P.O. Box 861
Dunseith, ND 58329
Home Phone (701)-263-4633
I thought I would contact you since there appears to be some misunderstanding as far as your web page goes. My name is Patrice Gunville, I am the daughter of Harley Mayenschein (dec.) of the Idle Tyme Corporation. You may be wondering who is Harley Mayenschein? He is the inventor of the Ball Clock : The United States of America, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks document # 4280211 Patent # 4077198 dated July 21, 1981 for your records. The serial number before the patent was issued was #042,566 filed May 25, 1979
The Idle Tyme Corporation was put into effect on April, 1978 in the state of Wisconsin chapter 180 of the Wisconsin Business Corporation Law.
Personal information about Harley Mayenschein
He was working at Motorola in Schaumburg Illinois as a design engineer. He had been in this trade for as long as I can remember. He was in poor health so was advises to retire early, but because of his need to tinker and design he began to create the ball clock. It was originally built from balsam wood with he purchased from hobby stores. The very first original design (before patent) was simple 1/4 X 1/4 inch strips of wood which the balls would roll on, much like the design of railroad tracks. He had shown his new invention to friends and they all wished to have one, so as his hobby, he created them. Before he knew it, with a months time, he had over 300 orders. So my brothers and I began to help him make piece parts on our spare time, and he would then put the clocks together and spray paint them black and sell them for $75.00 each. Within six months we found my fathers hobby had grown into a enterprise, so we converted the garage into a workshop, purchased a small table saw, a drill, etc. Soon afterwards we had to find larger quarters, quit our jobs and hire people to help with creating the clocks to sell. As well as find suppliers for wood, motors, linecords, ballbearings etc. We had moved into an industrial site on Tower Hill Road in Schaumburg. The business grew by leaps and bounds, and there was not enough parking area for the employees, so we decided to look else where.
We decided then to purchase a home which came with a building that could be created into a factory in South West Wisconsin in the town of Sextonville. My entire family moved there, expect for my oldest brother who decided to play it safe and remain in the Chicago land area and the security of his job with the airlines.
We remodeled the building, and purchased equipment to build the wooden clocks, which was now designed as it is presently. This is also when we had filed for a patent. We no longer painted the clocks black. They were made of various woods such as walnut, butternut, rosewood, and especially cherry. I feel that if you were to contact Tod Flak, you would find a drawn cartoon logo beneath his clock which verified the employee who had built it. Each of our employees had there own logo signature which allowed us to know who built it. Each of our clocks were now stained with Deft to keep itís beauty secure.
Because of the requests to purchase the clock we had decided to sublicense so an agreement was made with John Jeffries and Thomas Heffernan located in St. Louis Mo, but the agreement fell through, so we had to find another way to mass create the clock.
Arrow Handicraft Corporation (Jack Heiman) 900 W. 45th St. Chicago, Illinois 60609 (312-927-2000) January 28,1980
It was later that it was licensed to the Crafthouse Corporation.
We continued to create the wood model of our clock, our main retailer/largest retailer was Joys Clock Shop, Water Tower Place, Chicago Ill. But we had also many other retailers who sold our clock.
He had also occasionally created various sized of the clock just for the fun of it and specialties for various business/organizations. A ball clock for golf courses which used golf balls. A candy shop with gum balls. Sporting shop with baseballs. I personally own a small watch size clock, I could wear on my wrist made from BBís. Which I consider simply as a novelty, since...well you understand. The largest ball clock he created stands at Western Lanes 904 S. Tayler Street in Greenbay Wisconsin. Which they paid $10,000 for. It stands 8 ft high, 16 ft wide and 8 ft deep. It has 6 automobile shock absorbers, six timing devices, 1,446 sets of bolts, nuts and washers and a single one-sixth horse power motor. And took 700 hours to build, yes itís made for bowling balls.
This ball clock was my father pride and joy even though he created a
boat clock, windmill clock, train clock, the fabulous fire factory with
lights matches to light your cigarette/cigars which he never had time to
market because of his involvement with the ball clock. My father was
funny, brilliant, imaginative, and very missed. He passed away on
October 30, 1985. On his grave stone we had the Idle Tyme Logo carved
into it since it meant so much to him. And it saddens me to see others
who claim to have created/invented the one thing he was so proud of
inventing. If you would give me your address I would gladly Xerox and
send you everything which was stated about as well as the various
pictures and newspaper clippings I have collected in regards to my
father and HIS Ball Clock.