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  • The Caslon 201 - Perhaps the first commercially successful flip clock in the US

    The Calson 201 by Copal Japan
    My interest in the Caslon Model 201 flip clock began I was researching early appearance of flip clocks in the newpapers. Before there was the internet ... there were newspapers! While advertisements for flip clocks and especially flip clock radios exploded between 1970 and 1975, there were almost none prior to the 70s. None except for this little, simple yet elegant flip clock called the Caslon 201.

    While there were other first tries (the Caslon 101) it was the model 201 that seems to have made the first appearance in newspapers as early as 1966! This was the same year that the famous Solari Udine Cifra 3 was released! This surprised me, as I didn't think the Japanese invasion of flip clocks happened until the 1970s.

    Now, it must be emphasized that technically, these were not the first flip clocks. Not counting the grandfather of flip clocks (the Plato Clock circa 1904) there existed at least two varieties of flip clocks around the 1950s with the Howard Miller name as well as a wonderful art deco clock from the late 1930s called the New Haven "Stylis Timepiece" (style or model number is N.H.S 611-247T).



    Those new to flip clocks must ask themselves, so, what's the big deal then? The Solari Udine Cifra 3 caused much excitment when it was featured in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, in the "Humble Masterpieces" collection, not long after it was released to the public. Some seem to get the impression that the Cifra 3 was the first flip clock, or the "Holy Grail of Flip Clocks" (whatever that means). In fact, some go so far as to claim it is the best clock design of all time. Perhaps, these are people trying to sell their Cifra 3. In any event, as we've already seen, it definitely was not the first flip clock. But maybe, as I believe, it was the one that spurred the modern flip clock craze of the 1970s. Specifically, it was around this time that the company Copal Japan mastered making the flip clock mechanisms and began producing the clocks that caught the attention of the US buying public. As we know, the vast majority of our flip clocks have Japanese Copal mechanisms.

    And that brings us right back to the Caslon 201. The clock was discussed in "The Horological Journal" (the journal of the British Horological Institute) in the April 1966 issue. The Caslon 201 can also be found in the pages of the May 13, 1967 issue of "Science News" where it was introduced as "A different kind of time." Reading the newspaper advertisements of the day, you get the feel that is was a big deal and the next big thing. The late 60s was the begining of the "Space Age" and often you'll see references to these flip clocks as "Excitingly Unique," "space age clocks" or "computer age clocks of tomorrow." It's funny now, because they had no idea that electronic digital would eclipse the flip clock by the 1980s. But looking at the sheer volume of ads for the Caslon 201 (and other models that followed) it is clear that the 1970s was the decade of the flip clock (and flip clock radios), and that the Caslon 201 seems to have lead the pack.

    Clock Details
    The clock was advertised as using Cyclolac for the body (billed as "same as used for telephone"). This is very durable and shatter resistant plastic. The clock face is real glass held in place by a real metal chrome bezel. The mechanism consists of white vinal tiles with black numbers run by a "Copal II" synchronous motor pushing gears housed in a sealed metal case. The clock is lit by a neon glow bulb and was said to glow in the dark "like a princess phone" (these telephones were a huge hit in the 50s and 60s due to their feature of lighting up). As already mentioned, it appeared in print ads in 1966 and then disappeared after 1973.

    Summary:
    It surprises me that there are not more of these clocks showing up on Etsy or Ebay. To me, it seems that they should be more abundant. Also I would think that they would be more desirable to collectors than other clocks. But that's where flip clockery didn't take that left turn at Albuquerque. People collect flip clocks for many varied reasons. Some collect clocks that have appears on TV or in the movies (guilty here), others seek out specific brands (Panasonic, Sony) and still others just want the clock that they had as a kid.

    But as far as flip clock history, I feel the Caslon 201 earned it's spot as the trail blazer in the US market. Not only does it deserve a spot on the shelf of any collector of clocks just because of its historical significance, it's just simply, one nice little flip clock!

