Jefferson "880"

By Roger Russell

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Catalog Number 580-281

The 880 was also designed by Dave Chapman’s organization after the success of the Jefferson 500. 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. The 880 is referred to as a cordless electric clock. It is spring driven, but uses batteries for power. As the spring unwinds, a set of contacts closes and a solenoid then acts to rewind the spring. The contacts are then disconnected. This cycle repeats automatically with an audible "clunk" about every 2-1/2 minutes.

The dial cover is domed plastic and has gold colored numbers at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock with gold colored dots for the other hours. The hour and minute hands are gold colored. The second hand is white. The black clock face is slightly conical rising to a peak at the center. The hands are angled back slightly. The name Jefferson is at the bottom of the dial. Because of the weight and color of the clock, it could be thought of as being made of brass. However it is made of the same die cast zinc alloy as the Golden Hour. See my page showing a cross section and a metal analysis. The case is gold plate on the outer surfaces and satin gold plate in the area immediately surrounding the dial. The base is high-impact plastic (Cycolac) with a satin black surface.

Size is 5-1/4"H and 4-11/16" in diameter at the widest part near the base. The black plastic base raises the clock 7/16" above the mounting surface. Weight is 2.1 lbs. In 1962 this retailed for $29.95.

In some models the battery cover says "Use Jefferson #580-700 or Mallory # ZM-9 cells." I have found a second clock that says " Use Jefferson #580-700 or Mallory RM 12R cells". However, there is a label under the battery cover that says use Mallory ZM-9 cells. The Mallory cells are 1.35V mercury batteries and are no longer available. Two alkaline AA cells can be substituted and will operate the clock for about a year. The battery compartment can be opened by removing two screws in the base. A time set knob is located next to the battery compartment.


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