This recording system is distinctive in that the station key, instead of being turned in the clock mechanism, is simply pushed straight in against the recording dial.
A metal type on the leading edge of the key presses the paper chart into a forming die within the clock. That embosses the paper with the number of the type and the mating die.
It was necessary in
this design to take steps to prevent an object, other than the proper key, being pushed into the key receptacle, which might result in forming the chart paper in one of the dies. Protection was achieved by having
the row of all dies located on a swivel plate which was ordinarily positioned so that the dies were not exposed in the key receptacle. A protrusion on the side of a recording key provided that the key, when pushed
into the clock, would swing that plate to bring the line of dies into proper alignment. A particular key could swing the plate right, or left, to bring into alignment the row of dies containing the die matching
the type on that key. Because the die plate could be swung to two different alignments, right or left, the design inherently doubled the number of stations that could be served by a particular clock. In the
clock pictured here, there are two rows of 9 dies each, for a total of eighteen different stations.
The principle of embossing by direct push first appeared in a clock, the New
York, made by J. Schlenker-Grusen and imported by General Watchman's Time Detector Company. This was a challenge to A.A. Newman's patent of 1901. There is no court decision on record in the resulting lawsuit
brought by Newman, but the existing record of expert testimony over several days seems to establish that the difference between turning and pushing was immaterial, and so the matter ended. The purpose of the
lawsuit was certainly to impress third parties with the uniqueness and hence value of the Newman patent. Within a short time Newman Clock Company appears as the owner of the General Watchman's Time Detector
Company and was marketing a clock of this style under the name Argus. The Newman patent prevented others from importing clocks of this design, and it never was actively marketed by The Newman Clock Company.