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Large Nickel Lux Annular "Mystery Rotary" (aka "Tape Measure") Clock, 1935

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Art Deco3667 of 3971Small Lux Blue Annular” Mystery Rotary” (aka “Tape Measure”) clock 1935Black Bakelite Hammond "Gregory" (aka "Skyscraper"), 1931
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Posted 6 years ago


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This is the Lux "Mystery Rotary" (see fourth picture) Clock that became know as the "Tape Measure" Clock because of it resemblence to a tape measure case. It was tauted as, The first "Different" Clock in Centuries. Invented by Herman F. Lux, owner of the Lux Clock Manufacturing Company, Inc. of Waterbury , Connecticut . The application for the patent for this clock was filed in April of 1935. This clock was marketed in two diameters sizes 5 and 3 inches. This is the more common 5 inch in diameter and measures in at 3.5" height. The 3 inch ones are rarer. They were marketed in various colors, this one is nickel or grey.

The clock winds smoothly and will run out a full wind (30 hours) while keeping time as accurate as could be read from the linear "tape measure" time scale on this unique desk piece. According to Lux records, it contains a Lux 30 hour guaranteed non-over wind movement. The case is in decent shape with a spots where paint has chipped off and age has taken it's toll. The brass tape measure scale is clean all the way around. On the base of clock there is a fold down winding knob and a speed adjustment lever. Factory engraved on the base are the words: "MADE IN U.S.A. Pat. No. D-95,184". Both sizes have the same patent number engraved on them.

Definite a novelty and conversation piece, this clock operates by having the round top holding the linear or "tape measure" scale rotate around the fixed base that holds a pointer. The top will make one revolution in 12 hours. The "tape measure" strip has the hours designated in large numbers and smaller numbers for the 15, 30, 45 minute marks, lines for the in-between 5-minute increments.

To set the clock you simply turn the top until the pointer aligns with the proper time on the scale. Then you just set it down, and the top will rotate slowly and imperceptibly, while ticking "like a train"! The time is read by noting where the pointer intersects the scale. Very cool.

It did not come with the box, I found the box picture on the internet.

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