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melikesclocks
09-10-2009, 11:06 PM
I just picked this one up, just got it set up, but wanted to get some preliminary info.

The serial, as best as I can tell is 2418051. There is an oval piece of metal obscuring the upper half of the numbers. The ends of the arbors holding the weights come through the back plate and into this oval piece of metal.

The other markings are P112 and DRP No. 171658 (I was reading the numbers backwards). I'm in between computers now, so all I had was my phone to take the crummy pictures. I hope to take some better photos of the movement in the next couple of days.

Any info is welcome.

Thanks


Eric

John Hubby
09-11-2009, 12:40 AM
Eric, thanks for posting. I will look forward to seeing more and better photos, especially of the movement back plate, gong mount bracket, and other details. Do recheck the serial number and the patent number. I think the patent number will be DRP 171659, since 171658 has nothing to do with clocks. The serial number appears to be too high for the clock also to be stamped with DRP 171659, which was a GB patent for silent strike mechanism. That patent expired in 1919, and the serial number you show would date the clock to 1922.

melikesclocks
09-11-2009, 08:22 AM
Hi John,

I was able to get some "better" pictures today. You're right, the DRP# is 171659.

I confirmed the serial number is 2416051. Hopefully you can see it in the pictures. The only thing that looks off to me about this clock is that the chime block might not be original. It has 5 rods, but one of them is out of line with the others. There are also what look like to be holes on the right side of the block. However, the clock does strike nicely, with bim-bam (bim on 2 hammers, bam on 3). It's a big clock, standing just over 7 feet tall.

Eric

melikesclocks
09-11-2009, 02:29 PM
I also thought of another question after looking at some other Gustav Becker GF clocks. It looks as though my clock is dated to 1922-23...what style would you consider the case/face? Would 1922 be too late for arts & crafts style..or was is starting to transition out. I've seen the same style of hands on clocks dating to the early teens, and they have been called Art Nouveau style.

Also, do you think the GB factory had some older backplates with the DRP number laying around after the patent expired...and decided to use them anyway?

Thanks, and looking forward to any insight you can bring.

Eric

John Hubby
09-11-2009, 11:14 PM
Eric, thanks very much for the additional photos, helps a lot! Here is what I've been able to confirm with the info shown:


Based on the serial number the clock was made in early 1922. The DRP had expired in July 1919, so it would not be completely logical that it would still be on this clock. However, considering the very difficult economic times during and just after WWI it could be quite possible that GB had extra movement plates with the DRP stamp already there that they used until they were gone. Also, I have very few tall case clocks in my data from 1914 to 1923, indicating there may not have been all that many made in those years.
Your clock is Model No. 2641, illustrated in the 1924 GB catalog recently published by Victor Tang. The specs on this clock are exactly as you have described, even saying the height is 83-1/2 inches, just shy of seven feet. I have scanned the illustration and attached it below for your info. Note that the dial and weights in the illustration are different from yours, however the same ones on your clock are illustrated as No. 352 in that same catalog. It was advertised you could select the dial and weights of your choice at the time these were sold. Your dial and weight set are shown below.
The movement in your clock is shown in the 1924 catalog as Model HB 1/2 hour Bim-Bam strike, with the Regina Gong as in your clock. This is also illustrated below. NOTE that all the gong rods in the illustration are shown mounted to the left side of the gong block. I think someone moved the four rods that are now on the right side of yours for some reason, I would remove the gong assembly and see if you can move them back. BE VERY CAREFUL in trying this, as they can easily break. Soak the threads thoroughly with a penetrating solvent before trying to turn them. If you are successful, this will require you to adjust the hammers to strike properly. You may be able to rotate the hammers on their respective shafts using the set screws, if that doesn't work then you can bend the hammer wires. How is the gong secured to the case? It appears there are bolts that come through from the back of the case.

The style of your clock would be considered a transition between Arts & Crafts and Art Deco, with still some Art Nouveau influence. I have noticed that in some clocks Becker used very definite styles such as these three, but in others they didn't follow any particular one. That seems to be the case for your clock.

You have a really fine clock of the immediate post-WWI period, very much worth collecting.

melikesclocks
09-12-2009, 12:03 AM
John, thank you, thank you, thank you for the information. I was starting to worry my clock was some sort of marriage. This puts my mind at ease. You are such a wealth of knowledge on the GB clocks.

To your question on the chime block mounting, yes, there are bolts that come through the back of the clock.

I've posted a separate thread asking which side the heavier weight should go on...what say you for this particular clock?

Also, what solvent should I use to loosen the chime rods?

Thanks again,

Eric

John Hubby
09-12-2009, 03:22 AM
The heavy weight should go on the strike side. Regarding the solvent to loosen the gong rods, I use WD40 and let it soak overnight. See if you can get it to puddle around the threads, that will help. Also spray in from the underneath side of the block.

melikesclocks
09-12-2009, 07:53 AM
Thanks again John. I assume the little string hanging on the right side is some kind of repeat function? I'm having the clock serviced next week as the previous owner said they hadn't touched it in the 5 years since they bought it. I'm hoping this will take care of the rapid striking at the beginning of the strike sequence.

