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  1. #16
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    Mark, the correct back plate for your clock from the Repair Guide would be Plate 1627, page 166. This shows a suspension spring strength of 0.0035", which would slow the clock down compared to the 0.0038" you now have.

    Although the "book" says this clock was made by Badische Uhrenfabrik, the base and dial indicate to me it was actually made by (or for) Kienzle. There is considerable controversy about who actually made these clocks. The lantern pinions and pin pallet escapements were patented by Andreas Huber, who also made 400-Day clocks, and there is strong evidence that all the clocks using these features were actually made by Huber. However, there is still much to be learned so we can't say conclusively who made them.

    Another problem with regulating your clock: You are working with the wrong pendulum for the clock. The pendulum you have is a Gustav Becker disc. If you will check there more than likely is a serial number scribed on the bottom cover. From that I can date the pendulum, but that doesn't solve your problem.

    There are three "correct" pendulums for your clock. The first is a 3-ball, similar to No. 28 in the Repair Guide (photo below). The second is a 4-Ball, No. 33 in the Repair Guide. The third is disc pendulum No. 38. I don't have photos available of these but you can see them in the Repair Guide. The 3-ball and 4-ball pendulums are quite a bit taller than the disc, thus would hang normally with the standard suspension spring length. However, the disc pendulum when fitted with this clock used a twist rod extension piece that looks like the extension shown on pendulum No. 41, except it has a hook on one end and a pin at the bottom to hold the suspension wire bottom block and the hook on the pendulum.



    There may be someone on this board who has an extra of one of these, any one of the three would be correct and appropriate to your clock.

    Hope this will help!

    John Hubby

  2. #17
    simpsonm1
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    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    Thank you John, very informative.
    I did wonder about the pendulum. That would explain the height.
    The clock gains approx 15 mins per hour, so I had come to the conclusion that I needed to decrease by 0.0004" (using your beat rate formula published elsewhere) - so perhaps I will try a 0.0035, per the guide.

    Approx how much adjustment is there on the pendulum? I currently have the weights set half way and assume that I can get the 5 min/hr, between spring sizes.

    Thanks Mark

  3. #18
    Director Robert Gary's Avatar
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    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    John:

    Is there anyone recording the serial numbers of these mismatched disc pendulums so that when someone with the movement with the same serial number (but a missing pendulum) is located the two can be re-united?

    Sorry I didn't get to say hello at the GLAR, but I was unable to attend the chapter meeting so late in the day Friday.

    RobertG
    Robert Gary "Learn something. Skill does not desert the life of a person ever." Dionysius Cato (ca. 230-150 BC)

  4. #19

    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    Mark,
    Sorry for the misleading info. I thought I recognized it as being like one that I had worked on. So I referred to my records when I should have pulled the Terwilliger book to confirm the ID. :redface:
    Sloppy of me!

    Thanks John for straightening it out.

    Bill

  5. #20
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    Mark,

    I keep a log of ALL GB serial numbers including loose pendulums. I have been successful in matching up four with their original clocks over the past three years. Please let me know the serial number from your pendulum and it just may fit one of the clocks in my database.

    John Hubby

  6. #21
    simpsonm1
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    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    I regret there is no mark on the pendulum. The only other mark on the clock is the number 338 on the back side of the front plate. Looking at the number on the back plate more closely there is a space between the number 46 and 338, in fact the two sets of numbers do not line up - you can see this on the backplate photo above.

    I bought the clock at auction so have no further info. Sorry I can't be of further help.

  7. #22

    Default 400 Day Clock Indentification & Suspension Help (By: simpsonm1)

    You can save the expense of a new spring by thinning the one you have. Use the find feature - there is detailed explanation of how to do this.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  8. #23
    Registered User Jeff C's Avatar
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    Default Post Your Gustav Becker 400-Day Clocks Here (By: John Arrowood)

    I finally was able to purchase my first Gustav Becker Disc Pendulum clock. I'm quite happy. I was a little hasty so I did little research. The seller noted a
    serial number of 272294 on the movement plate and matching number on the disc. He states a date of c1905. Would anyone know if this is correct? Can I match the serial number as close as I can to the one illustrated in the Horolovar Guide?

    I'll post a couple of pictures when I receive the clock.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    [edit=2491=1202876881][/edit]

  9. #24
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    Jeff, congratulations! I saw your clock when it was up for sale and asked the seller about the serial number as I believe it is missing a digit, most likely a "2" at the beginning. In other words, should be 2272294. I didn't get a reply so you will have to verify the number when you get the clock. In looking at the photos it appeared to me the first digit was most likely hidden behind the click spring and with the suspension guard in place it would be difficult to see. This is common with the GB's, have had to point this out several times to other sellers.

    The characteristics of the clock "fit" the 2272294 number, including the back plate, upper suspension bracket, base, pendulum, dial, etc. That would place it being made in mid-1916 while WWI was well in progress. Per my research GB were making from 3 to 8 thousand serial numbered clocks a year at their Freiburg factory during the war, and 20 to 30 thousand a year at their Braunau factory. We have documented that the Freiburg factory was heavily involved in the war effort, making time fuses, timers, alarm clocks, and other stuff for the German army. It appears that the Braunau factory, being in Bohemia, was not affected nearly as much. The Bohemia state was ceded to Czechoslovakia in November 1918 as part of the armistice agreement, but the Becker factory in Braunau continued operation until early 1926 when Junghans took over and stopped GB production at that location.

