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Having achieved satisfactory performance with the sample springs the stage was set to embark upon the business adventure that was to shape the rest of his life.

What should he name his product? He combined the prefix "horo" (from the Greek hora = time) and the suffix "var" from the metal "Invar" - another alloy with similar thermal characteristics.

Thus Horolovar.1

By 1951 The Horolovar Temperature Compensating Suspension Spring was ready to go to market.

It was important that the clockmaker should be able to determine which spring was correct for the clock on his bench. With the assistance of his friends in the magazine business he prepared an attractive gilt covered booklet. An artist friend prepared drawings of 99 backplates and each was printed aligned above the corresponding spring strength. The Horolovar 400-Day Clock Suspension Spring Guide was published in 1953.

The Guide (as well as just about everything father published) included a great deal of promotional material. Charlie Terwilliger had natural promotional skills. At this time he was still working his "day job" in Manhattan.

12 strengths of springs as well as a popular assortment were offered. They were packaged in an attractively printed envelope with a string closure. The springs themselves were inserted in 12 ordinary soda straws glued inside the envelope.

Almost from the beginning, The Horolovar Company also offered other products for the 400-Day Clock Repairman:
  • An extensive range of 400-Day Clock parts
  • Mainsprings in four sizes
  • Long round tapered brass pins
  • Two jigs to assemble suspension units
  • A mainspring winder
As time went by the company added:
  • Assembled suspension units
  • 12 more spring strengths for a total of 24
  • Mainspring letdown keys
  • An expanded selection of tapered pins in steel and brass
  • 2 types of adjustable pallet setting tools (not successful)
  • Horolube clock oil (Discontinued)
  • Batteries for certain clocks
  • A beat setting tool
  • Warranty forms and window signs
          "400-Day Clocks Repaired Here"

The Horolovar Company never had a street address or a telephone number, only a Post Office Box. Until 1954 business was conducted in a small dining room off the kitchen and in the basement of the family home.

In 1954 the family and the company moved a mile or so into Bronxville proper so the children could have the advantage of the superior Bronxville Public Schools. Anne was 15, Bob was 12. This house had a large and comfortable basement where Charles could spread out his operations. Office furniture, steel shelves, and file cabinets soon filled the space. A huge map case housed partial movements and a large boardroom table provided desk space for two employees. All the furnishings were purchased from sources, often auction galleries, that he had located while working his "day job" in New York City.

By this time there were three key employees working part time. Two were moonlighting New York City Police detectives. One of whom filled orders and one did the 400-Day Clock repairs. At this early date, the company offered repair services for "problem clocks". The repair services were discontinued in December of 1964 after it became apparent that certain "repairmen" were just sending in all their 400-Day traffic and marking up the costs on their end. Nevertheless, there were often things to learn from the clocks that passed across the repair bench.

The third employee took care of the books and general business matters. His name was Robert Creamer He lived in nearby Tuckahoe and was working a second job. Bob was a well known sports writer for Sports Illustrated and The New York Times.

In the late 60's The Horolovar Company had become a personal success and a profitable business. Nonetheless, Charles continued to take the daily walk to the New York Central station in Bronxville; there to take the half-hour commute to his job in Manhattan.

In 1968 he reached age 60 and was unexpectedly and abruptly forced to retire from his job at Macfadden-Bartel. He had been with the company since the 40's

Significant income was suddenly lost and retirement benefits were negligible. He now had to support his household on his own.


1 - Horolovar - While a clever syllabic juxtaposition, and if examined it pronounces as it's spelled, "Horolovar" was often not intuitively pronounced.


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The Horolovar Company
PO Box 942
Lancaster, OH 43130-0942
(740) 277-7083

http://thehorolovarcompany.com/