Dey time register clock

Aug 11, 2020. 15:46 UTC
Dey Time Register Clock
United States of America


Acquired from

For sale

This is a Dey Time Register Clock. The wooden box is 32" T x 12"W x 10" D. It is very heavy.Behind the glass front the dial looks to be in excellent condition. The outer front bottom, covered completely in brass has some tarnish. The ID plaque at bottom has "Dey Time Register Syracuse, NY and a number in bottom kleft of 1049". It has the winding key but needs cleaning in side. To my knowledge was in working order the last time wound. I do have pictures I can send by email if you contact me at [email protected] or text to 214-668-8078


This clock was given to us to sale by a close friend who is liquidating her assets as she is entering a nursing home.

Answered within about 4 hours
Aug 11, 19:36 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$500 - $750 USD

Insurance Value

$1,250 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Steven,
Thank you for sending in this antique time clock to for an appraisal. I shall do my best to help you with that today.
Golden oak, brass, iron and glass, mechanical, 15 day, double barrel spring powered, 24 hour (day/night) time clock/job timer/job cost machine, S/N 1049, made by the Dey Time Register Company, Syracuse, New York, circa 1897-1899.
Case: 32" x 12" x 10" solid oak rectangular clock case with flat pediment having a stepped overhung cornice above the glazed rectilinear dial door. The rails of the dial door have a mahoganized stain on all sides but the bottom (where it has been stripped). Case no. is 0303. The dial has a shaped wooden dial surround behind the door glass. The upper door frame has some ornamental undulations. The front door opens to reveal a set of ‘Directions’ for setting the clock running and the functions of various parts. Below the door is the lower part of the case which contains the time punch movement behind a façade of plain brass which includes a narrow single flat brass fall at the top which contains a slot for inserting cards by the employees. {Of note, is the fact that in Job recorders, the cards were generally placed in the slot horizontally rather than vertically as an employee would do with a time recorder (this is not always 100% true, but true for most recorders). Looking at this card slot as it currently is set, it appears to be set for entering cards vertically but there is another screw in the foreground which MAY expose added space for the card slot to allow the card to be entered horizontally when the screw is loosened and this may serve for timing a job function to determine if it is cost effective. Actually, either type of machine could easily substitute for the other. On a small company this device could be used to register the in and out times of several employees in the firm. It also could be used to measure the job timing and therefore allow calculation of the manufacturing cost of a job that takes a specific amount of time to complete. The single fall ends with an oak base molding with attached plaque marked, “Dey Time Register C”, “#1049, Syracuse, N. Y.”. . . {This case is very different from the Time punch clock that was patented by the brothers Alexander and John Dey in 1898 with a large numbered round barrel wheel at the front of the case, an invention for a large number of employees in a big company.}. . .
Dial: A round white dial with enameled upright Arabic hours, the eight with a flat top (typical of Dey dials), closed bar minute track to the outside, two winding apertures (both for the time train), steel Spade hands, and the dial marked and anglicized, “Dey Time Register, Syracuse, N.Y., USA”. . .
Movement: This is a solid brass plate movement is likely made by Seth Thomas and is powered by two springs for a total of 15 days. The movement and rod are suspended on a cast iron bracket. I believe the escapement is a Graham dead beat type, 80 beats/minute and has lantern pinions rather than cut pinions. A vertical rod connects to the recording movement developed by the Dey brothers located in the base of the machine. There is a finger screw part of the way down this rod, and it is by use of this screw that the correct time above and the correct time in the time register machinery can be properly coordinated. The time wheel mechanism has a 24 hour disc for day/night function and also has a bicolor ribbon to represent that function visually and also can serve to indicate whether the employee is on time when signing in or tardy. They used a combination of red and green ribbons which were changed by a hook and pin releasing method for a specific wheel to rotate and change color of the ribbons. . . .
Case – Very good, complete. The glue blocks holding the glass in place appear never to have been removed. The brass base has some scuffs and scrapes. Dial – Very good with some oil staining. Good signature. Movement – Genuine, original and likely functional. A very fine example of a Dey model, not often seen. Label – Excellent and very legible.
Dey Patents Company of Syracuse, New York, and Glasgow, Scotland. The company of brothers Alexander and John Dey.
~1896 Howard Brothers was established and acted as agents for the Dey Patents Co
~1898 patented a time recorder for recording the arrival and departure times of workers.
~1898 John Dey, of Syracuse, and Alexander Dey, residing at Park Lodge, 62 Albert Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow, were partners in the Dey Patents Co, of Syracuse, New York, and Glasgow.
~1898 of Glasgow, patent with John Dey of Syracuse, on apparatus for recording time of employees entering or leaving their employment; this was followed by several other patents on similar technology over the next few years.