    Video of the Review and Disassembly of the 201
    The Copal Caslon Model 201 Images above courtesy of RedRiverAntiques Advertisements: References: 1. The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), 11 Dec 1966, Sun, Page 72 [view ad] 2. The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), 19 Sep 1967, Tue, Page 36 [view ad] 3. Pasadena Independent (Pasadena, California), 05 Jun 1968, Wed, Page 3 [view ad] 4. The Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 03 Nov 1969, Mon, Page 23 [view ad] 5. Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 09 Sep 1969, Tue, Page 15 [view ad] 6. Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan), 06 Jul 1969, Sun, Page 106 [view ad] 7. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona), 22 Sep 1970, Tue, Page 3 [view ad] 8. San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas), 23 Dec 1970, Wed, Page 7 [view ad] 9. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona)31 Aug 1971, Tue, Page 10 [view ad] 10. Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 09 Jan 1973, Tue, Page 30 [view ad] See forum entry to comment ...
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  • Caslon 201

    Caslon 201

    Clock Name: Caslon 201 Common Name: The Caslon Digital Electric Desk Clock Brand: Caslon Model Number: 201 Type: Digital Clock Manufacturer: Copal Country of Manufature: Japan Year of release: 1966 (seen in print advertising from 1966-1973) Imported by: Ropat, Box 2662, Culver City, CA. photo credit You are viewing a entry in the Flip Clock Catalogue - An ongoing effort to provide details about flip clocks gathered from internet sources and personal experience. Your comments at the end of this article can add valuable information to this catalogue. Power Source: AC 120V 60Hz Measures: - enter here - Lighting: Neon glow lamp. Colors: White, Black, Brown, Dark Gray, Red, Blue. Features: 12 or 24 hour versions, nylon gears, Cyclolac case (billed as "same as used for telephone"), "soft lighting." This clock is one of the first marketed in the United States. Qualities: very sturdy case, know to work for years without service Problems: front is glass - can break if dropped. Restoration Tips:- enter here - Forum Entries/Other Onsite Info: photo gallery Advertisements: References: 1. The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), 11 Dec 1966, Sun, Page 72 [view ad] 2. The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), 19 Sep 1967, Tue, Page 36 [view ad] 3. Pasadena Independent (Pasadena, California), 05 Jun 1968, Wed, Page 3 [view ad] 4. The Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 03 Nov 1969, Mon, Page 23 [view ad] 5. Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 09 Sep 1969, Tue, Page 15 [view ad] 6. Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan), 06 Jul 1969, Sun, Page 106 [view ad] 7. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona), 22 Sep 1970, Tue, Page 3 [view ad] 8. San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas), 23 Dec 1970, Wed, Page 7 [view ad] 9. Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona)31 Aug 1971, Tue, Page 10 [view ad] 10. Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona), 09 Jan 1973, Tue, Page 30 [view ad] Contributors: Mackey Credits: photo by RedRiverAntiques used with permission NOTES Do you have corrected/updated or more information about this clock? If so please leave a comment below. Your comment will be review and may become a part of this data sheet. You do not need to be a member to comment. However, only Members will receive credit under "Contributors" above. Not a member? Why not join? It's fast, easy and free Join Today! Return to the Flip Clock Catalogue...
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    Last edited by Mackey; 4 weeks ago.

