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  1. #1

    Default Jerome & Co. Time Piece

    I recently acquired this little time piece, 9 ¼” high and 7” wide at the base. It was described as a Jerome Cottage Clock ca. 1875.

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    I was gratified to find a very similar time piece on antiqueclockspriceguide.com (ACPG). Below is the wording of the description (from 2003) that accompanied the picture on the ACPG website.

    "C.1875, Jerome and Co, New Haven, 30 hour cottage alarm in good original condition. This particular clock is identical to one on display at the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, and with the bonus that this one has most of its rear label (a Jerome instruction label titled "ALARMS"). The original finish is a bit worn, but you can still make out the hot gold foil that was impressed around the inner door frame. The tablet and dial are extra nice. Both movements complete and sound. Height 9.3 inches."

    The ACPG time piece has the winding arbor in the same position; dial, hands, and alarm disc appear similar, if not the same; the glass has a similar style design; and the case seems to be the same. Certainly, the height given for the ACPG clock is on target. It’s a pity that there were no pictures of movement and the label.

    My clock has only a small remnant of the back label. The letters “ALA” can be clearly made out, and there is a partial letter visible after the second “A.” I had thought it was part of a phrase such as “One-day Alarm Time Piece,” but from the ACPG description, it appears to be simply “ALARMS.” There are the remains of words that suggest instructions for working the alarm. I assume from the ACPG description that “Jerome & Co.” was mentioned on the label. This is the only label on the clock.

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    The movement is a simple 30-hour time only with an outboard alarm.

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    It has iron mounting feet, which I’ve seen on early Jerome & Co./New Haven time-only movements. The escape wheel bridge is unlike one I have yet to see on a Jerome & Co./New Haven and is mounted to the underside of the front plate. Below are a couple of views.

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    The alarm actuating lever is not attached to the movement, but to a block of wood on the left side of the interior. Since the movement is only 2 5/16” high and 1 ½” wide, it is difficult to imagine any other convenient method of mounting such a lever.

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    The suggested date, ca. 1875, has me wondering, however. I have found so far one other example of this movement. It is in figure 23 on page 718 of Lee Smith’s December 1998 Bulletin article on cottage timepieces and their movements. It is from an E&A Ingraham scroll-front case, shown in fig. 22, page 717. Smith states that the maker of the movement is unknown. E&A Ingraham were in business from 1852 to December 1856, when the firm went into bankruptcy. The bankruptcy proceedings were settled apparently in April 1857. In any event, the time frame for the scroll-front clock shown in Smith’s article might be some 20 years earlier than “ca. 1875.”

    I also wonder whether the cottage clock movement is actually a Jerome & Co./New Haven product. It is an unusual movement for that company, particularly the shape of the escape wheel bridge. Consider, however, the movement below. Sometimes "unusual" is the name of the game.

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    I have termed this the swan movement because of the peculiar shape of the escape wheel bridge. I have recorded 8 examples of clocks with this “swan” movement, three of which have labels – one Jerome & Co. label and two New Haven labels. The swan movement has a foot to the escape wheel bridge similar to that of my cottage clock, but the head and neck are different. So, all in all, I’m not sure.

    I am currently toying with the idea that the movement may be by Noah Pomeroy. However, my reasons for suggesting Pomeroy are few and not the strongest.

    1. Pomeroy (Pomeroy & Robbins, 1847-49) supplied movements to Brewster & Ingrahams. Pomeroy also supplied movements to Ingraham until they began making their own movements in 1865. Since E&A Ingraham did not make their own movements, it is not out of the question that they acquired movements from Pomeroy. Pomeroy’s business was primarily supplying movements to the trade although he did produce some complete clocks.

    2. A signed 30-hour T/S Pomeroy movement (shown below) from an Ingraham Venetian a similar five-spoked escape wheel. I also have five 8-day Pomeroy movements with the same 5-spoked escape wheel.


    3. The end of mainspring on my cottage clock is wrapped around the movement arbor, much in the style of many Pomeroy movements.

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    Compare it to this 8-day Pomeroy movement, from a Fuller & Kroeber clock.

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    Well, this is pretty thin broth and not at all conclusive, and there is the problem of the escape wheel bridge. The one on my cottage clock movement is unlike any I have seen on known Pomeroy movements. As I said, it is just an idea I am playing with. Time to visit the AWCM in Bristol to see their example of the cottage clock from ACPG.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
    Registered User Jerome collector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: Steven Thornberry)

    Steven,

    I can't contribute anything to solving your puzzle. I looked through Lee Smith's December 1999 article on escape wheel bridges and didn't find anything that is an exact match. The closest is attributed to Silas Hoadley, but the method of attachment is different.