Eric

melikesclocks
10-28-2009, 05:21 PM
A recent thread on another GB grandfather clock reminded me of my clock.

Thanks to those who diagnosed the fly. My repair guy said the fly was loose on the arbor. I've had it back for a while, with the new chime rods installed, and it's been working great.

I think it's neat to watch the fly start spinning and seeing the "wings" fold out.

Eric
-> posts merged by system <-
Forgot to include a picture of the chime block with the new rods installed. The left 2 rods are the originals, rest are the replacements cut to the length of the original broken rods. I guess I got lucky in that it sounds pretty much the same to my ear.

Eric

zepernick
10-28-2009, 08:32 PM
Based on the serial number the clock was made in early 1922. The DRP had expired in July 1919, so it would not be completely logical that it would still be on this clock.

John -- Is there some indication that this DRP was paid up for until 1919?
Regards, Zep

John Hubby
10-28-2009, 10:53 PM
Based on the serial number the clock was made in early 1922. The DRP had expired in July 1919, so it would not be completely logical that it would still be on this clock.

John -- Is there some indication that this DRP was paid up for until 1919?
Regards, ZepZep, thanks for the question. From the data I have to hand it appears that it was paid up for most if not all of the full time it could have been in force. I now have 16 clocks documented with this patent stamped, made from 1906 just at the time the patent was granted to the one in question here that is indicated to be made in early 1922 based on my "current" set of data. The documented clocks were made in 1906, 07, 09, 11, 12, 13, 17, and 1922(?).

Until this one appeared I was happily comfortable with the data I have compiled across the WWI period and going into the 1920's although the number of "anchor points" between late 1915 and mid-1923 were fewer than I like to see, and I already had found a couple of items that would cause me to shift data forward in this time frame (see final comments). This patent, with the next previous example showing to be made in 1917, was one of those points albeit not set in concrete.

Thus there are two scenarios, both taking into account that the patent was paid up for most if not all of its potential life.


The first is that more clocks than previously estimated were produced during WWI, with the same number not being made in the early 1920's (I have very concrete data for serial numbers produced to late 1915 and in the last two years of production under GB, i.e. to early 1926). To bring the clock in question back to say mid/late 1919 when the patent would (should?) have expired would require shifting forward the data for about 20 to 25,000 clocks in the period from 1916 through 1922. While a 2-1/2 year shift at the center of this data appears to be a lot, we need to keep in view that a total of about 142,000 serially numbered clocks were made between the end of 1915 and mid-1923 so there is certainly room for such a shift. It would also affect annual production on out through 1925, lowering early 1920's production to a minor extent, but we also know GB was struggling in the early 20's leading to the Junghans takeover. One other point although not necessarily a factor, we do know now that production at the Braunau factory held steady throughout the war, contrary to the conventional wisdom that clock production "ceased" during the war.



The second possibility would be to consider there may have been a number of movements already stamped with the patent number that weren't assembled when the plates were made, or may have sat as loose movements to be installed in cases when the sales demand caught up. It is quite evident from close inspection of the movements that such things as the logos, P numbers, and patent numbers were "machine stamped" before the plates went through final finishing and assembly, with the serial number added by hand only at the time of final mating with a case.

At this instant I am inclined to consider there was a little of both . . more clocks than previously estimated made during the war, and a few loose movements already stamped with the patent number some time before it expired; those being carried forward as inventory until finally going through final production and receiving a serial number.

As noted earlier I already had some evidence of higher production during the war from other sources including clocks known to have been purchased during the war that have serial numbers that would show being made somewhat later based on my present data. Accounting for this alone, I would need to shift about a year's worth of data forward; that would bring this grandfather clock into late 1920 or early 1921.

Conclusion? There will be some shifting of data in the period 1915 through 1925, biased toward more clocks in 1915 through 1920 and fewer from 1921 through 1925. How much is the $64 question, at this instant it appears to be about a year's worth at the mid-point (1920). If other confirming data comes to view, could be more but not a whole lot; of course as always I will clearly say "the data is always subject to further adjustments" as new information comes to light.

Spaceman Spiff
10-28-2009, 11:53 PM
I now have 16 clocks documented with this patent stamped, made from 1906 just at the time the patent was granted to the one in question here that is indicated to be made in early 1922 based on my "current" set of data. The documented clocks were made in 1906, 07, 09, 11, 12, 13, 17, and 1922(?).

Hi, John.

Is my Gustav Becker grandfather/hall clock (http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=42127) (from 1912) one of the ones you'd documented? Just thought I would check.

Eric: Nice clock!! :thumb:

Thanks,

zepernick
10-29-2009, 10:02 AM
Thanks John for the full reply.

It's too bad that information as to how long this DRP was actually in effect isn't included with the Depatisnet specs. It would be interesting to see how long VFU/GB did pay the fees.

