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A New Field of Clock Repairing

From The American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, October, 1938

A New Field of Clock Repairing

By JOHN T. LYNCH

A brand new field of clock repairing is opening with the increasing use of the "automatic stool pigeon" by truck owners and industries whose business makes it necessary to operate large fleets of trucks.

This invention is a clock, faced with sensitized paper on which a needle marks a straight, steady line when the vehicle is standing still, and makes a shaky graph line while the truck, or automobile, is in motion.

The clock is synchronized with the time of the dash-board clock. Hidden in the body of the car, unknown to the driver, it is installed in the morning and removed at night, after the day's hauls are over. In this manner the whole story of the truck's movement is visible on the removable face. If the line is steady and straight for any unseemly length of time, the driver has a lot of explaining to do. It is also possible to tell to the minute how long it took a driver to make any certain stop.

One Los Angeles company has saved a great deal of expense in its trucking department. It seems that the clocks, when first installed, showed that from about three to five, every afternoon, not a truck moved. The boys would drive to some nice, shady spot and kill two hours before coming in for the night. The result was the elimination of two trucks-and much better service from those kept on duty. The drivers do not yet know that they were betrayed by mechanics. They just think that the truck boss suddenly became psychic.

The needle operates on the sensitized paper much as does a seismograph needle for recording earth movements. It is the vibration of the moving vehicle that makes the needle jump, or zig-zag. Because of this constant vibration the inside works become loose and the clocks need frequent servicing by an efficient clock repair man.

At least two Los Angeles repair shops have found their services so much in demand by truck companies that they are making a specialty of it.


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