    I can say that I love the glass. It's exquisite for such a simple cottage clock.

    Mike

  3. #3

    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: Jerome collector)

    Hi, Mike, and thanks for the comment. I saw the Hoadley EW bridge in Smith's article but was unconvinced. Too early, not the right style, etc. It is a nice glass, and the " full body glass" is Germanic, but not the movement, methinks.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4

    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: Steven Thornberry)

    I recently acquired a second timepiece like the one shown above. The case is the same style, with just a slight difference in the height, and is a bit worse for wear. The door glass has a different pattern.

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    The movement is also the same, with that peculiar escape wheel bridge. It does not have the mainspring wrapped around the bottom arbor, but the spring seems to be a newer replacement.

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    The dial seems to be nothing out of the ordinary and is pretty much like the one shown in the first post, save that it does not have the enlarged cutout for an alarm disc.

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    However, the reverse side has the remains of another, somewhat larger dial.

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    I wondered whether the it was a later replacement cut from this larger dial, because the reverse has a fair amount of wear and aging itself. I tend to think the dial is original to the timepiece, but if it is a replacement, it was done some time ago.

    The label contains the usual instructions for regulating pendulum clocks. In the bottom left are the remains of a patent date that is smudged out, possibly deliberately.

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    This label is a type that we have seen before on the message board. For example, there is this one posted by Mike Bailey; though Mike’s does not carry a patent date, it is otherwise is the same label. Note the patent document also posted by Mike. The patent document is for Design Patent No. 4278, granted to Samuel B. Jerome on August 9, 1870.

    A close look at the smudged patent document on my timepiece reveals a date of XXX 9, 1870, which I believe is August 9, 1870, the date of the Samuel Jerome patent. I also believe there was a deliberate attempt to cross out the patent date, because the patent had nothing to do with this timepiece.

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    The same label, with the Aug. 9, 1870, patent date is also shown in an article in the RAN column of the April 1998 Bulletin, p. 215, fig. 9. It is said to be from a “ ‘glorified’ cottage clock,” which is not shown in the article but which is likely one of those pictured in the patent document.

    So, does the label indicate that the two little timepieces I posted in this thread are by Samuel B. Jerome? I don’t know, but, as the saying goes, all roads lead to Jerome (one or the other of them).

    I will add that the cases are similar in design to this detached lever timepiece, which Samuel Jerome designed,


    as well as to this detached lever timepiece, which also might be by Samuel Jerome:

    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  5. #5
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: Steven Thornberry)

    Steven,

    FASCINATING information! Thanks much for sharing!

    George

  6. #6

    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: George Nelson)

    Thanks, George.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  7. #7
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: Steven Thornberry)

    You are most welcome, Stephen. I know we all appreciate your considerable contributions to the advancement of knowledge and learning on these boards, and throughout the NAWCC as a whole.

    With sincere gratitude,

    George Nelson

  8. #8

    Default Re: Jerome & Co. Time Piece (By: George Nelson)

    This third timepiece adds another piece to the puzzle. It is basically the twin of the timepiece in post #1, minus the alarm. Otherwise, it has the same glass design and same movement.

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    It does, however, have a feature absent in the other two discussed here, namely, wallpaper on the inside backboard.

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    IMO, this feature reinforces my suggestion that these cases were designed by Samuel B. Jerome. Above, in post # 4, I linked to a post by Mike Bailey showing a clock by Samuel B. Jerome. You can see in that post a picture of similar interior wallpaper. The post following Mike’s shows the interior of a clock of my own, which has few remnants of the original wallpaper. Finally, this thread (133962) shows yet another Samuel Jerome clock, also with interior wallpaper, which is just visible in the first picture.

    Just for the halibut, I am attaching this picture of a label attached to the upper inside of the door in my third timepiece. It is the label of G. F. Smith & Co., Jewelers, located at 187 Main Street, Woburn (Massachusetts).

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    The Woburn Directory – A Business Directory and the Town Register for the year commencing July 1, 1874, mentions Smith & Co. several times, listing this address. This site, on the other hand, lists G. F. Smith & Co. at 409 Main Street, Woburn, in 1889. Apparently they moved sometime after 1874. G.F. Smith & Co. were, I presume, retailers or repairers of the timepiece.
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

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