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Fred Frick

Engineer and Inventor

Born: 1863

Died: 1934 of a stroke while employed at Frick Co. Swiss ancestry.

Father: George, who was also a prominent inventor and steam engineer.

Brothers: Franklin, Abraham O., Martin, Ezra, Amos M. (also a clockman).

Sister: Elizabeth

Religion: Mennonite

Education: 8th Grade

1894: Filed his first program clock patent.

1895: Filed his second program clock patent where the program disc was separate from the clock dial. Early Frick clocks (1894-95) used Howard #70 and Seth Thomas #40 movements. Waterbury movements were also used.

1899: Frick purchases the McCaskey Clock Co. Note: 1894-1901 Frick clock dials, mechanisms and letterheads read “Fred Frick Waynesboro, Pa.”

Fred Frick

1901: Fred Frick Clock Co. expanded and was located on Ringgold St., Waynesboro, Pa.

  • Frick marketed and distributed his clocks. There were no jobbers or retailers involved.

  • Self-winding programmable clock introduced.

  • Still buying clock material from Waterbury and Seth Thomas.  Advertising engraving, repairing watches and clocks. Repairing and refinishing furniture. Also 1901 through 1908 Frank Landis was working with Frick developing patents. Later in 1901 Frick disposed of his stock, tools, materials and patents to a new capitalized company. His gain was the royalties as he stayed on as the inventor and designer of programmable clocks.

1910: Frick sold the Fred Frick Clock Co. to Frank and Mark Landis.

There is so much more history about the Fred Frick Clock Co. He was a genius in the development of the master programmable clocks and the companion slave clocks used in schools and offices across the U.S.  The only records of the company were gleaned from payroll ledgers obtained many years later by Ted Carbaugh (deceased). Carbaugh donated these Frick records to the National Watch and Clock Museum library in Columbia, Pa. They are a great source of information.

Examples of Fred Frick clocks are numerous.  Sadly many have been converted to electric time only household wall clocks and the programmable mechanisms removed. I have examples of Fred Frick clocks in my collection and am always looking to buy these clocks.

Fred Frick Clock


Fred Frick Clock

Fred Frick circa 1900.

Photo courtesy of NAWCC,

Columbia PA

Fred Frick Clock

Fred Frick Master Program Clock,

circa 1900-1910

Frick’s Automatic Electric Program Clock,

circa 1900

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