Posted 5 years ago
Smith Metal Arts is located in Buffalo NY, it is still in operation today as Smith Mc Donald Corp still turning out very exclusive and expensive desk sets as they did earlier (see first picture). They no longer manufacture their earlier digital, or jump hour clocks they now include a regular analog clock with their sets now.
MoonCrest clocks are stand alone, not attached to pen trays like their bigger brother, SilverCrest Clocks.
The clocks on this page were manufactured so they could accept either a Pennwood or a Lawson digital movement. If the clock had a Lawson movement in it the model number is usually missing unless engraved in the metal. Vendors on eBay try to pass them off as Lawson manufactured clocks because of the Lawson movement and the higher bids Lawson clocks draw. The designer for these early clocks and desk sets was designer Peter Muller Munk (who also designed early cases for Pennwood.
Smith Metal Arts Company
Smith Metal Arts Company was started in Buffalo, New York in 1889 by German immigrant, metal and leather craftsman Otto Heintz. The Art Crafts Shop began producing a variety of items primarily from copper. Otto changed the name to the Heintz Art Metal Shop in 1906, and instead of the main metal being of copper as the base material he started utilizing bronze and sterling silver.
The Heintz company manufactured many items such as vases, candlesticks, bowls, smoking sets , lamps, frames, jewelry, and desk accessories. Heintz's passed in 1918 and the company was purchased by Frederick Smith who was their top salesman. With the help of Peter Muller-Munk the company evolved into exclusive designs of desk sets and office accessories.
Peter Muller-Munk (1904-1967)
Peter studied as a silversmith at the University of Berlin and emigrated from Germany to the US in 1926. He began his career working at Tiffany’s in New York as a metalworker from 1926 to 1928, exhibiting his work at the 1928 Macy's exposition. He established his own silver studio in New York in 1929 and exhibited at several Metropolitan Museum shows in 1929 and 1930. His most famous piece was his 1935 Art Deco Normandie pitcher, named after the French ocean liner of the same name that debuted that same year. The pitcher was made by Revere Copper and Brass, Inc, and was produced until 1941. In 1935 he accepted a position at the Carnegie Institute of Technology to replace Donald Dohner as head of the industrial design program and remained there until he left in 1944 to devote full time to the industrial design office in Pittsburgh he had established in 1938. His major clients included Dow Chemical in 1943 to stimulate public interest in post-war plastics, and Waring, for whom he designed their now classic 1937 chrome "waterfall" blender. In 1954, he was president of the Society of Industrial Designers, and in 1957, became the first president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, through which he became well-known internationally. In 1959 he won one of the first ALCOA industrial design awards, and consulted with US Steel regarding their newly-introduced vinyl-coated steel sheets, with decorative patterns embossed into the vinyl, and which could be formed, drawn or stamped like any sheet steel. In 1964, he consulted with US Steel regarding their Unisphere symbol that dominated the 1964 World’s Fair, and still remains in Flushing Meadows. Peter Muller-Munk Associates (PMMA) continues as an active design firm in Pittsburgh, well-known for way-finding design at major airports and public spaces.