Spring forward, and wind forward Antiques: When adjusting an old timepiece, move the hands clockwise only.


Earlier this month, most of the country switched to daylight-saving time. The idea for extending the hours of sunlight that could be enjoyed during normal waking hours was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. It was not until 1907 that Englishman William Willett tried to persuade the House of Commons to move the clock forward by one hour in the spring. The idea was rejected.

During World War I, England, the United States and some other countries began to use daylight-saving time to save fuel used to power lights. During World War II, from February 1942 to September 1945, clocks were set an hour ahead and not returned to regular time in the fall.

In 1986, Congress passed a law stating that daylight-saving time started the first Sunday in April.

That probably adds to worldwide confusion about time, because most European countries start daylight-saving time the last Sunday in March or March 30.

Further confusing matters, Arizona, Hawaii and most of Indiana do not observe daylight-saving time. Nor do Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or American Samoa.

While changing the time on a digital clock can be problematic for those of us who are technology-challenged, people with antique clocks have a different sort of challenge. The hands on an antique clock, and on many new analog clocks, should not be wound counterclockwise. To adjust the time on an antique clock, gently push the minute hand forward. If the clock chimes, be sure to wait for the chime to ring as you move the hands.

I have a plate that dates to 1915. It is decorated with the Campbell Soup kids. On the back of the dish is the word "Buffalo" and a drawing of a buffalo. I'd like some information.

Buffalo Pottery was made in Buffalo, N.Y., after 1902. The pottery was established by the Larkin Co., a well-known manufacturer of soap. Some Buffalo pottery items were made as premiums for Larkin products, or offered for sale in Larkin catalogs.

Campbell Kids feeding dishes appeared in Larkin catalogs from 1913 through 1918. Some have the letters of the alphabet around the top rim. The dishes were made so they would not tip easily. They sold originally for 50 cents. Depending on condition, your plate is worth $65 to $85.

My grandfather gave me a metal mechanical toy called "Jazzbo Jim the Dancer on the Roof." It is a black banjo player who dances on the chimney of a metal cabin. The dancer is about 7 inches high. The bottom of the cabin is marked "Unique Art Mfg. Co." What can you tell me about my toy?

Unique Art Manufacturing Co. was in business from about 1916 to about 1952, when Louis Marx bought the company. Unique was located in Newark, N.J., and made mostly windup toys.

Your Jazzbo Jim toy was made in the early 1920s. In excellent condition, it sells for at least $500.

Marx made a version of the toy. The Marx version sells for less.

The Kovels welcome letters and answer as many as possible through the column. Write to Kovels, The Sun, King Features Syndicate Inc., 235 E. 45th St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

Pub Date: 4/20/97

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