Our ‘wall of mortality’ consists of old watches and clocks displayed on shelves that are attached to our living room wall. Many of the timepieces are family heirlooms. The Westclox Sphinx, pictured above, is one of those. My uncle Mickey, knowing how important family history is to me, gave me this clock, which belonged to my maternal grandparents, Tommy and Virginia.
My mother said that sometime between 1953 & 1955 my grandparents purchased a new blond bedroom set that included a bookcase bed, a chest of drawers, a vanity type dresser with a fabric-covered stool, and this clock. I suppose my Grammy liked the blond furniture in the Art Deco style because they also had a blond console TV, a beige sectional sofa and chair with blond end tables for the living room. Every year for Christmas, my grandmother’s brother Leonard, gave her a subscription to Life Magazine, and according to my mother, there were always the most recent issues of Life Magazine on the sofa arm or the end table. My Grammy was quite Hollywood in her fashion style and I imagine when she flipped through the June 1953 issue of Life and saw the Westclox ad (below) that stated “Clocks should be fashion-right, too” with the image of the glamorous woman, she would have been convinced that the Sphinx was for her.
This cute, electric alarm clock has brass claw feet, is a trapezoidal shape and measures about 4 ” high. The hour hand is a lighter color than the minute hand and the clock has an AM/PM indicator. According to the Westclox Electric Clock Motor History patents 2,537,093 (which is on this clock) and 2,704,432 were used from 1948 through the early 1960’s. Also on the Westclox website it indicates that the Sphinx (Springworld) was introduced in 1952. This information supports my Mother’s recollection of when the clock was purchased.
After my grandfather died my Grammy married again and at that time gave the bedroom furniture to my Mom. Over the years the furniture was refinished and moved across the nation many times. Today, only the chest of drawers remains and it is still in use in my mother’s bedroom (pictured below). The clock stayed with my Grammy and then with my Uncle until recently and now it’s on our ‘wall of mortality’.