Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Purrfect 10: Fun Facts About the Kit-Cat Klock

We love reading and researching anything and everything about cats, and wanted to find a fun and unique way to share the interesting facts we learn with you! Since top 10 lists are very popular in the blogosphere, we created The Purrfect 10 as a way to present 10 educational or fascinating tidbits about a wide variety of cat-related topics, everything from health issues to cat breeds to famous felines.

The Kit-Cat Klock has been an icon of Americana for over 85 years, charming generations with it's swinging tail, rolling eyes and contagious smile. Not only is the clock a cherished item in homes all over the country, its history is fascinating, and we have the scoop in this month's edition of The Purrfect 10!

1) The Kit-Cat Klock was invented in 1932 by designer Earl Arnault for the Allied Manufacturing Company in Portland, Oregon. It was the height of the Great Depression, and the charming Kit-Cat brightened the lives of Americans during one of our country's most challenging times. These earliest clocks had metal bodies, metal clock hands and 4 toes on each of the 2 paws. They also had knobs on the front to start the motor spinning in the correct direction once it was plugged in. Allied Clock eventually began using plastic molding and moved their operations to Seattle.

2) During the 1940s and 1950s the clock exploded in popularity, earning its stripes as an American icon. The mid-50s also marked the only design changes the Kit-Cat Klock has seen in over 80 years: forepaws were added to hold the dial, the whiskers made thicker, and the tail curvier. The Kit-Cat Klock also got a dapper bowtie. The late 1950’s also brought "jeweled" versions into production. From 1957 to 1981 they had felt on the tail between two rows of crystals, but starting in 1982 they had only one row of crystals and no felt on the tails.

3) In 1962 Allied Clock moved production to southern California and was renamed the California Clock Company. In 1982 entrepreneur Woody Young took over as Owner & President, a title he still holds today.  By the late 1980′s, the American Made legacy of Kit-Cat was almost lost! In the span of a few years, American electric motor manufacturing was almost exclusively relocated to Asia, leaving Kit-Cat without a US motor supplier. Good old American entrepreneurship took over and the California Clock Company developed a new battery technology able to drive the mechanisms of the Kit-Cat Klock, giving way to the first battery-powered Kit-Cat Klock.

4) Although colored Kit-Cats have been manufactured since the late 1930s, the first Limited Edition color was made in 1992, including “Game Day Orange” and “Game Day Blue” to celebrate collegiate sports and "The Spirit of 76" series in red, white, and blue. Other colors ran from Hunter Green to Sapphire, as well as millennial clocks jeweled with Swarovski crystals. Since 1992 all colors have been limited editions with only the Classic Black in constant production.

5) A new member of the Kit-Cat family arrived in 1996 with the introduction of Kitty-Cat, a space-saving 3/4-sized clock. 

6) 2001 introduced the Lady Kit-Cat Klock, swapping out the bow tie for pearls and eyelashes.

7) 2007 marked Kit-Cat’s 75th anniversary, and was celebrated with The Great All American Road Show which lasted 75 days along the entire Route 66. It included the world’s largest Kit-Cat Klock at 75 inches tall and a 75-year-old Ford Deuce, specially painted to celebrate the clock.

8) 2012 marked Kit-Cat’s 80th anniversary, 50 years manufacturing all of their clocks in California, and 30 years with Woody Young as President. To celebrate this milestone, Kit-Cat sponsored the only 100% US grown commercial float in the 2012 Pasadena Rose Parade.

9) The Kit-Cat Klock has left its mark on American pop culture too, being featured in the opening sequence of 1985's Back To The FutureKaty Perry the Movie: Part of Me, and Taylor Swift's music video for We Are Never Getting Back Together.

10) After 85 years, Kit-Cat Klocks are now sold in stores all over the world. Outside the US, Kit-Kat Klocks are most popular in Japan, the UK, France and Germany. In fact, for the last 50 years, the manufacturer estimates that an average of one clock has been purchased every 3 minutes!

The Kit-Cat Creed
Put a smile on everyone’s face;
Love in everyone’s heart;
Energy in everyone’s body;
and Be a positive force in everyone’s life!

Does a Kit-Cat Klock hang in your home?
(If not, come back on Friday for your chance to win one!!!)

Photos Used With Permission from California Clock Company


Summer at sparklecat.com said...

Wow, my human learned so much about her favorite clock! Can you believe we don't have one here? Probably because my human has never been able to decide which one she wants.

Mark's Mews (Marley, Lori, Loki, and Binq) said...

We don't have one, but OMC, that picture of a lot of them was PAWSOME!!!

Mickey's Musings said...

What interesting facts about the Kit-Cat clock :)
Sadly, we do not have one.
Purrs Georgia,Julie and JJ

The Menagerie Mom said...

I've always loved Kit-Cat clocks! I got my mom a Kitty-Cat clock for Christmas a couple of years ago. I need to hang one in my house now. This was such a fun list to read!

katsrus said...

Love these clocks. I've always wanted one.
Sue B

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

never knew they came in gray too, I'm not a huge fan of the black ones........I sort of have a love-hate with them lol!!!!!!! catchatwithcarenandcody

The Island Cats said...

We don't have one of these in our house...but we liked learning more about them.

Patricia T said...

Wonderful information, Melissa! I have always loved the Kit-Cat clock.

Eastside Cats said...

Oh my! Thanks for the education, and although we don't have one, we now want one!

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

Oh, my goodness! I NEED that wall of cat clocks in the tree! I'm usually not a fan of clocks (I grew up surrounded by a bunch because my father loves them) - but this one really takes the cake!

The Swiss Cats said...

We didn't know about that special clock, but we learned a lot about the kitty-cat clock ! Purrs

pilch92 said...

Great post. I have always wanted one of these.

Three Chatty Cats said...

What a fun post! I love that wall of Kit-Cat clocks.

Valentine said...

Oh Melissa & Mudpie, Mom & I luved this post!! It back memories for Mom of her best friend's family house growing up where a kitty cat clock hung in the kitchen. Mom says she was fascinating with the moving eyes and tail. She has always wanted one of those clocks. And now that she has learned from you that it comes in red, she can get one to match her house decor! Tee hee hee! Purrs! Thanks for this post!! -Valentine (& Mom) of Noir Kitty Mews

Unknown said...

What a great post! Can you believe I have never wondered about the origins of the Kit-cat Clock? And I've never had one either. Shame on me!