~1898 Howard Brothers concluded an agreement with the Deys to purchase the past, present, and future benefits of the Dey timekeeping inventions for certain countries named, including the Australian colonies. The Deys continued to handle the business in USA. Also manufactured and sold the Dey Time Register in UK
~1899- Dey developed the first job timing and job cost recorder.
~c.1900 the name changed and the company became the ‘Dey Time Register Company’ in Syracuse and slightly later, ‘Dey Time Registers’ in Britain.
~1901 H M Inspector of Schools (Alexander Dey), lived in Govan, Glasgow, with Margaret J Dey
~1907 - The Company was acquired by the International Time Recording Company
~1911.Dey Time Registers Ltd., of 75, Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C.
A British company representing the Dey Time Register Company of Syracuse, NY
1905 Alexander Dey 62, inventor and patentee, lived in Syracuse, New York, with Margaret J Dey 40, Elizabeth A Dey 18.
1907 International Time Recording Co acquired Dey Time Register Co in USA
~In 1907 ITR acquired the Dey Time Register Company (dial recorders), and in 1908 also acquired the Syracuse Time Recording Company (dial recorders). These acquisitions gave ITR a large portfolio of USA manufactured time recorder styles and models, many of which found their way into the UK. They were primarily distributed via the UK arm 'International Time Recording Company Ltd' formed in 1912 in London, subsequently with satellite sales and service branches in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow. Despite parent company name changes in the USA (CTR, IBM and Simplex), this trading name was kept in the UK up to 1977 when it changed to ITR International Time Ltd, eventually being bought out by Blick in 1982.
~1907 Howard Brothers registered the Dey Time Register Co in Britain
~1908 of Edinburgh, with John Dey of Syracuse, patented improvement in golf holes.
~1912 Private company incorporated in Britain as International Time Recording Co to represent the interests of the American parent of similar name; the company took over the business of selling Dey Time Registers in Britain.
~1914 Company voluntarily wound up; E. Stafford Howard was managing director; W. R. Howard was appointed liquidator
~1918 of Edinburgh, patented improvements in heels for boots
The Syracuse Journal published a story about the Dey Patents Company on June 24, 1899 which stated that "nearly 3,000" clocks were in use at that time in the US, Canada, England, Australia, and other countries. While the records of the company are lost an estimation of the production schedule based upon a starting year of 1893 and 100% production growth in each year until 1899. Each Dey Patents clock has a brass tag with a serial number stamped on it. Thus, an approximate date of manufacture for serial number 1049 is 1898 when it is estimated that 800 clocks were manufactured with the company employing about 150 workers. See:
COMPARABLES: (Likely the same type of machine in a painted oak case sold for $150 in 2014) (In 1920 two machines including a Dey model not unlike yours as described, sold for $198) (your model with an unsigned dial sold in 2013 for $250) (Again a model very much like the subject clock sold in 2015 for $250)
(A shortened version of the Dey clock without the lower section sold for $160 many years ago)
The Job Timer - These machines were really just glorified time stamps which varied in size between different manufacturers, from portable desktops to full size wall mounted versions. They were sold as machines that could accommodate any type and size of card, primarily for casual workers or workers on long, unusual or temporary shifts. Operation was simply by card insertion and lever press to stamp the date and time. So, this is a lot less complicated than the large wheel type that Dey patented. A good example of the more famous Dey product sold in 2020 for $1300. I think the fair market value for an item such as your example in good to very good condition would range from $500-$750 on a good day with some competition. Retail price would be about twice that. Unfortunately, one of the items hurt by the general fall of the clock market over the past two decades have been punch clocks and calendar type clock (and many others). So, such clocks do not bring very high prices today and perhaps less so with the pandemic.
I hope that helps you with understanding this fine antique time/job clock. It certainly was a bit of an education for me. I have done the more elaborate Dey “wheel” punch clock before but was not terribly familiar with this particular model. The Dey Company was a bit like a footnote to history. It was quickly overshadowed by the International Time Recorder Company who finally managed to buy up their main competitors, and other makes that were easier to repair and to use. But it certainly had its moment in the sunshine of the manufacturing industry.
Thank you again for choosing mearto.
My best,

Hello Steven,
Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry
Rather than email or send text messages to you, I would like to simply ask you to send me the written "Directions" on the inside of the door, perhaps in two or three high resolution photos so that I can read them for my own education and help me with this appraisal.
The Dey company made many models most unknown to the public except for their famous large wheel time recorder model.
Also, I am interested in seeing the outer facade of the base clearly: A photo please of the of the brass shelf looking down on its slotted opening(s) and anything written there. Also I would like to see a photo of the top of the case (which I cannot see) and perhaps one of the entire clock.
Thanking you in advance,

Steven walston Aug 11, 20:31 UTC


Thanks for the prompt response. I have attached additional photos. If there is something I have missed you would like to see please let me know.

Thanks, Steve

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