The Lawson Clock Summit

It started out as simple curiosity. When did Lawson Time open for business, what happened to the company and why?

It was a complete mystery and without the arrival of internet searches it probably would have remained a mystery.

Back in in 1985, if you told me I would eventually meet the descendants of the company owners, I would have laughed. But that’s what happened this past January. A gathering was held in Pasadena, California, not far from where the clocks were made.

Here are some long overdue photos from our meeting.

Lawson Summit (1 of 10)

Lawson Summit (2 of 10)

A closer look at that gorgeous Lawson emblem.

Lawson Summit (3 of 10)

Some of our “guests.” At the rear left is a one-of-a-kind Lawson 350 that was awarded to the City of Sierra Madre for first prize in the Pasadena Rose Bowl on January 1,1938.

Lawson 350 (1 of 1)

Lawson Summit (4 of 10)

Early and very early examples of the uncommon Lawson model 105.

Lawson Summit (7 of 10)

On the clock at left, probably a prototype, the entire back opens. The clock on the right has the traditional Lawson “door” for setting the time.

Lawson Summit-Cropped (1 of 1)

A closer look at this very early example. Note that the mechanism sits in a black Bakelite bracket.

Lawson Summit (8 of 10)

Presumably a prototype for a smaller Lawson clock.

Now here was a surprise. The only patent for a Lawson clock case was granted to Estelle Fenenbock, Henry Fenenbock’s mother. It turns out that that an example of this unusual pivoting case actually exists!

Lawson Summit (9 of 10)

Lawson Summit-group (1 of 1)

Left, John Lawson, grandson of Harold Lawson, founder of Lawson Clocks Limited. In the middle, Dr. Neil Kuns. At right, Henry Fenenbock, whose father owned and operated Lawson Time Incorporated from 1947-1980.

If you haven’t read the complete story of Lawson Time, you’ll find it here.

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4 Responses to The Lawson Clock Summit

  1. Steve Murphy says:

    This was a very informative presentation at Pasadena, Neil is an expert on lawson clocks. I recently found a nice Winslow Clock to add to my collection.

    • Randy Juster says:

      Hi Steve – I agree, it was very interesting. Neil has spent a lot of time researching Lawson and he’s one of the few people who know the details about the company. Winslow clocks are really nice too. In case you didn’t know Frederick Grenawalt, who invented the mechanism used in Lawson clocks also came up with the Winslow design. It’s patent #2,287,679.

  2. frank purpura says:

    hello,my name is frank purpura and i have a 304 Lawson clock ,copper and brass made about 1940-41,manufactured in Pasadena Calif. i need a access door for the back of it is missing,where can i find one or is there anyone who reproduces them? any help is appreciated,i found a site of a picture of one,but not the same material as mine,that is all i can find. please help in any way is appreciated. thank you frank

    • Randy Juster says:

      Hello Frank – I’ve responded directly by email, but I’ll post the message here as well. As far as I know, no one makes replacement doors for Lawson clocks. The rear doors are frequently missing but the clocks run fine without them. Since you have to remove the door to set the time, I wouldn’t be surprised if some Lawson owners don’t even know their clock once had a door. I’m sorry I can’t be of much help with this.

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