Forestville mantel clock
Forestville mantel clock

If you are looking for clocks of the Black Forest region of Germany you have come to the wrong place. Forestville clocks are Canadian clocks and the following article describes finding a Forestville clock in an antique store in Ontario Canada

We were on a visit to the Thousand Islands and stopped at an antique store in Gananoque, Ontario. As my wife and I were strolling through the store I was immediately drawn to this mantel clock. I was familiar with the Forestville name as thousands of these were made by the Forestville Clock Company of Toronto. The company began production as the Blackforest Clock Company and eventually morphed into the Forestville Clock Co. during the Second World War. I researched the name and came up with the following brief history.

History of the Blackforest Clock Company of Toronto

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 (likely Mauthe) 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 and 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.

And now my clock

This clock movement and case are 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 no database exists online to date this clock.

Movement of clock
Movement showing over-oiling

The balance wheel with the hairspring escapement puts the clock in the 1960s era.

Balance wheel and hairspring escapement
Balance wheel and hairspring escapement

This is a closeup of the strike lever mechanism. There are two strike rods, the so called “bim-bam” strike on the half hour and the hour is distinctive.

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

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 to regulate the clock. This mantel clock is handsome and has good lines. It is a great addition to my growing collection of antique and vintage clocks.