Something happens when you plan a spontaneous evening out, like a night at my favorite restaurant UNION on Ossington. Where I got a closer look at the vintage Carhartt Union Made Overalls Pam Clock, hanging on the wall above the bar. I just knew it was something special.
Cahartt was a major player in workwear. Hamilton Carhartt once said “I believe that when a man wears an article that I manufacture, his self-respect is increased because he knows that it is made by an honest manufacturer, who is honest with his employees.” Clearly in the 1940s when this Pam clock was manufactured in New Rochelle New York, Carhartt had been advertising a successful brand. They had 19 plants in the US and Canada.
With this workwear history and it’s orange luminous glow this vintage Pam Clock added antiquity and charm to the dimly lit bar. And as I sipped my Whiskey Sour it felt as if I were back in the 1940s and the glow from the Cahartt Pam Clock was like sitting by an open fire. Which got me thinking, how much are one of these clocks and how can I get one for home?
It turns out they aren’t cheap. Some of these clocks can fetch as much as $2000 depending on the condition. However you need to be cautious of fakes. Many people get conned on Ebay into buying what are listed as a ‘Real and antique’ Pam Clock when in actuality it’s a fake. Here are some things to watch for if you’re in the market for a vintage Pam Clock and don’t want to be caught with a reproduction and an empty wallet.
How To Find A Vintage Pam Clock
1. Watch for a high gloss, bright white clock face, the bright white Paint is a sign that it’s a reproduction, and sometimes fakes are scratched or chipped on purpose to make the clock face appear old. And even the metal housing that surrounds the clock, dented.
2. Turn the clock over and look at the finish on the back, if you see concentric circles/lines on aluminum, it is a fake. This was manufactured by computer. Original Pam Clock backs were created out of a mould and have no lines and are not perfect.
3. Examine the plug, if the plug has a fat head, meaning a soft rubber plug with a pear shaped silhouette towards the two prongs, it is an older style plug from the 1930s-1950s. That’s a good sign it is older.
4. Do your research. If you are serious about collecting and grading Pam Clocks purchase Michael Brunner’s book: “Advertising Clocks.” It is a Schiffer Book and was published in 1995 with price lists. It contains valuable information such as which clocks were made by what company. Then when you see something advertised on Ebay with original “Pam face” you know it’s a FAKE because the clocks inside were originally made by Telechron.
Those tips should get you started and you’ll soon discover when you begin to appreciate the history behind Pam Clocks, they are a very stylish addition to your home, and are a comforting sight indeed.
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