Author Topic: Horni Signal movement  (Read 1286 times)

Offline \\-olff

  • Professional Sculptor
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 231
  • Sculptor
Horni Signal movement
« on: June 14, 2015, 01:57:00 AM »
Interesting thing is, when the Horni Signal mechanism is compared with the Stewart Steel Products Co's mechanism dating to ca 1920 one can't help but notice how similar they are in design and layout. The front and back plates' shapes are nearly identical, the biggest difference is in the actuator lever style.

The Horni Signal front plate has the company name and location along with "Made in the USA"  stamped into the metal, and they were based in NYC, the Stewart Steel Products plate is engraved with their name, they were also located in NYC in Brooklyn, however, theirs says "Pat. Pend" on it. A few searches in the patent archives found absolutely nothing issued to Stewart Steel Products, it was either denied (in which case there would be a record of some kind you would think) or like many back then- they just put that there to discourage and scare  copiers and didn't really apply for an expensive patent at all.
Horni Signal on the other hand does have a patent on theirs, filed in 1936 and issued in 1940. The mechanism does not have a "Patented"  on it, so it most likely pre-dates the 1936 filing.
Horni Signal became a big company, having published a newsletter that is more like a magazing during WWll they also made a variety of signal products for the military as well as stop lights and other devices. Stewart Steel Products Co. appeared to have been a very small manufacturing plant, the building still stands in Brooklyn,  but boarded up, and it seems they never went anywhere and quietly faded out of business.
Horni signal however was granted a large contract in 1930 for  1,025 fire boxes for  NYC for a price in excess of $121,000. This would be for the inner boxes only, the newspaper blurb I found says: "This is claimed to be the largest contract ever awarded to a company at one time for one class of material"

In another article from 1946 under the title of: " Brothers indicted in company thefts, officials of the Horni Signal manufacturing concern are accused of 'milking' it" apparently were padding the bills charged for work for the Government and using company funds to pay gambling debts.

"Paul P Horni, president of the defunct Horni Signal Manufacturing Company at 421 West 54th St, which did more than $17,000,000 in war work for the Government up to the cancellation of it's contracts in 1945, and his ..."

Sculptures are drawings you fall over in the dark

Offline \\-olff

  • Professional Sculptor
  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 231
  • Sculptor
Re: Horni Signal movement
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 12:38:14 AM »
I received the Horni Signal mechanism I bought  for $29, it works perfectly. The seller didn't know anything about it other than he figured it was something from a fire alarm system, what he didn't know is Horni Signal Co was not in business all that long making these, and by 1946 they were defunct when the two Horni brothers were indicted on activities related to their war work contract.
 That means any of these devices made by them dates to pre 1945, this one with the use of some steel gear parts instead of all brass suggests it's a later make from close to 1945. The mechanism weighs 5 pounds. It is missing the code wheel however, but this can be made from  brass, in fact I need 2-3 as it is, now this one too so like fabricating the brass hinges I need from solid bar stock, here's another project to do, but this would use a brass round bar cut into "wafers" to make.
Sculptures are drawings you fall over in the dark