The exquisite quality of Howard Miller grandfather clocks is appreciated by collectors all over the country. Incomparable workmanship, with unsurpassed quality and a quest for perfection, is what Howard C. Miller insisted on when he founded the company in 1926.
In the early 1900s, Herman Miller of office furniture renown began making clocks after learning the craft from his father in Germany. He invested in his son-in-law’s furniture company, but he never worked there. On Herman Miller’s death in 1937, the clockmaking branch of his furniture company was handed to his son Herman, who started his own company, the Howard Miller Clock Company.
Howard Miller, the 21-year-old founder of the clock company, shared the same values as the furniture company. At this point, Miller expanded his product line to include chiming wall and mantle clocks that were functional and appealing to his client’s tastes. He gained this from the knowledge he gained through his grandfather’s passion for clocks.
With the connection to Germany, it can lead many to wonder, where are clocks made by the Howard Miller clock company? (Learn How To Determine The Age Of A Howard Miller Clock)
By the end, you’ll see how clocks are made and how to check the details of antique or modern clocks made by the Howard Miller clock company.
Are Howard Miller Clocks Made in Germany?
Two years after the Wright Brothers’ historic flight at Kitty Hawk, a young Howard C. Miller was born. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mr. Miller relocated to Zeeland with his family as a youngster.
Herman Miller, Howard Miller’s father, taught him the fine art of clockmaking in the Black Forest region of Germany.
While growing into a visionary, Howard developed a keen sense of innovation spawned and commitment to excellence passed through three generations.
As a child, Howard Miller learned the business from Herman’s father. The latter in the early 1900s took advantage of West Michigan’s furniture sector to launch a new company while simultaneously running two companies. One for clocks, and the other furniture comprising curio cabinets, spice cabinets, display furniture, and more.
Suppose you see the words “made in Germany” on an older model of Howard Miller clock. In that case, it signifies that the German Kieninger Company commissioned Old World craftsmen to make the timepiece in question. Zeeland produces the wooden case while the clockwork is assembled in Michigan.
Founded in 1926, the Howard Miller Clock Company has a long history of manufacturing in the United States.
In order to build his own company, Howard drew mainly on his father’s financial ability and his father’s desire. Howard Miller was well aware of the importance of producing high-quality goods at a reasonable price.
The sprawling facility in Zeeland, Michigan, is the only one in the world where his name can appear on the face of every clock manufactured there with free shipping to anywhere in the United States.
In 1933, Howard Miller began creating avant-garde clocks with a futuristic design that still stands today in collectors’ galleries. Initially, the firm exclusively produced chiming wall clocks and mantle clocks.
The company has been recognized for its innovative design. For example, Howard Miller joined forces with Ford Motor Company to produce anti-aircraft covers during World War II.
When Herman Miller Furniture’s Director of Design, George Nelson, returned from World War II, he used his talents to create the Ball, Spike & Spindle Clocks, and Ceramic Wall Clocks. When the company finished establishing a modern facility in the 1960s, grandfather clocks became part of the product line. (Learn What is MDF Made Of)
The Howard Miller Company has a monopoly for grandfather clocks and mantle clocks. So the company became known as “The World’s largest Grandfather Clock Company.”
Howard Miller Legacy
Howard C. Miller died in 1995, but his company is dedicated to carrying on his goal before he passed away. This family-owned business is now in its third generation of ownership.
The Howard Miller Clock Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of grandfather clocks and the largest clock manufacturer in the United States. Howard C. Miller, on the other hand, viewed size as a secondary consideration.
In addition to producing a reliable product of high quality, we are also building a product that will be passed down from generation to generation.
According to Mr. Miller, Clocks are more than just a piece of furniture. In addition, he stated: “Making anything isn’t enough. Creating something that has a soul is what you’re doing. Is there a chime? Those chimes, which ring every fifteen minutes, give a house a distinct sense of vitality.”
They feel that grandfather clocks should be constructed for ease of set-up, maintenance, packing up, and transportation.
The Howard Miller Company agrees with this sentiment. An experienced clockmaker, instead of an amateur, can construct a stunning case for a complex timepiece.
If adequately cared for, Howard Miller’s grandfather clocks will last for decades with Kieninger movements.
Where Are Howard Miller Clock Movements Made?
