Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Video of flying saucer window display by Baranger Company of South Pasedena

Check out this rare set of Baranger window display from 1953 featuring a newlywed couple in a flying saucer. Baranger Motion machines were animated mechanical store window displays made from 1925 to 1959* by the Baranger Company of South Pasadena, California. They were typically rented to jewelers and were changed on a monthly rotation.

Here is a link to a rare book on the subject: Baranger: Window displays in motion: dramatizing the jewel

Here is a link to an eBay listing for a DVD featuring many Baranger displays in motion: Baranger Studios Jewelry store Window Display in Motion DVD.

Key Dates:
1920 - (approx.) Baranger Studios commenced operations.
1925 - A new building in South Pasadena was completed. The company supplied static window display material to Jewellery stores.
1936 - A disastrous fire ended production of static displays.
1937 - Motion displays were introduced (M-1 Bridal Ensemble).
1957 - The final motion is M-247 Sultan’s Wedding March. A total of 167 different motions were produced not 247 - 250 as is often reported.
1959 - Founder Arch. E. Baranger died in December. Mrs. Baranger continued to operate the business after her husband’s death but no new motions were created.
1960 - Robert Gerlach, who was the designer of the motions retired in January following the death of A. E. Baranger.
1977 - In March the company notified its customers that the motion display department was closing. Customers were offered the opportunity to purchase motions in their possession for $350 each.
1978 - The building and stock were bought by Burton A. Burton. John A. Daniel was put in charge of repairing motions and selling duplicates. He became a collector of them. 1986 Daniel sold his collection of 90 motions to Teruhisa Kitahara.
Kitahara incorrectly states that more than 250 motions were produced but could only claim to have 101 different motions in his collection in 1988. John Daniel subsequently bought the remaining stock of motions from Burton A. Burton.
1993 - Daniel published a 60 minute VHS video showing 122 motions.
2001 - Daniel published a book showing images of all the motions plus a history of the business.

[ Thanks Thomas! ]

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Anonymous Jim Jenkins said...

Dug, Happy to see your post on the Baranger Studio motion displays. I had the opportunity to purchase two of them back in 1982, shortly after they first went on sale at the original South Pasadena location. As luck would have it, the two I own have turned out to be among the favorites. I bought the Flying Saucer (from your post) and the Cowboy (which its depicted on the DVD). As a testament to their construction, both still work perfectly.

June 13, 2013 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Justin P said...

Nice post! The two flying saucers in the video are mine. One was in for repair, and the other still resides in my collection. I grew up only blocks from the Baranger Studios, and met Hazel many times. I met John Daniel at 5 years old and knew him my entire life. I helped pull the motions down from the rafters and helped film them all for the book. Today I collect, restore and sell Baranger Motions in South Pasadena. Please see my other YouTube videos of Barangers I have or check me out at Justin Pinchot

September 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 4 of the machines, Moon Shot, Treasure Chest, Gnomes Mine, mand Wedding ring. The first 3 are still working and teh Wedding Ring the motor runs but the figurines do not move. I see a disconnected wire on the figurines. I also have the original red shipping box for all 4. I would like to sell all 4 of these. I can be contacted at

August 4, 2014 at 1:49 PM  

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