Vitascope Electric Clock

Art deco Vitascope clock with automation rocking ship on an illuminatedocean scene with cloud background.  Original ‘Art Deco’ hands with ‘dot’ numerals.  Electric movement, ‘pink’ Bakelite case with original green painted back with start wind and light switch stamped ‘Vitascope Industries Ltd’.

The original design of this clock was patented in 1941 by a Mr J.S.Thatcher. The clock is powered by a 250 volt mains supply (at 50 cycles) to a synchronous movement which drives both the hands and the automata. The ship rides on an oval shaped cam which makes it lift and roll. It is lit from the back of the case through a cylinder. (The movement and back panel are earthed using three-core mains wire to comply with EEC regulations). The cylinder made up of coloured strips of gelatine giving the effects of sunrise and sunset as it gently rotates.

The ship is thought to be a replica of the famous tea clipper, ‘The Cutty Sark’ which was launched in 1869 on the river Clyde and can still be seen today at Grenwich Dock in London.  The cases were made in various colours including cream, white, brown, green and pink.  These clocks were manufactured in The Isle of Man.

The movement is not self starting when first switched on and the knob at the back of the clock has to be turned in the direction indicated to start the clock.  C.1942

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