    I'll be interested to see the actual serial number.

    John Hubby
    >>>>

  10. #25
    Registered User Jeff C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    Great information, thank you for taking the time to reply. I'll verify the number along with some photos when I obtain it.

    Regards,

    Jeff


  11. #26
    Registered User Jeff C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    I spent a little time today going through the Horolovar 10th Edition with regard to the Gustav Becker. I was trying to find information about the setup of the suspension unit. I noticed that there is no indication of the proper length in which I need to make it? Most of the other clocks have a diagram to follow. I also use the diagram to measure the size of the blocks in which I need the bottom one.

    Is there another route one would take to accomplish this?

    Regards,

    Jeff

  12. #27
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    Jeff, only a few of the pre-WWII clocks have suspension units listed in the Repair Guide, mainly Kundo, JUF (after 1910), Kern & Link, and Kern & SŲhne. All these used a 4-Ball pendulum that was the same dimensions and weight both before and after the war so it was easy for Terwilliger to extrapolate back to use the same springs that applied after the war.

    Becker, JUF (before 1910), Kienzle, Hauck (shown as Haas), Vosseler, Badische, do not, at least in part because they all use different suspension setups and mostly disc pendulums that are not all the same dimensions and weight even for the same maker. In many instances they also used different case dimensions, pendulum rod extensions, and other things that make it nearly impossible to come up with a standard suspension unit setup.

    Your clock in particular is different from the earlier Beckers that use a much simpler design upper bracket, and generally a slightly shorter suspension spring. You will have to set the length by trial and error, I do mine so the bottom of the pendulum disc is about 3/8 to 1/2 inches above the base.

    John Hubby
    >>>>

  13. #28

    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff
    I finally was able to purchase my first Gustav Becker Disc Pendulum clock. I'm quite happy. I was a little hasty so I did little research. The seller noted a
    serial number of 272294 on the movement plate and matching number on the disc. He states a date of c1905. Would anyone know if this is correct? Can I match the serial number as close as I can to the one illustrated in the Horolovar Guide?

    I'll post a couple of pictures when I receive the clock.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    As described at the 400 day clock repair guide 10th edition on p218
    Gustav Becker serial numbers for your clock assuming that the first digit is 2
    manufacture year is 1908-1909.

  14. #29
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    Hadash, unfortunately the Gustav Becker serial number dating information in the Repair Guide is not correct. I have been conducting research on GB clocks for more than 10 years and have developed accurate dating information, based on known patent data, contemporary trade magazine articles, sales catalog advertisements, and other documented sources. Presuming the serial number "is" 2272294, this clock was actually made in 2nd quarter 1913. The serial number closely follows the first documented clock (Serial No. 2272056) that used the patented adjustable upper suspension bracket, which patent was granted March 3, 1913.

    I am attaching a graph showing a comparison of my data with that of the Repair Guide (Terwilliger) and the data published by Karl Kochmann in "The Gustav Becker Story".

    You will see that Terwilliger's data is simply a straight line starting at 1900 and going out to 1912, showing maximum production of 2,650,000 clocks. We know for certain that GB clocks were made well beyond that date, and no serial numbers have been documented higher than 2,510,000. I had the opportunity to go through Terwilliger's files but could find no evidence of how he arrived at his estimates of numbers. The "only" serial number he reported that is correct is 1,500,000, known to have been produced in 1900.

    Kochman's data is just as bad. He reports only four data points, and in his book the only evidence presented is a sales receipt for one clock with 2,244,868 that was dated in 1926. In reality this clock was made in 1912.

    My data includes 20 firmly documented serial numbers, each known to have been made in a specific year. Additionally, I have documented over 600 clocks made between 1900 and 1926, placing the data in a spreadsheet such that the characteristics of the clocks can be seen to change with time, providing a kind of cross-check with the firm data points. The slowdown of production during WWI is very evident in the graph, then the recovery after the war when production resumed but never approached pre-war levels. The data ends in 1926 when GebrŁder Junghans took over the GB operation and ceased using the GB serial numbers that had been started more than 75 years earlier.

    Please note these data compare ONLY the Freiburg, Silesia factory data. Serial numbers from the Braunau, Bohemia factory are a completely different series and must not be confused with the Freiburg numbers. Neither Terwilliger nor Kochmann had any data for this factory, and Kochmann reports data in his book dated as Freiburg clocks but actually taken from Braunau clocks. For whatever reason he did not recognize the Braunau logo as such.

    John Hubby
    >>>>
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  15. #30

    Default Re: Gustav Becker dating. (By: Jeff C)

    Dear John ,
    Thank you very much for light up the subject and your investigation.
    As a novice i have to learn a lot. I just started with the horolovar 400 day clock repair guide and little digging on the net.
    I am reading this forum and will be happy if you can guide me for more information.
    Eli Hadash

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