  • Panasonic RC-6003

    Panasonic RC-6003

    Clock Name: Panasonic RC-6003 Digital Clock Radio - The Vernon Common Name: The No Country for Old Men Flip Clock Brand: Panasonic Model Number: RC-6003 Type: Flip Clock FM-AM Clock Radio Alarm Manufacturer: Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co., LTD (Panasonic) Country of Manufacture: Japan Year of release: 1973 (in print ads up to 1976) photo credit You are viewing a entry in the Flip Clock Catalogue - An ongoing effort to provide details about flip clocks gathered from internet sources and personal experience. Your comments at the end of this article can add valuable information to this catalogue. Power Source: AC 120V 60Hz 5W Measures: - enter here - Lighting: incandescent bulb Colors: white (aka pearl white or antique white), beige (aka tan, harvest gold) Features:FM-AM Radio, built in FM/AM antennas, music or buzzer alarm wake up, 60-minute sleep time with automatic shut-off, Full feature 24-hour digital clock, Once-only awake set, lighted dial clock face, solid state engineered, 3" PM dynamic speaker, Comes in antique white or beige. Qualities: Very durable plastics, very good sound quality. Problems: Plastic face plate is often sealed to the cabinet with heat (melting plastic tabs) making removal very difficult and perhaps unwise. While not technically a problem, digital cameras have rendered the beige (or "autumn gold") colored clock as almost a banana yellow. Restoration Tips: Relatively easy to disassemble. If clock is not flipping, the motor probably needs to be cleaned. Forum Entries/Other Onsite Info: photo gallery The Elementary Flip Clock Advertisements: References: 1. Battle Creek Enquirer, (Battle Creek, Michigan), 02 Nov 1973, Fri • Other Editions • Page 1 2. Fond Du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, (Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin), 10 Dec 1973, Mon • Page 8 3. The Salem News, (Salem, Ohio), 20 Dec 1973, Thu • Page 15 4. The Ithaca Journal, (Ithaca, New York), 19 Dec 1974, Thu • Page 11 5. Wilmington News-Journal, (Wilmington, Ohio), 03 Sep 1975, Wed • Page 2 6. Marshfield News-Herald, (Marshfield, Wisconsin), 27 Oct 1976, Wed • Page 9 Contributors: Mackey Credits: photo used with permission - name withheld NOTES Do you have corrected/updated or more information about this clock? If so please leave a comment below. Your comment will be review and may become a part of this data sheet. You do not need to be a member to comment. However, only Members will receive credit under "Contributors" above. Not a member? Why not join? It's fast, easy and free Join Today! Return to the Flip Clock Catalogue...
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  • Panasonic RC-7053

    Panasonic RC-7053

    Clock Name: Panasonic RC-7053 Common Name: The Ellsworth Brand: Panasonic Model Number: RC-7053 Type: FM/AM day-digital clock radio flip clock Manufacturer: Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) Country of Manufacture: Japan Year of release: 1973 (seen in print ads from 1973-1976) photo credit You are viewing a entry in the Flip Clock Catalogue - An ongoing effort to provide details about flip clocks gathered from internet sources and personal experience. Your comments at the end of this article can add valuable information to this catalogue. Power Source: AC 120V 60Hz 10W Measures: - enter here - Lighting: 120V neon glow bulbs (2) Colors: plastic wood grain top, wood laminate sides, brushed aluminum accents Features: Day of week, earphone, optional pillow speaker, external FM antenna attachments Qualities: sturdy construction, real wood sides, real metal accents, durable, long lasting internal components. Problems: wood laminate can chip, clock motor prone to seizing after prolonged storage (easily fixed), neon bulbs will need replacing. Restoration Tips: many screws screw into plastic - do not torque down too hard, disassembly easy, to remove clock mechanism you will have to remove smaller pcb from base and remove wires to light bulbs. Forum Entries/Other Onsite Info: photo gallery - Panasonic RC-7053 Advertisements: References: 1. The Herald Citizen Tri-County Shopper, (Woodstock, Illinois), 08 Nov 1973, Thu • Page 52 2. Waukesha Daily Freeman, (Waukesha, Wisconsin), 13 Dec 1973, Thu • Page 17 3. The News Leader, (Staunton, Virginia), 20 Jun 1973, Wed • Page 9 4. The Sheboygan Press, (Sheboygan, Wisconsin), 14 Aug 1974, Wed • Page 26 5. Longview News-Journal, (Longview, Texas), 21 Dec 1974, Sat • Page 18 6. Longview News-Journal, (Longview, Texas), 12 Dec 1974, Thu • Main Edition • Page 31 Contributors: Mackey Credits: photo by Mackey NOTES Do you have corrected/updated or more information about this clock? If so please leave a comment below. Your comment will be review and may become a part of this data sheet. You do not need to be a member to comment. However, only Members will receive credit under "Contributors" above. Not a member? Why not join? It's fast, easy and free Join Today! Return to the Flip Clock Catalogue...
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    Last edited by Mackey; 3 weeks ago.

