Model 503 TV Lamp Clock

cdr-snider-503-tv-lamp-clock-tccm.jpgcdr-snider-503-tv-lamp-clock-back.jpgPhoto: Courtesy The Canadian Clock Museum, Deep River, Ontario

“Apparently the earliest TV sets did not have a very bright picture, so the viewing room had to be dark. People were advised, often by store salemen, to purchase a “TV lamp”. These low-wattage lamps would provide subdued lighting near the television screen to reduce eye strain (or so the story goes). For whatever reason, the market grew rapidly for TV lamps of many designs made with various materials, including china cases of various animals. It has been suggested that the pottery industry was saved in the 1950s because of this new product…

Not many companies made TV lamp CLOCKS, an ingenious combination of two critical functions for your TV viewing room. Some American companies such as United, Gibralter, and Tele-Vision sold a few models. Harry Snider tackled this new market in the 1950s with three styles of TV lamp clock. One was based on typical china cases (panthers, horses) molded and painted for him by companies in Toronto… A second Snider style included wooden-hulled models of boats with one or two small, low-wattage bulbs…

The most unusual Snider TV lamp clocks were the three metal-cased models that Harry Snider designed and then registered in Canada in 1957. These were his models 503 (“butterfly” – author’s description), 504 (“in-car heater”), and 505 (“squashed diamond”). These three models were available in five colours: black, sandalwood (brown), and white (? usually found now looking ivory or cream-coloured), and the characteristic 1950s pink and turquoise. The museum’s Snider collection currently includes all five colours for the 503 and two each for the 504 and 505. No other company made these unique styles.”

– Allan Symons, The Canadian Clock Museum

Source: Television lamps and Snider TV lamp clocks in the 1950s,  The Canadian Clock Museum, 

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