Forestville mantel clock
Forestville mantel clock

We were on a visit to the Thousand Islands and stopped off in an antique store in Gananoque, Ontario. I was immediately attracted to this mantel clock which seemed to be in excellent condition. I was familiar with the name as thousands of these and other models were made by the Forestville Clock Company of Toronto and many still reside in Canadian homes. The company started out as the Blackforest Clock Company. I researched some information from the Canadian Clock Museum and the following is a brief history.

The Blackforest Clock Company of Toronto, Ontario was founded by Leopold and Sara Stossel in 1928.  Both clock movements and complete clocks were imported from Germany (my assumption is Hermle) and sold through department and jewelry stores across Canada.  Their son Ed Stossel started working part time with his parents’ company in the 1930s, and later became a full-time employee in the late 1940s.

Some assembly work was carried out in their Wellington Street East factory.  Initially, imported mantel clock and grandfather clock movements were installed in cases made in Kitchener (home of the Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company), but later the complete mantel clocks were imported from Germany.  This arrangement was interrupted by the Second World War, which also led to a name change to the Forestville Clock Company in 1941.  During the war years this company imported its clock movements from England, the United States, and even France.  However, starting in the mid 1950s German factories again became the source of most Forestville clocks, with Mauthe being a major supplier.

The Forestville Clock Company was very successful during the middle decades of the twentieth century.  Its grandfather clock cases and some of the wall clock cases were made in Canada.  Ed Stossel retired in 1979; unfortunately the company survived just a few more years without his leadership.

Dial of clock
closeup of the dial

Most Blackforest and Forestville wood mantel clocks still have their paper labels tacked inside the back door. This one does not.

This clock is probably imported from Germany in the 1960s. The style appears to be consistent with that period. There is a serial number on the back plate but I doubt that a database exists online in order to date this clock. My preliminary research has turned up nothing.

Movement of clock
Movement showing overoiling

Note the balance wheel with the hairspring escapement which clearly puts the clock in the period I mentioned.

Balance wheel and hairspring escapement
Balance wheel and hairspring escapement

This a a photo of the strike lever mechanism. There are two strike rods giving the clock the so called “bim-bam” strike on the half hour and the hour.

inside of mechanical clock
Lever mechanism for strike
strike mechanism
Lifting mechanism for strike function

Despite overzealous oiling the pivots and bushings appear to be in good condition. The clock keeps good time and there is a simple speed adjustment on the escapement. Although this clock should be serviced it is not in immediate need at this time.

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