Frank Herschede was born on July 30, 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He operated a jewelry store at No. 9 Emery Arcade and began selling hall clocks in 1885. The clocks had imported mechanisms in locally manufactured cases. Herschede decided to exhibit his hall clocks at the South Carolina and West Indies Exposition, held in Charleston, SC in 1901. T his clocks won a gold medal, the first of several such awards. In 1902 the clock business was incorporated under the name of Herschede Hall Clock. Frank's brother, John A., acted as the general manager and salesman for the firm. Frank's son, Walter J., joined the business in 1902.
The Herschede Hall Clock Company moved to Plum Street in 1903. A few years later, the company began manufacturing its own clock movements. The cases and the movements won awards at several expositions and were sold across the country. In addition, the company supplied cases and movements to competitors. The company built a new plant at the corner of McMillan Street and Essex Place in 1913. The company also began offering a third melody, the Canterbury Chimes, in addition to the two tunes that had been offered from the beginning, the Westminster and the Whittington Chimes. During World War I, the clock mechanisms, which were the only ones made in the United States, were in high demand because the American market was cut off from European manufacturers. The Herschede Hall Clock Company also produced surgical and surveying instruments and compasses for the military. On September 15, 1922, Frank Herschede, the founder of the company, died at the age of 65, following an operation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Walter succeeded his father as president and experimented with the production of radios and other items.
The company began selling electric clocks in 1926 under the name of the Revere Clock Company.
In 1929 the company employed about 300 workers and had sales of $1.2 million. Fours years later, annual sales would be reduced to $187,000. Walter's sons, William Foy Herschede, Walter J. Herschede Jr., Richard L. Herschede, and Robert H. Herschede joined the company in the 1...