Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nelson Ball Clock


George Nelson designed the Ball Clock in 1949. The clock was part of a series of timepieces called The Chronopak. These clocks were designed for the Howard Miller Clock Company. The shape of the clock is borrowed from science; it is reminiscent of the shape of an atom. These are indeed clocks for the atomic age.

Interestingly enough, George Nelson admits to not designing the clock. As the story goes, Nelson had been working on some clock designs. One night Nelson was hanging out with other Mid-Century heavy hitters along with Bucky Fuller, Isamu Noguchi and others. While enjoying drinks, they all “contributed” by sketching their personal variations of clocks on some drafting paper. The next day, while looking at the drafting paper, Nelson found this design. Whoever designed it, the clock succeeded in selling and in becoming an iconic piece of the 50’s.

The clocks are still produced by Herman Miller and list for $315. They are also available second hand. They were produced in significant numbers and are still fairly easy to find.

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