Alarm Clock Chapter

That Ringing In My Ears Is Sweet Music

Howard Banta

Book Review

Legged Alarm Clocks

book cover of a legged alarm clock with portrates at each of the number positions.

My enthusiasm for alarm clocks often takes me to Ebay to see if there is anything interesting up for bids. Mostly the items listed there are either too new or extremely boring, but every now and then something catches my eye.

A few months ago I came across a listing for “Legged Alarm Clocks” by Dennis Sagvold and was intrigued. The price was very low, under $20.00 and the description was interesting. I placed my bid and in short order the book was mine.

When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised, the book was exactly what the description said it would be. Often Ebay sellers have a tendency to exaggerate the wonderfulness of the item they are trying to sell.

Mr. Sagvold has put together a very nice picture book filled with 192 pages of alarm clocks, alarm clock ads and details that make it a very nice little read. The black & white photos are for the most part well done, if not a bit static.

All the shots are dead on front views with no side details showing. It would have been nice to see more of a 3D view or what is called a “¾ full” shot of some them. The catalog ads are very sharp and are great fun to see.

  • Legged Alarm Clocks
  • by Dennis Sagvold
  • published in 2004
  • 192 pages
  • Schiffer Books ltd.
  • 4880 Lower Valley Road
  • Atglen, PA, 19310
  • Phone 610.593.1777

The values are such an ephemeral item that my comments must be limited. I will say that I have bought some of the alarm clocks shown for less and some for much more. As a friend of mine once said about antiques “If you like it, buy it because you may never see it again”.

The cover photo is of a very rare commemorative Spanish American War of 1898 alarm clock and the author states that Westclox manufactured it. Ay, there in lays the rub.

The dial has a patent date of 9-12-99 by the Regent Mfg. Co., Chicago, while the case has a June 4, 1907 patent date. None of the Western Clock Company alarm clocks I checked had this patent date on them. The author provides no other proof of his contention that Westclox manufactured the clock.

It is also interesting that the trademark “Westclox” was registered in 1909 and at the time the alarm clock was manufactured the company was known as the Western Clock Company.

I would have liked to see a little more support for this assertion, i.e. a photo of the movement or a reference to the patent to support his claim. The Regent Mfg. Co. did use Western Clock Co. movements and cases in a lot of their novelty clocks, so his contention is not out of bounds. But, it would have added a certain air of authenticity to the book if he had supported the assertion with some details.

Saying all that, I still enjoyed the book very much and think it will make a great addition to anyone's library.

Kim St.Dennis Sr.
May 2004

Additional Resources

Reader Comments

Author Replies

(Posted: Oct 30, 2004 by Dennis Sagvold)

Thank you for the fine article on my book "Legged Alarms".

The case is a Western Clock Co Case with patent dates of Oct 22, 1902-May 15 1906-June 4 1907, all in a circle on a one piece case. Alarm set and indicater on the back of the case.

I am glad you enjoyed the book. This is my first book with a lot to learn. If this one sells O.K. I am working on the next one in color. Thanks again for the nice article.