  • Panasonic RC-6025

    Clock Name: Panasonic AM/FM Digital Clock Alarm Radio Common Name: The Groundhog Day Flip Clock Brand: Panasonic Model Number: RC-6025 Type: flip clock, alarm, radio Manufacturer: Matsushita Electric Ind. Co., Ltd. Country of Manufature: Japan Year of release: 1976 photo credit You are viewing a entry in the Flip Clock Catalogue - An ongoing effort to provide details about flip clocks gathered from internet sources and personal experience.Your comments at the end of this article can add valuable information to this catalogue. Power Source: AC 120V 60Hz 5W Measures: - enter here - Lighting: - enter here - Colors: white Features: flip digits, decent quality AM/FM reception. Qualities: Plastics relatively sturdy Problems: - Light on digits last no longer than 5 years. - clock face prone to scratching. Restoration Tips: Case will almost always be discolored/yellowed - can be fixed with hydrogen peroxide treatment (more details to follow).. Forum Entries/Other Onsite Info: photo gallery Advertisements:    References: Newpaper clippings above from Newspapers.com. Contributors: Mackey Credits: photo by Mackey NOTES Do you have corrected/updated or more information about this clock? If so please leave a comment below. Your comment will be review and may become a part of this data sheet. You do not need to be a member to comment. However, only Members will receive credit under "Contributors" above. Not a member? Why not join? It's fast, easy and free Join Today! Return to the Flip Clock Catalogue...
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  • The SONY SOLID STATE Portable DIGIMATIC TELEVISION

    The SONY SOLID STATE Portable DIGIMATIC TELEVISION

    Something Unique for your pleasure
    The SONY SOLID STATE Portable DIGIMATIC TELEVISION

    Featuring
    - Loop antenna for UHF, earphone
    - Automatic TV ON/OFF (sleep switch) 14 hour alarm
    - DIGITAL CLOCK
    - Snap IN/OUT Smoke Filter
    - Wood Cabinet

    An Impressive Gift .... and ...
    It can be yours if you shop on Etsy.com

    The Sony Digimatic Television with Digital Clock (Model number TVC-111U) made an appearance as early as 1969 as can be seen from an advertisement from The Los Angeles Times (27 Nov 1969 page 374).

    This fine TV was spotted on Etsy.com by FlipClockFans.com member Ryan W. And due to the kindness of Etsy Shop Owner, DaisyMaude, here you can see images of this unique TV. If you hurry ... the TV could also be yours, as it's reasonably priced at $109.53. (check out the listing)



    An advertisement from 1970 in the Delaware County Daily Times listed the clock for sale for $149.95.
    $149.95 in 1970 had the same buying power as $960.28 in 2017 from dollartimes.com

    The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) 27 Nov 1969, Thu • Page 374 Delaware County Daily Times (Chester, Pennsylvania) 25 Sep 1970, Fri • Page 11
    ...
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  • Jumphour watches - flip clock for the wrist

