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  1. #16
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: Jim DuBois)

    Hello to All!

    Finally got a little bit of sleep- I was SO excited about this find that I was up for a very long time researching, etc. I love a clock with a good mystery, and my exciting and lucky find makes things so much fun!

    Now, as to your specific comments:

    Novicetimekeeper, your kind words are both rewarding and appreciated! It is indeed marvelous to find such an indication of a clocks' history. I only wish the label was dated, but perhaps I want too much! I was so very blessed to make this discovery!

    Aitor, I always appreciate your comments. Your expertise with restoring Cuckoo Clocks is quite impressive, as is your knowledge of such.

    Jim D, thanks so much for your "2 cents"! As you know, we have been discussing this clock since long before I actually received it. My friends at the University have also suggested conservation. I'm currently in the process of contacting several firms about just this process. I've only received a single reply so far, and am waiting on others. I will most certainly have it conserved and restored. Considering having it framed after conservation under the proper glass for display by the clock. You mention having a bill of sale for a clock- what a wonder that would be! Sort of like a birth certificate for one, wouldn't you think?

    RM, Paul Foley's book has been ordered, and should be here soon. I am looking forward to it. It has been mentioned so many times in my research efforts that I just had to have it! I'm glad that you are in agreement that the timepiece is consistent with Concord pieces. As I have said, I'm quite new to the world of Banjos, and it is always great to get a expert's confirmation of my initial research from both you and Jim. Regarding the hands, I've looked at them under magnification, and they are certainly hand made. Very delicate work and most impressive indeed. It really makes one wonder how much time it took in the 1820 to make such an item- simply fascinating! I've attached pictures of the back of one of the glasses, but the restoration efforts have covered up most of the original painting, I fear. The lower glass is for sure a "replacement" on old glass, consistent with the throat glass, but I was told by the seller that it was done to duplicate the original image. I know there have been questions about the subject matter being inappropriate for the time frame of the glass, so your comments are welcome. Perhaps Mr. Foley's book might shed some light upon that. I've attached pictures of both the throat and bottom backs, as well as of the pulley, weight hook and through bolt. Finally, as you state, there are indeed striations on the paper when a strong light is shone through it. It is one of the things I first looked for, and was most gratified to see them! There was, however, no watermark that I could find. Would "label paper" have been watermarked I wonder? Interestingly, there was no sign on the instructions that indicated it ever having been attached to a surface, as there were no adhesion marks whatsoever. There were glue stains on the repair ticket, however, but I could not locate a proper area with a shadow of where it might have been attached.

    And again, Jim D., your comments on the lack of space for attaching an instruction sheet seem correct to an inexperienced me. There is no shadow for this piece either, and, seeing it in person leads me to believe that it was always loose. What a marvel that somebody saved it, even if they did stuff it into a leftover pill bottle. The originator of such an action would be gratified I'm sure to know that his or her efforts pretty much worked. I will contact Paul Foley once conservation is complete and I can locate his information. The pictures of the labels in your clock are so very interesting. If only it was more common to have such historical information.

    So, I'll shut up for now! Thanks everyone for tolerating my very long posts about my latest find! I certainly need a little excitement in my life these days! Any more comment or thoughts are of course most welcome.

    I'll keep everyone informed as to the conservation of the instruction sheet and label!

    Warmest regards to all,

    George Nelson
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    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  2. #17
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    RM,

    Well, it seems that you were posting while I was typing!

    Thanks for the additional pictures- those labels are quite interesting. I know that some do not give too much weight to repair marks, but I am not one of them. To me, they are wonderful documentation of a clock's history and often, place within the household. In today's throw-away society, it is so interesting to see how somewhat common household items were so much more valued than they were today.

    Best to all,

    George
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  3. #18
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: Jim DuBois)

    Wow, Jim. Quite interesting! Clock repair was expensive back then, as it still is today! And the items listed along with their prices speak to the comparative wealth of the original purchaser. It is also interesting to see the confirmation of the 1/2 cent, produced by the US Mint from 1793-1857. The economy was certainly different back then, wasn't it?

    George
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  4. #19

    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: Jim DuBois)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DuBois View Post
    here is one loose receipt for payment of a repair of Currier banjo as well as some other items
    Gee, ain't those prices still you're going rate??

    RM

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 View Post
    Points well taken and I agree as to why this paperwork pertaining to banjos are probably so infrequently found.

    I too have some vague memory of a picture in a book of the back of a banjo box tablet to which the original receipt was pasted. Can't place it and not able to go digging around just now.

    Not really the same thing, but here's a repair label on the back of what I believe to be the original glass in a roughly contemporaneous Boston area presentation banjo clock:



    This clock made it to Maine and it was at least 30 years old when that label was placed there. Man, that Mr. Willia was truly a jack of all trades? The subject clock of this thread made it to VT based upon the pictured repair label. These things were prized possessions and they moved with the family and obviously gave long service! A tribute to their makers.

    I will add that Howard banjos and some of their other wall regulators may have labels pasted in them. Here's an original but very faded one on the bottom board of a Howard #4:

    Here's the same one but more legible label attached to the baffle in a Howard # 70:

    Of course, these are much later clocks and all of what I'm posting here is a bit like comparing apples to cumquats.

