Saturday, January 5, 2019

An unusual machine age globe clock by Kermit Bishop

     I want to share with you an unusual find.   This is a small globe clock that I have acquired after several years of patiently waiting.    This unusual little device is a clock, with cartography by Kermit Bishop.  The mystery begins there as there are no manufacture markings of any kind on the globe, or base.  In 10 years of diligence I've seen a total of two examples of this clock,  this one and one other that sold on 1st dibs some years back.
Kermit Bishop globe clock?
     Now, this clock stands a little over  6 inches in height, with an approximately 5 inch globe.   The geography seems to point to a late 1930's creation, Iran instead of Persia, and Germany has extended it's boarders in Europe.  The butterscotch Bakelite base and aluminum stand also seem to lend credence to a pre war creation.
     The clock works by rotating a numbered band in relation to a stationary pointer,  the yellow 12 numbers for AM and the dark 12 numbers for PM,  or the reverse if you desire I suppose, but in any event one revolution per day.    You can adjust the globe and the pointer to align with whatever geography you want to display.  The band moves to tell time the globe is stationary.  
     So let me tell the story behind the acquisition of this little gem.   About 3 years ago this exact globe clock hit eBay.  I was immediately drawn to it, but my research could teach me little or nothing that the description did not cover.  The machine age design appealed to me.  A fellow collector also had this item in their sights, so sensing a needless rivalry I backed off, knowing that if later sold I would have first crack. 
     The auction ended with my friend as the winner,  then 3 years passed, I pestered this collector over the years not to buy but rather to allow me the chance to write about the object here.  They never sent any pictures so I never wrote about it.   Then a few months back the item comes up for sale and indeed I have a chance to own it.  
      What I love is that it might just bee the rarest silver ocean globe around.  It is rather stunning in person, retaining an almost metallic glow.  The Bakelite, and aluminum just add to the package , they just have the look, that antique modern look that came and went in the 1930's.  This item is in really nice shape, the globe and metal band show just the slightest nuance of wear.  The aluminum is a bit scuffed but I'm sure that's just a polish issue.  Marked on the bottom is a note from a clock repair stating that it was tuned and oiled in 1978.    The cord is probably replaced,  not a bad thing.  All in all probably an 8/10. certainly collection worthy.
      Now here's the mystery,   Kermit Bishop worked for the Ohio Art company at the time of this objects creation, but I can't find any reference to a clock being manufactured by that company.  Did Ohio Art make this clock?  Did another manufacturer make the clock and Ohio Art provide just the globe?  If anyone out there has some insight into this clock, I'd love to hear from you.  Or if you happen to also own one of these just drop me a line.
     As always lets discuss this or any other globe related topics in the comments section below!

Happy hunting........


  1. I am so glad you have this globe and is taken care of. My super kind grandfather was Kermit Bishop. I have no idea of how many of these are out there but I. Am. guessing very few or you have the only one. I have never seen a silver lithographed example and designed as a clock. This could be a product design example or a special gift to the executives of Ohio Art. I do collect all sorts of Ohio Art Globes and mostly with my grand fathers name. I will try to answer any questions you may have

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, I have sent you an email.

  2. I actually have this same clock and it’s pretty good shape. My cord also has been replaced. Initially when purchased the bottom plate / cap was missing, but ironically a few years later I did replace it. An unbelievable story, and what are the chances of this happening with a clock so rare. Beneath the plate is a Patent Number and if my memory serves me correctly, is for the workings of the Clock and the Gentleman who Submitted the Patent was some kind of Inventor of other items. If you need to contact me email me at I will gladly provide photos of the clock and the bottom plate.