16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, December 4, 1911: Pa took us to school this morning. Such a time as I had waiting on him, but we got there in plenty of time. You see our old clock was the cause of it all, being over half an hr. fast.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Maybe the family needed to get a Big Ben clock for Christmas. The December 15, 1911 issue of Kimball’s’ Dairy Farmer magazine had an alarm clock advertisement.
Merry Christmas! Here is Big Ben.
May he wish you many of them!
Don’t waste a minute of this merry day. Have the presents ready Christmas eve. Hang each stocking up. Arrange the presents that won’t go inside in little piles around each stocking.
Then when all have gone to sleep, sneak into each bedroom a joy-faced Big Ben.
He’ll ring the merriest Christmas bell you have ever heard and get the family down to see the presents bright and early so the whole day will be yours to fully enjoy.
Big Ben is a gift worth the giving, for he is a clock that lasts and serves you daily year after year.
He is not merely an alarm clock—he’s an efficient timepiece—to get you up or to tell you the time all day—a clock for bedroom, parlor, library or hall.
Big Ben stands seven inches tall. He’s massive, well poised, triple plated. His face is frank, open, easy to read—his keys large, strong, easy to wind.
He calls you every day at any time you say, steadily for ten minutes, or at repeated intervals for fifteen.
He is sold by jewelers only—the price is $2.50 anywhere.
If you cannot find him at your jeweler’s, a money order sent to his designers, Westclox, La Salle, Illinois, will bring him to you express charges paid.