My own impression (at least) and in general (that too) is that German manufacturers were not overly tidy with patent markings. The then patent office for example stated that using "DRP" or" DRGM" without a number was forbidden. Yet the markings are quite common. Similarly, using "DRP angem." or one of the variants (to indicate or claim that a patent had been applied for) was also not on. Yet these markings are also quite common.

A third scenario -- or perhaps just a second-and-a-halfer -- would be that the DRP marking was knowingly used after 171659 was no longer paid for. We know that few DRPs were paid for up to the longest possible period.

An additional possibility is that wartime acts affected the period. Haven't checked on these, but know that as early as 1914 those affected by the war could be excused from fee payments (on DRPs, DRGMs, TMs...).

Which brings us back to the first observation, that it would be interesting to know how long DRP 171659 was actually in effect, although it wouldn't or shouldn't affect your datings.

Regards, Zep

John Hubby
10-29-2009, 06:40 PM
Hi, John.

Is my Gustav Becker grandfather/hall clock (http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=42127) (from 1912) one of the ones you'd documented? Just thought I would check.

Eric: Nice clock!! :thumb: Thanks,John, your clock has been documented and is in my database. If you recall I had dated it as early 1912 at the time; as the data stand right now with recent updates it would have been made right at the end of 1911. So, it's among those with a 1911 date that I mentioned in my message.

Zep, I also have wished the patent office could provide the dates to which the patent was "officially" open. Some patents have the "Geschlozt" stamp with a date but very few so that's not a big help. Actually what we can see from the database I have compiled, is a good indication of how long the patents were used whether the fees were paid or not.

Other than that I certainly can't use the theoretical end point as a reliable datum. And, the point you make about the makers stamping DRP or DGMS or DRGM or whatever without the numbers doesn't provide any help at all other than to see if one can guess which patent belongs to the item or innovation in question.

Spaceman Spiff
10-29-2009, 09:27 PM
John, your clock has been documented and is in my database. If you recall I had dated it as early 1912 at the time; as the data stand right now with recent updates it would have been made right at the end of 1911. So, it's among those with a 1911 date that I mentioned in my message.

Thanks, John!
Your efforts are definitely appreciated!

joerom
10-31-2009, 11:24 AM
Hi my name is Joey I have a grandfather clock im pretty sure is a Gustav Becker but i dont know a whole lot about it. It was left to me when my Grandfather past away. If anyone could tell me something about it that would be great here are some pics. Thanks

Spaceman Spiff
10-31-2009, 11:33 AM
Hi, Joey.
Beautiful clock!
John Hubby will probably be along to give you some helpful info about your clock.
Welcome to the forum! :smile:

John Hubby
11-03-2009, 12:23 AM
Hi my name is Joey I have a grandfather clock im pretty sure is a Gustav Becker but i dont know a whole lot about it. It was left to me when my Grandfather past away. If anyone could tell me something about it that would be great here are some pics. ThanksJoey, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board, and thanks for posting the photos of your clock. Firstly we can confirm it is a Gustav Becker, Time/Strike with bim-bam striking at the hour and half-hour. Based on the movement serial number your clock was made in 4th quarter 1925, only a few months before GB operations were taken over by Junghans. So, your clock is 84 years old right now, won't be long before it passes the 100-year "antique" mark!

I could not find the same case design in any of the catalogs I have available, but it is similar to some shown in the 1924 and 1926 catalogs. The dial and pendulum bob designs are shown in both of these catalogs as Model No. 351, the weights appear to be like the ones shown as Model 352. It was not at all uncommon to "mix and match" these features at the time the clock was ordered by the customer.

It is very good to see the clock being passed along in your family. That provides a good information trail for historical purposes. Something you might do is copy this information and print it on a card or sheet of paper. Add whatever information you can find out from your family as to when the clock may have been bought by your grandfather and any other info of interest. Put it in an envelope, write "Clock History" on that and tape it inside the clock case. Whenever you have the clock serviced or find more info, just add that to what is already there. One of these days your grandkids will be happy to find that and have a complete record about the clock.

One more note, I see you also posted your request and photos in another thread that is not exactly related so I will request that one to be removed to keep all the info here.

Spaceman Spiff
11-03-2009, 12:37 AM
...Something you might do is copy this information and print it on a card or sheet of paper. Add whatever information you can find out from your family as to when the clock may have been bought by your grandfather and any other info of interest. Put it in an envelope, write "Clock History" on that and tape it inside the clock case. Whenever you have the clock serviced or find more info, just add that to what is already there. One of these days your grandkids will be happy to find that and have a complete record about the clock.

I agree wholeheartedly with this idea. Some time back I started placing an envelope with each of my clocks. Inside the envelopes are things such as the receipts or any other paperwork which came with the clock, any newspaper ads or CraigsList ads for ones I bought via that method, along with printouts of any related thread/discussion here in the NAWCC message board.