The manufacturer of the Daneker grandfather clocks was the Daneker Clock Company owned by the Millon-Rutherford company. Its founder was Rutherford Daneker, Sr. who had a vision of building the finest clocks in the US. Mr. Daneker travelled to southern Pennsylvania to study the craft of clock making. There he learned about the work of Hepplewhite and Duncan Phyfe who accompanied him to Europe so he could speak to master clock watchers who learned their clock making skills from their ancestors. After acquiring the knowledge he needed, he returned to Fallston, Maryland, gathered up his sons and recruited some workers to start building clocks. This was in the late 40s; unfortunately the factory burned down in 1969.Topmost in Mr. Daneker’s mind was quality. He made sure that his grandfather clocks were made with the finest wood.
Text from a Daneker Catalog
An echo. Reminiscent of another time. A time when quality and workmanship were a matter of individual pride. A time when only the best materials were chosen in fashioning of objects or grace or utility. A time when simple tools, able hands and patient hearts bent to the task... the craftsman's skilled judgment alone setting the moment of completion. Such dedication was commonplace in the past... is rarely found in the present.
In the hills of Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay, a group of artisans devoted to these very precepts produce the finest clock in America, the Daneker Clock. For generation, Daneker craftsmen have, with care and expertise, been creating clocks for those who elect to acquire furnishings of taste and character for their home. This is their story. A story of how each Daneker Clock is made to be worth treasuring. Made to become an important part of everyday life. Made to be a cherished family heirloom.
Rutherford Daneker, Sr. had a dream... to build the finest clock in America. His dream took him to the southern counties of Pennsylvania where he studied early American clock making techniques... led him to examine the work of Hepplewhite and Duncan Phyfe... journeyed with him to Europe where he questioned venerable masters of the craft who had learned clock making from fathers and grandfathers. Returning home to Fallston, Maryland he gather skilled woodworkers and with his sons, they began building clocks of matchless distinction.
No concession to quality was made in the selection of wood, movement or brass. Nothing was spared in the time or effort necessary to create a timepiece of exceptional grace and value. As the years went by, Daneker became quietly known as a name to trust, a name synonymous with fine clock making. Others joined in the dream, those who flet the Daneker Clock would someday be an authentic American tradition. We believe that day has come. The ideal of Rutherford Daneker truly captures the spirit of our history as a people and as a nation. This ideal is reflected in each Daneker Clock, earning it a respected place in the American family of today... and tomorrow.
Today's pressures and complexities cause many to surround themselves with personal objects that are by their very nature beautiful. Belongings that are individually made and genuine... in stark contrast with a society of plastic, steel and asphalt. There is also a yearning for thins of simple honest recalled from earlier, less complicated years. You might remember a certain clock. Perhaps it hung on the wall of the railway station stoically marking the moment you left on your first journey away from home. Or possibly your family was one of the fortunate few to have an original piece by Eli Terry, famed 18th century New England clockmaker. Or could it have been a grandfather clock that stood for years as a faithful sentinel in the front hall. Now you wish you had that clock; or one of its integrity... made as a pure expression of the cabinetmaker's art. Every exacting detail in joinery, sanding and finishing is heeded with care and precision at Daneker to assure the woodworking excellence and beauty you seek.
Each Daneker Clock is crafted in wood of matchless quality. Wood so fine it is of the same standard as that chosen for musical instruments. Wood selected for its unique characteristics in grain, hue and tenure. Mahogany, with its tight graining, steak patterns, sound resonance and inherent reddish tone so often seen in formal period furnishings. Cherry, with its flamboyant grain structure and natural variations disclosed in exquisite light and dark finishes. Walnut, the rare open grain hardwood with interesting shades of brown that cast a refined, subtle elegance. Maple, the timber of intrinsic strength and subdued graining that played such a vibrant role in the home of colonial America. Pine, with knots and swirls that impart an air of casual warmth... a mood of hearth and home. Daneker artisans treat each with utmost respect in the creation of a purposely limited collection of classically styled clocks. Each enriched by meticulously exacted routings, moldings, and carvings... all revealing the hand of a master craftsman.
When exceptional wood and impeccable detail are the standard, only a perfect finish is acceptable. The Daneker finish is exemplary among clockmakers and a source of justifiable price. Natural wood coloration and graining are given full dominion in special stains which only enhance, never obscure the particular beauty. Through the years, Daneker has developed an exclusive process that includes numerous hand steps and a good deal of extra effort and attention. Only the experienced eye knows how much sanding is needed, how much filling, wiping, glazing, sealing, waxing. Time is unimportant here. Only the finisher's seasoned appraisal measures the hours needed to achieve a finish worthy of the Daneker name. The result is a delicate patina that invites the touch... the appreciative glance... the close scrutiny. A patina that deepens in richness and charm when gentle hands lovingly polish its special luster. A patina in warm communion with glowing appointments of genuine solid brass.Unquestionably the finest clock movements in the world are made in the Black Forest region of West Germany where for generations, clock making has been a cultural heritage. Only these fine movements are selected for use in Daneker clocks. Each imported movement is fitted by hand at Daneker to assure years of reliable timekeeping. Then just as in the case of a musical instrument, each is tuned by ear. Since every one is individually made, no two Daneker clocks sound alike. Each cadenced tick tock is unique... solemnly marking the moments while precise hands pass around the exclusively designed Daneker dial with its rich brass numerals. Echoing London's Big Ben, the reverberating Westminster chime sounds each quarter, half, three-quarter and full hour, or select a magnificent triple chime. There is also a moon dial in etched nickel or the colors of nature, quietly charting its monthly course. Every meticulously designed and engineered part, from face to pendulum, represents the ultimate in clock making. Daneker Clocks have earned their place as an American family heirloom.
The same attention to authenticity and enduring workmanship represented in clock by Daneker, has been employed in the creation of other timeless pieces for those who seek only the finest. The Daneker Spinning Wheel has been masterfully rendered as a functioning reproduction of the colonial flax wheel. More than just another item of nostalgia, the Daneker wheel is made to be used by patient, skillful hands and arrives complete with flax and a special booklet that helps teach this fine art. Daneker studied the long history of spinning flax into linen thread and research was done on the crafting techniques used by wheelwrights of old. Much time was spent seeking out the antique example that embodied the grace and dignity of this ageless art form. The result is a spinning wheel that, together with its companion stool, makes a statement of unusual significance. Warmly in keeping with today's respect for the honored task of creating with dedicated heart and hand that which is useful. Here marks the beginning of another Daneker tradition.....
The 1969 factory fire:
On Thursday, November 27, 1969, the main assembly building of the Millon-Daneker Company in Fallston, where grandfather clocks were made for the Daneker Company, was completely destroyed by fire. The blaze, discovered at 3:30 a.m., did an several thousands of dollars worth of damage to approximately 700 grandfather clocks. The building fire was fueled by gas lines and plywood stored in the building. Three additional buildings were saved during this multi-alarm fire. Fire trucks returning to the scene with water pumped from the Maryland Water Works Company on Lake Fanny Hill, were faced with an additional hazard - icing along the road from spilled water