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  1. #1
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    Default Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock

    I was lucky enough to find a great early example of a Lewis this weekend. I am trying to do some research on Lewis, even on the boards there is not too much, He was apparently a veteran of the war of 1812 and starting making clocks in 1815, in Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio. He was only active from 1815-1834 at the time of his death. Does anyone happen to know any additional information about this maker? I think this one may be on the early side but cannot verify that. There are only a few tall case examples online and past auctions.

    It is a folk style pine case, 30-Hour "pull up" wood works with cast bell. It has been well taken care of and a few of the wood bushings look to be professionally drilled and replaced correctly at some point. No missing teeth, I only dusted the movement, teeth and pinions with a dull toothbrush. The bushings are already clean and burnished, It came with OG weights which are currently running with 3.5lbs strike, 4lbs time. Historically I believe "tin-can" weights are appropriate, which I will pick up from timesavers at some point.

    -Chris
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Bill Stuntz; 02-26-2017 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Replace BIG photos w/ expandable thumbnails

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: cshayne)

    Interesting the way it is fixed to the seatboard, is that usual for woodworks or just for this maker?
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: novicetimekeeper)

    I am not sure, this is the first wood works tall case that I have obtained. It does seem unusual now that you mention it on the bottom. This clock and case are very primitive. The movement is constructed in a way also that you cannot manually push the hour hand more than 15-minutes. I have never encountered this before. There is a clutch of sorts but it does not allow slip, when I was cleaning it is a very simple design.

  4. #4
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock

    Here are some excerpts in regard to Mr. Lewis

    Trumbull County, Ohio findings & on the Lewis clan of clock manufacturers, and
    asks if anyone recognizes a "David Wheeler" reference to
    Vienna, Ohio, 1807 and thereafter. He and Lambert W. Lewis buy
    land together in 1807. There is an inference that Lambert &
    Garry Lewis are clockmakers, Wheeler Lewis a saddler/dry goods man
    and a seller of clocks.

    Levi Lewis next appeared in an 1822 Trumbull County Civil Court case brought by Hugh and
    William Wick, merchants with a store at the center of Brookfield, against Abraham and Levi
    Lewis. The case concerned a June 1819 note for $40 signed by Lambert W. Lewis and issued
    by the Wick store to Lambert W. Lewis that was given by Lambert to Levi Lewis in payment
    for services. The court testimony showed that Levi had paid off the note in August 1819 by
    cattle, sheep and cash, probably as peddling profits. Apparently, the Wick brothers did not
    consider the payment and signature by Levi Lewis to have value equal to the monetary value
    of the note. In suing both Levi and his brother Abraham, the Wick brothers acknowledged
    Abraham to be the significantly more financially dependable of the two Lewis brothers
    because Abraham owned land, a clock factory, cattle and horses while Levi boarded or
    depended on others for his housing. (Trumbull County Civil Court records, tax records)

    From 1815 until 1835, Trumbull County, Ohio, in the Connecticut Western Reserve, was
    home to a large wooden works clock industry that produced more than 75,000 clock
    movements. Lambert W. Lewis had more employees than Merrell's factory and produced
    clocks for twenty years with at least twelve years using the Asa Hopkins patented wheel
    cutting machine; the Hart & Truesdale factory manufactured clocks for seven or eight years;
    the Wheeler Lewis factory produced on and off for ten years; McMaster, Hartson & Co.,
    produced for two years; Abraham Lewis produced for about fifteen years. Probably an
    assembly site, not a factory, Abel Tyler & Joel J. Humason produced for seven months.
    Phineas Deming and his son-in-law Thomas Lewis also assembled clock movements,
    produced dial and "fit up" both tall clocks and pillar and scroll shelf clocks. Charles Lewis
    and Asahel Scovill had assembly shops, using wooden wheels produced at local factories.
    Peddlers carried these inexpensive luxury items to the many states west of the Allegheny
    Mountains. Clocks survive with dial inscriptions of L. W. Lewis, W. Lewis, G. Lewis, C.
    Lewis, A. Merrell, P. Deming, A. Hart, D. R. Hartson, Hart and Way, L. L. Ling, Hart &
    Truesdale, John Hartson and William Hartson. The American roots of wooden works clock
    manufacturing are found in the eighteenth century, in western Connecticut. The Trumbull
    County industry began later, some time after 1812, when Levi Lewis moved to the Western
    Reserve and Lambert Lewis began his clock factory. Large volume production of 30-hour tall
    clocks continued longer in Trumbull County than in Connecticut, until 1835 .
    Mass production of common or 30-hour wooden tall clocks began with the introduction of
    water-powered machinery, improvements in the machinery and Eli Terry's invention of a
    wheel-cutting machine in 1806 . Production increased dramatically as other Connecticut
    manufacturers improved on Terry's designs, some taking out patents and licensing use of their
    machines to clock manufacturers. Production was modified to include the shorter shelf clocks
    patented by Eli Terry in 1814 and produced by him about 1816
    Last edited by Jim DuBois; 02-26-2017 at 02:08 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Jim DuBois)

