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  1. #1
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    Default Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster

    I have this new project tall-case clock that was made in Lancaster, assuming England. The clock construction is similar to
    a John Lawrence of Lancaster movement with the exception of the lifting levers being in the front. The back has the count wheel.
    Cannot make out the makers name on the face plate but Lancaster is quite clear. Anyone have any ideas of the maker Looks
    to be late 1700's to early 1800's. It is a single weight (11 lbs) chain driven 30 hour movement. Took a little study to figure out
    the single weight and pulley arrangement. Also, could this have been a rope driven movement rather than chain? The ratchet-and-click
    mechanism catch on the gear spokes. I find this a very interesting movement and it runs very well. Nothing exceptional
    or unusual about the case.



    Thanks,
    Steve
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: st3v3)

    Try looking at the name under ultraviolet you may pick it up. Does it have a case?

    The dial suggests after 1830.

    Not all chain driven clocks are conversions, some started out as chain.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  3. #3
    Registered user. jmclaugh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: novicetimekeeper)

    Can't make out the writing on the dial but the dates for John Lawrence of Lancaster, working 1762-1801, look too early for the dial. An 11lb weight is on the heavy side for a 30 hour longcase clock, typically they are 6-9lbs and painted dial ones are cast iron not lead.

    As for rope or chain drive from what I've read you can tell which one the clock was made to use from the wheel that carries it as a wheel made to carry a rope has a curved bottom while one made for a chain will be shaped to allow the chain to lie evenly. Hence you can fit a rope to a wheel made for a chain but not vice versa as the chain won't lie properly.
    Jonathan.

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    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: jmclaugh)

    Thanks Jonathan & Nick. The weight had a modern aluminum tag attached to the hook that said 11 on it. After weighing that cast iron weight on a postal scale it is actually 8 lbs 10 oz. The second extra cast iron weight was 8 lbs 6 oz. Also believe that there should be a small doughnut counterweight.
    I guess either will work. I am still working on that upper writing above Lancaster. Very tedious. The clock is running a 3600.37 beats per hour over several 30 sample timing averages using a Microset timer. Pretty accurate at the moment for such a simple old movement. I will be cleaning and servicing it soon which probably will throw all that nice timing out.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: st3v3)

    The doughnut is to keep the rope under tension so that it bites on the spikes. Most of the time the chain is enough on its own to keep the chain engaged unless the driving weight is well down the case. All my chain ones do have doughnuts, they wear quite a bit on the chain.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: novicetimekeeper)

    Alrighty, after much work trying to determine the maker, I used a couple of different tools I had to determine the maker. I used a led light and also an ultraviolet light(did not help much). Using a 30X jewelers loupe I was able to determine the name as "JOHNSON". Looking at the photos one can see the similarity of the the N's. The J O's and S are obvious and the H definitely has a line thru the middle. So, my dilemma is that there were no clockmakers in Lancaster, England named Johnson according to watchmakers and clockmakers of the world book. Nor in the US but it is obvious this is an English movement. My question is does anyone have a Johnson clockmaker in Lancaster England?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: st3v3)

    I can't find one in my reference books but by this date it was quite possibly the retailer.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: novicetimekeeper)

    Thank you Nick and Jonathan for your responses. There is a booklet titled 'Clockmaking in the Lancaster Region' that may have some additional information. Need to research that booklet and possibly contact the museum in Lancaster. A recent email I received from a member of the British Horological Institute stated the the name could be a client or retailer. Again, thanks for your help.

    Steve

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help ID maker of clock made in Lancaster (By: st3v3)

    There are an awful lot of clockmakers with the name Johnson listed in Loomes' big red book but I didn't spot one from Lancaster.

    As a general rule the name on the dial of longcase clocks is the maker but it is possible the name is a retailer or an owner.

    Good luck with your sleuthing.
    Jonathan.

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