    RM

    PS: I WANT TO SHOW THE PIX IN LINE BUT NOT GIANT SIZED. CAN ONE OF THE MODERATORS HELP TO ACHIEVE THAT? THANKS.
    RM,

    What a wonderful repair label. It's actually an uncut watch paper, and truly shows how versatile the watch papers could be.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Pat

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: George Nelson)

    George,

    All I can say is WOW!!!

    What an amazing, well-researched clock! Enjoy it!

    Pat

  7. #22
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: PatH)

    Thanks, Pat! I am indeed enjoying it. It is up on the wall and running now. It has a soft, but authoritative tick. With the movement being so well made, I suspect that with a bit of care and maintenance, it will run far longer than I will!

    All my best,

    George
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  8. #23

    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: PatH)

    Quote Originally Posted by PatH View Post
    RM,

    What a wonderful repair label. It's actually an uncut watch paper, and truly shows how versatile the watch papers could be.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Pat
    You're welcome.

    I have had other clocks where a watch paper doubled as a clock repair label.

    Note what a versatile man Mr. William S. Willia (gotta love that name) of Cumberland, ME was!

    Did all that stuff....and sold family medicines to boot.

    RM

  9. #24

    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: rmarkowitz1_cee4a1)

    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 View Post
    You're welcome.

    Note what a versatile man Mr. William S. Willia (gotta love that name) of Cumberland, ME was!

    RM
    Columbia seems to be on the label (actually Colunbia, when you get right down to it).
    “If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.” - Oscar Wilde

  10. #25

    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: Steven Thornberry)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Thornberry View Post
    Columbia seems to be on the label (actually Colunbia, when you get right down to it).
    Ooops. My bad.

    RM

  11. #26
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Question Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions

    Hi, All,

    Latest Update on the Patent Timepiece: My friends at the University had me contact the library department about restoration and conservation of the instruction sheet found within my timepiece. They will stabilize, repair, conserve and return it sealed within two sheets of UV protective glass for much less than other offers I've received. The label and repair ticket are now with them, and I should have things back within a week or so. I will then frame them together and display both with the clock. Considering that the glass will eliminate the possibility of further light damage, it will be safe to do so.

    I'm glad, as it is an important piece of the clock's history. I know that the inclusion of the label does not mean that it is 100% guaranteed to have originated with this clock, but all evidence certainly points to the fact that it does. The clock is now up on the wall, and merrily ticking away in our living room.

    When hanging the pendulum, I noticed a small hole in the bob, almost dead center of the front, drilled or punched through the brass covering only, and not into the lead back. (See attached picture.) Does anyone have any thoughts as to what the hole could be for? I just checked using a jeweler's loupe, and the hole seems to have been punched, as the edges show a rounded edge indicating such a process.

    Thoughts and comments most appreciated.

    Best to all,

    George
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    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  12. #27
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions

    Hi, All,

    A short update on my Lemuel Curtis Patent Timepiece:

    Just got the label back from the conservator at the University. I'm well pleased with it, and he graciously included the little glass vial that I found the label in.

    Constantly searching the Internet for all things clocks, I stumbled upon an old auction piece that appears very similar to my label! Except for the maker, the wording is almost identical, and appears to have been folded as well. The auction label has wider margins than does mine, but the restorer offered the opinion that mine had been trimmed with hand scissors in order to have been able to fit in the vial. The layout and border of my label differs a bit, but I was also told that is is an age-appropriate border that has been seen in other pieces. The auction piece is framed as well, interestingly in a frame that is similar to those used when the clock it belonged to was of fairly recent manufacture. Sadly, the printer is not identified on either piece.

    This clock continues to intrigue me! If anyone has any info or thoughts on the small hole in the brass pendulum casing, I'd love to hear it! (See post 26 just above.)

    Thanks to all,

    George
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    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

  13. #28

    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: George Nelson)

    George,

    Unfortunately I cannot reproduce what I am about to reveal as it is in a book.

    However, if you can find a copy of American Banjo Clocks by Steven Petrucelli and Kenneth Sposato you will find on Page 6, Figure 4 the label that you are displaying.

    It appears to be yours.

    They reference another book, A Study of Simon Willard's Clocks by R. W. Husher and W.W. Welch which has a label on Page 95. It is not yours; however, a few of the same words.

    Perhaps another starting point for your research.

    Regards,
    Dick

  14. #29
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: Dick C)

    George, I have both books to which Dick refers if you don't. We can take that offline. Regards the hole in the bob face. I would suspect that to be where a compass point was driven into the brass so as to draw the cutting circle for the face. No reason for it to be there, just an overzealous apprentice with a hammer and a punch done a couple of hundred years ago. The apprentice went on to become a successful politician where he solved the nation's problems with a large hammer.... or was that a big stick?

  15. #30
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patent Timepiece/Banjo Questions (By: Dick C)

    Dick,

    Thank you very much for that info! I don't have either book, but in the next reply below, Jim DuBois is kindly making an offer to help.

    I appreciate you efforts on my behalf, Dick, and am most grateful!

    My very best,

    George
    Time is a great story teller... Irish Proverb

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