You can find the clock company movements have a dual origin. While looking at the history here:
Mahr already sold Kieninger to the American firm Howard Miller as part of a reorganization plan for their business activities at the end of 1993.
With a high demand for clock movements, the Zeeland-based family business is the world’s largest clock producer.
Change of ownership led to a gradual shift away from Kieninger’s long-standing business in measuring devices. In addition, it brought stability and economic growth back to Kieninger by reinvigorating the clock movement business and sole supplier for Howard Miller clock, wall clock, grandfather clock, table clocks, or any of the modern clocks the clock company creates.
Even if you have a Howard Miller wall clock or a modern grandfather clock design, they can have either cable-driven movements or battery-operated that are made in Germany and then shipped to Zeeland to be fitted to another clock.
Where are Herman Miller Clocks Made?
Howard Miller Company produces long-case clocks and household furniture for Zeeland, Michigan.
As with their clockmaking, Howard Miller clock company began manufacturing collectors cabinets in 1989. Again, they used the same meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. The cabinets are made of wood and glass to showcase heirlooms, antiques, and other collectibles.
As part of the Howard Miller clock company efforts to deliver customers only the best in handcrafted products, Howard Miller recently acquired three companies.
Furniture made by the Hekman Furniture Company produces carefully sculpted hardwood pieces and reproductions from the 18th and 19th centuries and more modern hardwood pieces crafted from fine metals and exotic woods.
The Woodmark Company creates fine upholstered pieces. Finally, old World craftsmen employed by the German Kieninger Company make the magnificent movements seen in many clocks.
Because of the company’s expanded line and selection, Howard Miller is now appealing to purchasers who simply desire quality timepieces with an exquisite movement and furniture for their homes and workplaces, regardless of the occasion required.
Howard Miller products were primarily considered as wedding, anniversary, or retirement gifts in the past.
Howard Miller offers hundreds of products to complement any decor ranging from portable alarm clocks to wall and mantel clocks to limited edition grandfather clocks.
No matter the price of the purchase, you have the same assurance that Howard C. Miller provided when he began offering clocks over 70 years ago:
That quality is reflected in both the things the company creates and the people who use their artistic abilities to make them.
Add in the free shipping to around the USA for mantel clocks and your grandfather clock, and you have a bargain as well as a substantial investment. (Learn What Is The Best Glue For Repairing Ceramics)
What Wall Clocks Are Made In USA?
Especially if you’re shopping at off-market places like auctions and estate sales, or even online, you’ll want to double-check that the Howard Miller clocks you’re considering are authentic and fit the price ranges you expect.
The firm in Zeeland, Michigan, has been making these clocks since 1929. Although the Howard Miller line has grown in size and complexity in recent years, there are still specific telltale signals that your clock has a distinct lineage.
As stated by Howard Miller, all Howard Miller clocks contain a foil label with a model number and the clock’s serial number inside the front door.
When examining a clock, look for a small label usually located somewhere in its inside casing, either behind or on one side.
Other details can be found on the clock face, yet this won’t have the model number.
Older models may include the words “Made in Germany” on the label, showing that the clockworks of the Howard Miller Clock were made by Old World craftsmen at the Kieninger Company of Germany.
While the Howard Miller clock company produces the grandfather clock and other models in Zeeland, the Michigan factory only fits the German clock company as the clocks go through assembly.
The engravings on a plate in the interior of some Howard Miller clocks identify them as Kieninger movements.
It is important to know if your longcase clock is chain- or cable-driven before you contact the Kieninger Company or Howard Miller to have any parts replaced.
The clock firm, founded by 21-year-old Howard Miller, has the same values as the furniture company: quality and value.
Aside from chiming wall and mantle clocks, Miller branched out into other types of clocks as he grew more familiar with the lore of clocks, which he had gained from his grandfather’s love of clocks.
His father taught him the technique of clockmaking in Germany, and Herman Miller (famous for his office furniture) began making them in the 1900s. He became an investor in a furniture company operated by his son-in-law, but he never worked for the company himself. ‘
Howard Miller, Herman Miller’s son, took over the clockmaking part of the furniture company in 1937, according to the corporate history. In Zeeland, Michigan, the two companies are entirely different, yet they still share the same land.
Clockmaking was interrupted by World Military II, and the factory was repurposed to produce war supplies. Mid-century modern clocks were created after Miller formed a partnership with George H. Nelson, a furniture designer for the Herman Miller Company, during the war.