Jefferson Suspense Clock

By Roger Russell

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Catalog Number 580-191

This is a most unusual clock. The design was the result of the combined efforts of the Jefferson clock engineering section and Mr. Dave Chapman’s organization. They have given this clock a style and distinctiveness unequaled in this field. Mr. Chapman’s design firm was respected internationally and served such clients as Alcoa, The Parker Pen co., The Hamilton Beach Co., The Corning Glass Co., Johnson Sea Horse Motors, International Harvester and Montgomery Ward.

Because of the weight and color of the clock, it could be thought of as being made of brass. However, the frame and base are made of a die cast zinc alloy, the same as the Golden Hour. See my page showing a cross section and a metal analysis. They are plated with 24 kt gold. See my Gold Reference Page for information about gold and karat ratings. The dial face at the rear of the clock is double strength select grade A glass, It has numerals 1 to 12 in a circle etched on the back and filled with 24 kt gold. The hand mechanism is brass, 24 kt gold plated. The motor housing, located in front of the dial face near the top, is steel and is 24 kt gold plated. The chain is brass, polished and lacquered. The sprocket, carrying the hand mechanism, is in front of the dial face and is made of unbreakable Plexiglas. The cord and plug are beige plastic.

The motor is attached to the top of the frame. A chain goes around the motor pulley located at the rear of the motor and then to the perimeter of the dial sprocket, which is suspended only by the chain. Both motor and dial sprockets have impressions where the chain fits in place. The dial sprocket is 6-1/4 inches in diameter. The motor drives the dial at one revolution per hour. The motor rating is 115V.A.C 60 CY 2.5 watts.

For those owners of Suspense clocks who find their Suspense clock is running fast, the solution is to buy a new chain at Timesavers. This will solve the problem. It worked for my Suspense.

The picture at the right shows the rear of the hand assembly. The minute hand is attached by friction to the dial so that it can be easily rotated to the desired time.

A shaft attaches the hour hand to a weight located behind the dial. The weight remains in the same vertical position at all times. The hour hand is driven through reduction gears from the minute hand similar to the Golden Hour clock. The perimeter of the dial sprocket can be seen in the bottom corners of the picture. The clock size is 13"H, 9-1/2"W and 3-1/2"D. Weight is about 10 lbs. Production began in 1958.



How Your Clock Works...
As described in the Jefferson literature.

"The round Plexiglas dial which holds the hand assembly actually revolves. It is driven through the suspension chain by the motor mounted at the top of the frame. The minute hand is attached by friction to the dial and makes one complete revolution every hour. The hour hand is actuated by the minute hand through a train of reduction gears--so it moves one-twelfth as fast. In other words, the chain driven dial carries the minute hand around to time the minutes. The minute hand drives the hour hand to time the hours."


Your new SUSPENSE is a precision timepiece expertly engineered and distinctively styled to give you split second accuracy and to add lasting beauty to your home. So that you may enjoy it to the fullest extent we hope that you will follow these suggestions:

For safety in shipment your clock has been packed in three pieces: the frame, the dial and hand assembly, and the chain.

1. Remove frame from carton and stand upright on its base.
2. Place chain on motor sprocket mounted at top of frame.
3. Place dial and hand assembly on chain and allow to swing free.
4. Set hand assembly to correct time and plug cord into wall socket. This clock is designed to operate on AC current, 110-125 volts, 60 cycles only.

To Set the Clock
1. Steady round dial face in chain drive.
2. Turn minute hand in clockwise direction to desired position. Do not turn counterclockwise.
3. To set hour hand turn knob on front of dial face continuously in either direction until hand rests in proper position, It is necessary to turn knob one complete revolution for each one-hour change in setting.

Care and Cleaning
Your Suspense has been designed to operate with a minimum amount of care. No oiling of any kind is necessary and should be avoided. For cleaning, a mild detergent solution, such as Tide and water should be used. This solution can be applied to any part of this clock without impairing its operation. However, the entire clock should never be submerged. Wipe with a soft dry cloth.


All Jefferson clocks are carefully tested and inspected before shipment and are guaranteed against defects in workmanship and material for one year after being placed in service; guarantee ending not later than two years from the date of manufacture.

Packed separately within the carton you will find a punched guarantee card. We ask that you fill it out immediately and return it to us so your clock can be properly registered at our factory. The card is self-addressed and requires no postage.




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More text and pictures about Jefferson will be added as my research continues. Any comments, corrections, or additions are welcome.



Created by Roger Russell
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