Collections Carousel – West German Tradition Alarm Clock

West German Tradition Alarm Clock (front), Circa 1970

Donated in 2013 by Little Falls resident, Alvina Smuda, this large yellow and red plastic alarm clock features both the new age characteristics of mid-century modern design and the rapid increase in the use of plastic as a preferred manufacturing material following the end of World War II. The over-sized (9″ x 9″ x 7.5″) boxy clock was produced in West Germany, the capitalist half of a post-World War II divided Germany and the half that retained the country’s reputation for high quality, well-designed products. The clock’s simple functional design reflects the clean, unfettered, almost space age look of the Cold War era with its shiny hard yellow plastic trapezoidal-shaped sides and bright red clock face. Alvina was probably not thinking about global politics and the history of manufacturing trends when she purchased the clock at a local garage sale. Her purchase nonetheless added to the trail of history belonging to the clock, a trail that currently reaches from Cold War Germany to present-day Central Minnesota.

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West German Tradition Alarm Clock (back), Circa 1970

2 Replies to “Collections Carousel – West German Tradition Alarm Clock”

    1. Hi, Kyle – Unfortunately, for legal reasons, we cannot provide appraisals or monetary values for artifacts such as this clock. (Isn’t it cool?!?) Check out our article on Appraising Your Antiques for some resources to help you with valuation:

      Thanks for your question.

      Mary Warner
      Executive Director

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