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  Reader's letter | April 2013 | Clocks Magazine

Baird of Montreal

In the February 2013 issue Roy Conder describes a Baird advertising clock that was made in Plattsburgh, New York.  Your readers may be interested to learn that Edward Baird, an American, started his clock company several years earlier in Montreal, Quebec, around 1887. He moved to Plattsburgh in mid 1890, according to research published by Baird clocks expert Jerry Maltz in his 1998 book Baird Advertising Clocks. Maltz had a follow-up article in issue 375 of the NAWCC Bulletin in 2008.

The Montreal clock cases had some differences in construction compared to the later American cases, with a round bottom and moulded papier mâché doors. The Canadian dials and Seth Thomas spring-driven pendulum movements indicate both New York (the city) and Montreal. However, according to Mr Maltz, the clock factory was located in Montreal, and the reference to New York was for a sales office for the US market.

Our museum has an early Canadian Baird clock believed to date to about 1888. It was acquired in 2012 from Mr Maltz and is advertising cigars sold by J M Fortier in Montreal. The clear lower door has a larger glass surface compared to the later Plattsburgh clocks, and would have originally had some advertising design. There is a well-aged paper label behind the typical fancy pendulum bob.  The company name is printed on the dial. Many of the Seth Thomas movements used by Baird had the Baird name stamped on the movement.

Allan Symons, The Canadian Clock Museum

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