East German Commercial Clocks

RFT, Elfema and GW clocks

RFT (Rundfunk- und Fernmelde-Technik) was created when the Communist government seized control of all electrical manufacturers after the partition of Germany including parts of Siemens and AEG, and collectivized them into one entity. Many German industrial clock designs are based upon the iconic Swiss Federal Railways clocks of the 1940′s designed by Hans Hilfiker (1901-93), now re-issued by Mondaine, featuring a simple pared down but graphically strong clock face, influenced by the teachings at the Bauhaus and the traditions of the Modernist Movement.

ELFEMA (Electro-Mechanics Mittweida) East Germany, former GDR Established: 1946, Closed: 1993. The origin of the company was the relocation of parts of the company C. Lorenz AG Berlin to Mittweida in 1942 /43. The production of war material was compromised by the bombing of Berlin and was therefore carried out in the premises of the cotton mill Mittweida. On the site of the later ELFEMA forced laborers and security guards, who were employed in the production of the Lorenz works were housed. On this land in 1945 wooden toys were made. The electro-mechanics Mittweida was established on 03/01/1946 and adopted by the company Lorenz AG with 40 employees. It produced radios, charging rectifiers, amplifiers, transformers, reactors, among others 1950 Electric Precision Engineering Mittweida fiduciary operation of the VVB broadcasting technique was. The range was dedicated to synchronous table clocks, primary and secondary clocks and timers. 1954 takeover of the company Kazda / transformer. The expansion of the production range, the workforce consisted of 135 employees. The first attempts at Production Line made 1959. 1962/63, a new production facility was built with assembly lines, there were lines of transformers and deflection units built for the television industry. In the same period, the former Webschützenfabrik Frankenberg was adopted with 15 employees. For the manufacture of deflection yokes further 150 women were recruited and trained in Frankenberg. In the period 1964-66 the production of switches, as well as main and secondary clocks was outsourced. The production of transformers in one shifted to lock factory Burgstädt. This operation was established in 1968 affiliated with 300 employees at the ELFEMA. The specialization of electrical mechanics Mittweida inductive components of the color television production and new technological processes its own tool and Prüfgerätebau were required. During this period the ELFEMA had seven branch factories and several special departments such as student production sites, a training workshop and 2 workshops for the disabled. In 1972 the construction of a new production facility in the parent company. At this time, 650 people were employed in Mittweida. 1973 several semi-public enterprises of the territory were affiliated with about 200 workers. 1982-84 was the construction of the largest investment project of the company for color deflection units and its own plastic molding. The acquisition of the former company equipment manufacturing Limbach was an assortment of hi-fi radios and speakers in 1984 with a further 100 employees. With all parts of the plant operating at that time had 1323 employees.