Collections: Decorative Arts: "Ball" Wall Clock

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2000.101.1_transp4820.jpg 2000.101.1_bw.jpg

"Ball" Wall Clock

The Ball wall clock, sometimes called the Atomic clock, has become an icon of mid-twentieth century American design. It was the star of a line commissioned by the Howard Miller Clock Company to update its collection for a new, postwar generation of consumers. The rods and spheres evoking the structure of the atom introduced a modern scientific note into home or office interiors.

  • Designers: Irving Harper, American, 20th century; for George Nelson Associates
  • Manufacturer: Howard Miller Clock Co., founded 1926
  • Medium: Painted birch, steel, brass
  • Place Manufactured: Zeeland, Michigan, United States
  • Dates: 1948-1969
  • Dimensions: 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (34.3 x 34.3 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
  • Markings: Decal label, black on gold: "Howard Miller Clock Company [in script] / ZEELAND, MICHIGAN / 115 v. 60 CY 2 WATTS / PATTERN N." At left in circle between inverted "U" shapes: "chronograph [in script]"
  • Collections:Decorative Arts
  • Museum Location: This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
  • Exhibitions:
  • Accession Number: 2000.101.1
  • Credit Line: H. Randolph Lever Fund
  • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
  • Caption: Irving Harper (American, 20th century). "Ball" Wall Clock, 1948-1969. Painted birch, steel, brass, 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (34.3 x 34.3 x 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 2000.101.1. Creative Commons-BY
  • Image: overall, 2000.101.1_transp4820.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
  • Catalogue Description: Ball Wall Clock. Central wooden disc, painted orange houses works of clock. From the outer component of this disc twelve brass rods radiate, each terminating in orange painted wooden ball. Hour hand is long tapering triangle terminating in broad triangle painted black. Minute hand is thin strip intersected near end by oval shape, painted black. Second hand is small thin strip with circle at short end, painted red. On reverse is affixed a direct plug with two tines in plastic casing and a small hole for hanging. CONDITION: Very good. Some fading of orange and minor losses to paint. See conservation report. Model No. 4755
  • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
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