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Batt, James R. (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 20, Number 4 (Fall 1974)

Baier, Joseph G.
Mathias Schwalbach: Milwaukee's master mechanic, inventor, and tower clock maker,   pp. 20-24

Page 21

Fifty-five tower clocks manufactured by Mathias Schwalbach
were listed in the company catalog printed around 1907.
Several are in existence today. At left, the clock of St.
Francis of Assisi Church in Milwaukee is still operating. The
movement at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (right)
in Jefferson was installed in 1905.
today and at the southwest corner
of S t a t e Street at Fourth, is a
plaque designating the location of
Kleinsteuber's Shop and commem-
orating the invention, naming as
well the four involved, including
Mathias Schwalbach.
  There is no doubt that Mathias
played a significant role in the
development of a workable type-
writer, which, with the efforts of
James Densmore, led eventually
to an early arrangement with the
Remingtons, of Ilion, New York,
in the formation of the Remington
Standard Typewriter Company.
This story has been told very well.
But what of the later life and major
effort of Matthias Schwalbach?
  Several references to Mathias
Schwalbach and his tower clock
work have been found.
  A brief biographical sketch ap-
pears in the History of Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, published in 1881:
  M. Schwalbach, manufactur-
  er of church and tower clocks,
  large and small models, and
  all kinds of small machinery;
  also a dealer in accordians,
  clocks and sewing machine
  fixtures, No. 1002 Galena
  Street; born in Prussia, De-
  cember 17, 1834, came to
  America in 1857, and located
  in Albany, New York. He
  worked two years as journey-
  man in the machine business,
  and then moved to Syracuse,
  New York, where he engaged
  in the same business four
  years. In May, 1863, he
  came to Milwaukee, and was
  with C. F. Kleinsteuber nine
  years, establishing his present
  business in 1873. He has ob-
  tained a number of patents
  for sewing machines, tower
  clocks and typewriters.
  In the Geschichte der Katholi-
schen Kirche in Wisconsin, pub-
lished in 1899, on pages 1043
and 1044, there is the following
  Mr. Mathias Schwalbach be-
  longs to the very best-known
  makers of tower-clocks. He
  has been c a r r y i n g on his
  trade in Milwaukee very suc-
  cessfully for over a quarter
  century. What created an es-
  pecially great fame for him is
  his ingenious invention of a
  mechanism which makes the
  c l o c k w o r k into a reliable
  chronometer. The tower-
  clocks built by him in a solid
  and durable way have been
  distributed in all states of the

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