    Lambert Lewis and his associates are well documented, especially by Rebecca Rogers, as noted by Jim, and Chris Klingemier, who has studied them extensively and published some of his findings in recent Cog Counter's Journals. Lewis dials are certainly some of the most colorful and folksy of any produced during that era.

    The seat board arrangement is standard on almost all production era American wooden movement tall case clocks. They were produced by the tens of thousands, and by many makers during the first 30 years or so of the nineteenth century. Many others have been referenced on this message board.
    NAWCC 25131

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: cshayne)

    Quote Originally Posted by cshayne View Post
    I am not sure, this is the first wood works tall case that I have obtained. It does seem unusual now that you mention it on the bottom. This clock and case are very primitive. The movement is constructed in a way also that you cannot manually push the hour hand more than 15-minutes. I have never encountered this before. There is a clutch of sorts but it does not allow slip, when I was cleaning it is a very simple design.
    Please do not try to move the hour hand independently of the minute hand.
    NAWCC 25131

  7. #7
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter A. Nunes View Post
    Lambert Lewis and his associates are well documented, especially by Rebecca Rogers, as noted by Jim, and Chris Klingemier, who has studied them extensively and published some of his findings in recent Cog Counter's Journals. Lewis dials are certainly some of the most colorful and folksy of any produced during that era.

    The seat board arrangement is standard on almost all production era American wooden movement tall case clocks. They were produced by the tens of thousands, and by many makers during the first 30 years or so of the nineteenth century. Many others have been referenced on this message board.
    Rebecca Rogers and Chris Klingemier are the originators of much of the information above....they have done a truly remarkable job of documentation on these folks, it was previously pretty much unknown to many of us. And the information was made available in multiple COG Journals over the last xx years....

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Jim DuBois)

    A very good source of basic information on the Ohio clock industry is Rebecca Roger's monograph entitled

    Trumbull County Clock Industry, 1812-1835

    Published in 1991, it is available from the NAWCC book store in Columbia, as well as the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol, Connecticut, and of course through on-line book dealers.
    NAWCC 25131

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    Chris, is your case pine or poplar? These cases were produced from patterns that apparently traveled from New England to Ohio- the cases produced in Ohio are generally, though not always, poplar.
    NAWCC 25131

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    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Jim DuBois)

    Thanks for all that info Jim!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Peter, the case is pine stained almost a cherry color. This is my first Ohio clock and in glad to have it in the collection. Interesting to know about the patterns, I thought it had a New England hint in the bonnet scrollwork.

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    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    Hi Peter, thanks for the warning, I noticed right away the hour hand is actually set in a square shaft and would not move independently. What I have experienced is that the minute hand will not advance manually. When I took it apart for cleaning I noticed it did not have a traditional style cam or clutch, it is set in an almost permanent position, is this usual? My other woodworks shelf clocks do not have this design and you can advance the minute hand.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: cshayne)

    You can tell by looking at the bare wood inside the case. Poplar looks much different than white pine- it often has a greenish cast.
    NAWCC 25131

  13. #13

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: cshayne)

    No, you can advance the minute hand in the usual way- there is a three cornered clutch spring made of tin under the intermediate wheel.
    NAWCC 25131

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: Peter A. Nunes)

    The wood inside is very dark and the grain on the outside does have a tight grain.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Lambert W. Lewis Tall Case Clock (By: cshayne)

    Good antique tin can weights show up fairly frequently on eBay. I may be bidding against you, though!
    NAWCC 25131

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