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  1. #1
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Items found in clocks

    I am not sure what forum this should go to, but, what strange objects have you found hidden in clocks?

    A 60 year old, home made, mantle clock came in for repair today. I do a quick inspection after they get dropped off and prepare a brief list for discussion with the owner for the next day.

    Inside today's clock I found these eye glasses tucked into a rather secret little compartment behind the 10 inch dial and above the movement. I called the owner who knew nothing about them and had never been to Malden, Mass. He had no idea the glasses were there or who they may belong to. A search for the optometrist by name gives no results. The ear hook, chain and nose piece that holds the glasses on is 14k gold and there is almost no prescription. The best I can tell is that they are late 1800 or early 1900 reading glasses, perhaps used by whoever used to own the clock before the current owner.
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    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  2. #2
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: THTanner)

    Interesting find, wonder the story behind that. I found a article online a few years ago about a man who left his will in his clock.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  3. #3
    Registered User hemioutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: Kevin W.)


    Well, hardly as novel as a pair of eyeglasses, but many years ago I started just buying clocks because I liked the way they looked and they seemed like a good deal but I hadn't a clue how to work on them so if they ran I kept them wound and if not they just started gathering dust. Well this Bracket clock has always run but the right winding hole (time side?) always had this loose piece of steel inside that would drop right in front of the key and I would have to kind of move it to the side to get it out of the key's way so I could wind it. Last year I began my journey to start educating myself on the mechanic's and maintenance of movements and when I took this movement out .........WALLAH, an identical key to the original that came with the clock fell out and the mystery of the closing hole was solved...Lol!
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    Back the Blue!

  4. #4
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: hemioutlaw)

    Hi, All,

    I have posted this before, but I found a $20 Confederate bill between the backing and the mirror in an 1838 Chauncey and Noble Jerome round sided clock a few years ago. Apparently, someone was keeping an emergency fund hidden from Northern soldiers (or perhaps the husband or wife?) During the middle of the Civil War, $20 then was worth about $377.00 today. Quite a fund in that little clock!

    Best to all,

    George Nelson
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  5. #5
    Registered user. Billy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: George Nelson)

    A few weeks ago, an older couple brought in a Simple Ingraham parlor clock for service that had been in the family since new. Once I had the movement out I noticed some paper up under the arch behind where the dial is attached. It was the complete history of the clock with family names, dates and places. I took a pic of it to show the owners (the paper was glued to the arch) and they were surprised as they didnt know the paper was in there. Thought that was pretty cool.

  6. #6
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks

    Mmmh, let me see... Lots of dirt, cobwebs,...
    Nothing much exciting, but once I found that one of the 'idler' side door of the hood of a Morbier case was nailed fix to the case.

    When I took the nails out, I discovered a little piece of paper folded and tucked below the door (just to prevent it from wobbling while it was being nailed) When I unfolded it, I saw it was just the torn away corner of a page from a notebook: it was the notebook of a money lender, listing a few sums of money.

    Aitor
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    Last edited by ballistarius; 03-18-2017 at 06:54 AM.
    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  7. #7

    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: ballistarius)

    one of my longcases has a label pasted on the backboard in cursive script decribing some of the history and work on the clock. The author has the age of the clock out by about a century but it is a nice additional feature to find. I think the note dates to around 1900/1910 when the clock would have been about 170.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Items found in clocks

    Quote Originally Posted by THTanner View Post
    I am not sure what forum this should go to, but, what strange objects have you found hidden in clocks?

    A 60 year old, home made, mantle clock came in for repair today. I do a quick inspection after they get dropped off and prepare a brief list for discussion with the owner for the next day.

    Inside today's clock I found these eye glasses tucked into a rather secret little compartment behind the 10 inch dial and above the movement. I called the owner who knew nothing about them and had never been to Malden, Mass. He had no idea the glasses were there or who they may belong to. A search for the optometrist by name gives no results. The ear hook, chain and nose piece that holds the glasses on is 14k gold and there is almost no prescription. The best I can tell is that they are late 1800 or early 1900 reading glasses, perhaps used by whoever used to own the clock before the current owner.
    Those are very old glasses. They stopped using gold in frames in the '60's, and that style of frame dates from the Roosevelt era (he wore similar frames), and yours is earlier than that. Yours does not use temple pieces, and instead uses a single ear piece with a gold chain. The bridge piece will be spring loaded to hold the glasses on the nose. I have never even seen that particular design, and was in the optical business for 32 years, starting in the early '70's. Back in those days the lenses were glass, and the holes were drilled using diamond bits and plenty of oil. Collectors like those old ones, especially gold filled, unusual ones like that.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  9. #9
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: novicetimekeeper)

    One of my saddest clock stories involved the replacement of a Takane battery movement in a simple round wooden wall clock with a dial, damaged bezel and the problem that the owner had to pull nails out of the wooden back to change the time or the battery. They wanted a door cut into the back to access the new movement easier. They had bought the clock at a garage sale about 20 years earlier for 50 dollars.

    The case needed a bit of work so I pretty much took it apart to cut in a nice door and get everything glued tight. When I took the old Takane out I could see some writing under the large mess of masking tape that had been applied to the back of the dial to help secure the battery movement.

    I carefully removed the old tape and found a hand signed dial with the inscription "August 20, 1870 John Smith" and below that "John Smith Clock Co." Further down under the same tape "Richard O. Smith, Palermo, NY June 1972"

    I tried to buy the dial from them, but they refused. I added fake winding arbors, fixed the bezel, installed a new Takane in such a way that the signatures were no longer covered, and added hidden hinges to the back so they would stop damaging the old square nails that held it on and swapped the hands for something a lot closer to a time and strike of the 1870s.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  10. #10

    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: THTanner)

    I guess most know the story of using a chicken to clean a movement using kerosene, found a well used one in the bottom of a kitchen clock, man what a mess to clean up the movement, also some put a tin in the bottom of the clock so that the evaporating fumes would lube it, doesn't work, found a couple of those still in bottom of cases, I guess the best one I got a statue clock from an estate to get it ready for auction, there were four new $50. bills inside, could have made a nice profit if I had kept them.
    Larry Pearson, FNAWCC* #35863

  11. #11

    Default Re: Items found in clocks

    Larry, I hope you meant to write 'a chicken feather'.........!!

    JTD

  12. #12
    Registered user. ballistarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: lpbp)

    Quote Originally Posted by lpbp View Post
    I guess most know the story of using a chicken to clean a movement using kerosene.
    Do you mean a WHOLE chicken?

    Aitor
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    It's all an accident, an accident of hands. Mine, others, all without mind, from one extreme to another, but neither works nor will ever. Steiner

  13. #13
    Registered User wow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks

    these two notes were in a small cottage clock I repaired a few years ago.
    Will Walker (WOW)

  14. #14
    Registered User blindraccoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: ballistarius)

    that's so damn funny!

  15. #15
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Items found in clocks (By: shutterbug)

    Perhaps they will help offset the cost of the repairs. I had to take a vacuum cleaner to the case before bringing it into the shop. I am not sure where it had been, but it was full of sand and is broken in several places.

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Those are very old glasses. They stopped using gold in frames in the '60's, and that style of frame dates from the Roosevelt era (he wore similar frames), and yours is earlier than that. Yours does not use temple pieces, and instead uses a single ear piece with a gold chain. The bridge piece will be spring loaded to hold the glasses on the nose. I have never even seen that particular design, and was in the optical business for 32 years, starting in the early '70's. Back in those days the lenses were glass, and the holes were drilled using diamond bits and plenty of oil. Collectors like those old ones, especially gold filled, unusual ones like that.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

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