    Jumphour watches - flip clock for the wrist

    Jumphour watches - the flip clock of digital watches? The 1960s and 70s saw the rise of the "jumphour" watches - watches with normal internal movements but with rotating discs displaying digits instead of hands. The watches were an less expensive alternative to the fancy new-fangled electronic digital watches that were coming into fashion (if you can call those clunky watches fashion). The watches were commonly called "jump hour" due to the quick switching of the hour disc, reminiscent of flip clocks, in my view. One model of jumphour watch was the swiss made, Haverdigit watch which was advertised for $12.95 in the March 4, 1974 issue of TIME magazine. $12.95 would be about $67.67 in 2017 dollars. Text from the advertisement: How you can get a fine digital watch, tell time at a glance, and find deals galore for just $12.95. Let's face it - most often when you look at your watch you don't relly know what time it is, because you get only some approximate impression of the position of the hands. But this cannot happen with Haverdigit. Because Haverdigit gives you direct digital read-out, which means you know exactly and at a glance that it's 1:17, rather than sometime between 1:00 o'clock and 2:00 o'clock. Haverdigit is our exclusive Swiss import. It features silver-toned steel case, tropical strap, a fine Roskopf movement, and a strategically placed jewel - just to keep it running and humming smoothly on and on. And, of course, Haverdigit is an almost laughabl...
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  • The Elementary Flip Clock

    The Elementary Flip Clock

    The Elementary Flip Clock

    Elementary, first airing September 27, 2012, is an American drama series produced by CBS featuring Sherlock Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) who has left London and now lives in modern day Manhattan. Holmes, who has sworn off intoxicants, now serves as police consultant in New York City with his living companion, Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu). Watson is a former surgeon who gave up practice after losing a patient and who's life work (outside of helping Sherlock solve crimes) revolves around keeping addicts clean and sober. TV Flip Clock Details TV Show: Elementary Season...

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  • The Knowing Flip Clock

    The Knowing Flip Clock

    The Knowing Flip Clock
    As appears in the 2009 Nicholas Cage Movie "Knowing"

    Movie Synopsis: Fifty years after it was buried in a elementary school time capsule, a schoolgirl's number filled sheet of paper, written under the influence of mysterious, whispering beings, finds it way into the hands of Caleb Koestler, the son of M.I.T. professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage). John comes to realize that the encoded message accurately lists every major disaster with significant deaths, from the past five decades, and predicts three future catastrophes. The most horrific being the end of the world. After the first two of the last three predicted...

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  • Making a new orange neon glow flip clock bulb assembly

    Making a new orange neon glow flip clock bulb assembly

    Anyone who has ever opened up one of the older, vintage flip clocks has seen them. The orange neon glow bulbs (or lamps as many call them). Unfortunately, if you're opening up a flip clock to restore or repair it, that "orange" lamp is probably no longer lit, and likely, the bulb is blackened. So, one of the most common questions among flip clock fans is ... "where do I get one of those orange bulbs?"

    Neon Bulb Alternatives?
    As many of you know ... it's not just a matter of getting a bulb. It's understanding what voltage is involved and what resistor is needed. A reply from some of our novice flip clock fans is frequently, "well, then what kind of LED can I just throw in there?"

    Well, unless you're Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, there'll be no throwing anything in or around flip clocks.

    LED replacements can actually be even more complicated as you will have to get a source of DC current, possibly off the circuit board, or you'll have to insert a converter inside the cabinet. Then, you'll still need to know the proper resistor to use. It ain't easy kid.

    But then again, it's not above your abilities grasshopper. So let's just consider.

    Why not go LED? They last longer. - Maybe they do, and maybe they don't. The idea that LEDs last forever is a fallacy. Besides, why restore a flip clock if you're going to let modern technology invade the scene. Additionally, pulling current off the clock/radio's board often has unforeseen consequences (like making the radio not sound as good). A better choice would be to use the current that was meant to light your clock. So, for the orange neon glow lamps, you'll need a bulb for use with 110-120 volts. That's just straight household current for those in most of North America.

    So, you can cut through that old clear plastic covering, slice through that black tube stuff and maybe soldier in a bulb and get it all back together again. It'll work ... but it'll look like ... well, let's just hope no one opens up that flip clock.

    We Can Rebuilt it...
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