Howard Miller Clock Company

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(established 1925)

Originally named the Herman Miller Clock Company (having family links with the more famous Herman Miller Furniture Company) this Michigan‐based firm established its reputation at the New York World's Fair of 1939–40 where it displayed clocks in a contemporary style after over a decade of working on more traditional models using imported clock movements. After the Second World War (during which the company had produced anti‐aircraft covers for aeroplanes manufactured by the Ford Motor Company) the Howard Miller Clock Company manufactured several contemporary style products for George Nelson Associates, including the Ball (1949) and Asterisk (1950) wall clocks. The former, with its hours marked out in molecular‐like balls, shared the interest in atom‐based forms of designers working in the Contemporary Style whilst several of the other products for Nelson assumed some of the characteristics of contemporary sculpture. It has been suggested that these almost abstract designs were the work of Nelson associates Isamu Noguchi and Irving Harper. After this brief foray into a progressive vocabulary suited to the post‐Second World War corporate aesthetic of Modernism, the Howard Miller Clock Company once again reverted to more traditional models before moving into digital clocks and alarms in the 1970s and 1980s, a period in which it also worked on domestic models. Also at this time the company diversified into furniture manufacture, purchasing the Hekman Furniture Company in 1983.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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