Jefferson Lady Marion
By Roger Russell
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Catalog Number 580-241
The Lady Marion 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 Jefferson Electric president at that time was Edward Bennan Jr. Rumor has it that this clock was named after his wife, Marion Riordan Bennan Edward Bennan.
This could be called a desk or paperweight clock. The case is a shiny 24kt gold plate finish. 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 shiny 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 white surface. It weighs 2.4 lbs. Size is 5-1/4"H and 4-11/16" in diameter at the widest part near the base..
The plastic base raises the clock 7/16" above the mounting surface. Excess cord storage is provided within the base. The retractor “propeller” provided assists in winding any unused line cord into a slot around the inside of the base. A notch in the rear of the base allows the line cord to exit so the clock will not rest on it and preserves the trim appearance of the clock. The cord and plug is white plastic. The Lady Marion has a conventional clock movement with a sweep second hand. A time set knob is also located in the base of the clock. Power requirements are 115V.A.C 60 CY 3 watts. A UL listed symbol is on the base.
Two versions of this clock have been found. The difference is in the dial face. The one on the left has an all silver/gray color. On this dial, black numerals are at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. Under the 12 is a lady with flowing hair wearing a large crown. On either side of her are two dolphins. Under them, starting at 3 and 9 are large fancy leaves, which extend down to 5:30 and 6:30 respectively. A stylish design is at the bottom. In the center of all this is a circular design. Radial lines at the perimeter of the dial indicate seconds and minutes. The name Jefferson is just above the 6. The hour and minute hands are black and the second hand is gold colored.
The other version is at the top of the page. The lady, crown, circle and bottom decoration are in gold instead of silver/gray. Everything else is the same.
After looking at the cases of several of these clocks, the amount of gold plating seems to vary from a strong gold color to chrome. Apparently the case originally came with a protective coat of lacquer over the gold plating. After a period of time the lacquer became scratched or mottled in appearance. In efforts to clean this up, an abrasive cleaner may have been used that began to remove the plating. Further cleaning completely removed the thin gold plating and exposed the plating underneath that may be nickel.
I found one Lady Marion that had the gold completely removed and was sold as a chrome finish. The clue was that the original gold finish on the bottom of the clock was still there. I was fortunate to find one that still had the original lacquer. I used acetone to remove the lacquer and all the scuffs and scratch marks went with it. The gold color is excellent. A coat of wax seemed to work nicely on the finish.
A Jefferson advertisement reads:
"Gold and white-for delicacy and taste....24 kt. gold plated housing....white hand crafted dial with matching base-all combine to create the very best effects of quality and refinement....that complement any decor. Jefferson's famous synchronous motors guarantee split-second accuracy. Operate on 110 volts AC, 60 cycle. Equipped with a patented take-up reel in the base-concealing unused cord. Height 5-5/32"; diameter: 4-23/32”, net weight 3 lbs. $22.95 retail."
movie stars were hired to promote the Lady Marion.
Do you recognize them?
About This Site
More text and pictures about Jefferson will be added as my research continues. Any comments, corrections, or additions are welcome.
by Roger Russell