Baird Advertising Clock, ca. 1895
This Burnett Extracts award clock has been in my family for years. It was in the basement of my parents' home, so it was never portrayed prominently. I have no idea why we actually have it. It was possibly a gift, but I do not know who owned it first, and as long as I can remember, it has not worked. It has the pendulum. I was going to take it to a clock shop, and I still may, just to make it so that it would be workable.
This is what we call a Baird advertising clock. Edward Baird was the gentleman that made these clocks. He first started with the Seth Thomas Clock Company in 1879, but he moved up to Montreal in 1887 and started this Baird Manufacturing Company that produced these advertising clocks. One of the first clocks sold to commercial ventures as advertising for their products. He was wildly successful with these. He did really well, and he eventually landed in Plattsburgh, New York, in 1890. What's really interesting about these clocks is that they're made of papier-mache, the front here and this around here. And they advertised many different things. This one happens to advertise Burnett's Extracts. Joseph Burnett was responsible for making this country's first vanilla extract and went on to sell many other types of extracts, and that's what this "World's Fair Columbian Exposition Highest Medal and Awards" is about.
So he had the best extract that year?
That's right. And this was advertising for him for his wonderful extracts. So it also has this label on the inside, which is an original label. It's tucked up underneath the clock and it gives you set-up directions, and it's nice because it's a paper label and they generally don't survive, but this one was a nice survivor. These clocks, I have one in my house that's Welch's Magic Tea that has "Welch's Magic Tea" across the top and at the bottom, it says, "Cures Sick Headache and Constipation" at the bottom. So they're really fun, they're very collectible. This are clocks that sort of leave the clock world and enter the folk art and the advertising world. Do you have any idea of the value of this clock at all?
None whatsoever, and I'm curious.
This is a clock that would retail for $2,500 to $3,000 for a clock like this. And it's a pretty rare model I don't see a lot of. If this was a Coca-Cola version-- they advertise manures and all types of different things-- if it was a "Coca-Cola" across the top, there was one that sold for as much as $15,000 at one point.
Because it was Coca-Cola.
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