elgin to Lux to Westclox, although for many contemporary collectors, these vintage Mid-Century Modern clocks are every bit as desirable. For example, Seth Thomas made a wall clock with Roman numerals on its face and radiating metal spokes alternating with wooden fans.

Westclox also made sunbursts and starbursts, as these mid-century clocks are variously known, one of which had 48 spokes—some were made of brass and capped with wooden balls, others were solid wood and fashioned in the shape of menacing spikes. Elgin used teak and brass for its spokes, while Lux put flowers at the ends of theirs, creating so-called "atomic daisies." The faces of Lux clocks were also arresting—the dial of one design resembled a 1960s Pop Art red-and-orange bulls-eye.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Mid Century Modernist

The Mid Century Modernist

Stephen Coles' really visual blog dedicated to the Modernist era of design from 1940 to 1970 (aka Mid-century Moder… [read review or visit site]

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clockhistory.com

Clockhistory.com

Bill Stoddard's clock history site offers a trove of great reference information on clock and watch makers includin… [read review or visit site]

Herman Miller Consortium Collection

Herman Miller Consortium Collection

This website showcases several hundred pieces of furniture, held by thirteen museums, that were designed for Herman… [read review or visit site]

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Check out this sampling of nautical and maritime items held by the U.K.'s National Maritime Museum and Royal Observ… [read review or visit site]

EamesCollector.com

EamesCollector.com

Steven Cabella's personal homage to Charles and Ray Eames. This site is as clean and visually appealing as the Eame… [read review or visit site]

Work of Charles and Ray Eames

Work of Charles and Ray Eames

This Library of Congress microsite is an overview of the postwar modern design work of Charles (1907-78) and Ray (1… [read review or visit site]

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana's Lux Clock Collection

Dan and Diana Lockett's amazing collection of several hundred novelty Lux clocks made by the Lux Clock Manufacturin… [read review or visit site]

Classic Modern

Classic Modern

Get a taste of how homes were lit in the 50s, 60s, and 70s with the Danish retro-style lighting designs featured on… [read review or visit site]

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Detex Watchman's Clock Album

Philip Haselton's guide to watchmen's time recording equipment. Includes 19th century German portables, 20th centur… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Old 1950s Antique Rare Color Am-fm Zenith Mid Century Retro Clock RadioVintage Retro 1950s Westinghouse Model H671t5 Turquoise Tube Am Clock Radio TvRare Hamms 60's Sunrise/sunset Clock Motion Beer Cash Register SignRare Green Mid Century Modern 1953 Crosley D-25-gn Dashboard Tube Clock Radio NrMint Original Hamms Sunrise/sunset Clock Motion Beer 60's Vintage Sign ClockSeth Thomas 8 Day Striking Ship's Bell Clock @ 1960s Original WorkingOriginal C.1940-50's Npi Neon Products Inc Toledo Steel Products Clock FaceMid Century Modern Sunburst Starburst Wall Clock United Model 79 Atomic 18" Vtg Elgin Sunburst Atomic Starburst Wall Clock Mcm 3 Pieces *restorationVtg Mid-century Atomic Sunburst Starburst Wall Clock Wind Up Germany 1960's Vintage Jaeger Lecoultre Atmos Clock Caliber 528-8 Serial Number 2254711960s Vintage Dutch Zaanse Style Mahogany/ Brass Cased Wall ClockOriginal 1960's Chevrolet Ok Used Cars Dealership Clock Sign- Nice RareVintage Early 1960's Blatz Beer Man In Barrel Clock Bar Light - BobbleheadVintage Welby Starburst Sunburst Atomic Wall Clock Vintage 1950's Lecoultre Atmos Perpetual Motion 15 Jewels Shelf Mantle ClockVintage Roadmaster Bicycle Sign Glass Bubble Clock 60's 70's Rare Dealer Bike 1960s Light Up Crestliner Boats Dealership Clock SignAldo Londi For Bitossi Mid-century Ceramic ClockVintage Mcm Mid Century Mod Atomic Starburst Battery Operated 22" Wall Clock Chiming Mantel Clock Junghans Art Deco Germany From The 60sRare 1960's Wolfs Head Motor Oil Bubble Glass Clock SignVintage Clock Welby Mid-century ModernVintage Ge General Electric Flying Saucer Atomic Age Wall Clock Telechron 1950'sStunning Solid Mahogany Cased Rotherham Bracket Clock Cira 1950s 1960sMid Century Danish Eames Vintage Retro Wall Clock RareVintage Retro 60s Metamec Electric Wall Clock Unused !! White Gold Colourway Vintage Bowling Trophy Jefferson Golden Hour Mystery Clock Electric Works 1960'sMed Century Starburst Wall Clock Metal PartsVintage Mid Century Art Deco Jefferson Golden Hour Mystery Electric Mantel ClockMid Century Modern Wall ClockRare 1950's Roberts Dairyland Lighted Clock.....nice!1950's Jefferson Golden Hour Electric Art Deco Atomic Clock- Works- Very NiceMid Century Usa Ornate United Mantle Shelf Electric Clock Model # 82 Working1960s? Vintage Antique Clock- Am Radio *craig* Sanyo Model #1602 Pink MlVintage Seiko Time Dater Wall Clock 30 Day Date Calendar Chime Retro 1960sVintage Panasonic Flip Clock Radio Rc-1282 Space Age Works! Retro Mid CenturyVintage Mid Century Elgin Sunburst Style Quartz Wall Clock Parts/repairVintage General Electric 18" Mantle Shelf Clock 4f06 Ge Mid Century 1940s Runs1925-1950's Shakespeare Lure Box No6535 Kingfish WobblerVintage Elgin Starburst Atomic Wall Clock For Parts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Rare Blue Ge General Electric Clock Vintage Flip Dial 1950s 1960s Model 8114 WowMed Century Starburst Wall Clock Wooden PartsVintage 9 Pieces Of Sessions Metal Clock Faces 1940's-50's Great Collection Vintage 1950s Bedroom Clock - Brass Mounted With Needlework FaceVtg 1970s Mid Century Modern Love L-o-v-e 1977 Mod Groovy Wall Art Clock Yellow 1950's Seth Thomas Electric Banjo Clock . Unusual Blue Tint Mirror Glass. $ 49.1960's Vintage Westclox Portable Transistor Radio In Working ConditionVintage 1950's Golfometer No. 232 New Haven Clock And Watch CompanyWorking Vintage /antique General Electrictube Clock Radio From The 60'sVtg Art Deco Mid Century Modern Retro Ceramic Clock Planter Vase Wall PocketVintage 1950s Junghans W271 Key Wind Metal Scroll Wall Clock GermanyVtg Mid Century United White Leaf Wall Clock Model No. 45 Brooklyn N.y. Works2 Vintage 60s Barbie Clock Rado & Carry Radio Plastic 50's & 60's Unplayed Stock 45 Leroy Anderson - The Syncopated Clock / The WaltziSyr0c0 8 Day Vintage Wall Clock Mid CenturyVintage 1950's Oldsmobile Dash ClockVintage 1960's Fisher Price Music Box Teaching Clock Musical Winding Toy Welby German 8 Day Sunburst Clock RestoreVintage Mid Century Art Deco Jefferson Golden Hour Mystery Electric Mantel Clock