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  1. #1
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Question Very Strange Weights

    Hi, All,

    Came across this strange pair of weights, advertised as clock weights. However, I'm not quite sure. They weigh 7.5 and 7.1 pounds respectively, which would approximate weights needed for some clocks, time and strike. Compounded like they are, that would put the actual weight as 3.25 and 3.05 pounds each, I believe.

    The pulleys are wood, appear similar to but are not exactly like the pulleys in clocks that we are familiar with, and both turn freely. Has anyone seen weights like this before? They are sized to fit in a standard OG or other thirty hour clock case that would normally accept a round type weight. Not sure of the metal used, but it is not attracted to a magnet. Clock or other use?

    Thanks for the help,

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

  2. #2

    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: George Nelson)

    Look to be sash weights to me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: upstateny)

    They may be sash weights, I imagine whatever they are the shape is because they follow a guide, however I have never seen sash or clock weights with built in pulleys. In sash windows the pulley is usually in the frame, in clocks it is part of the weight support and fixed to the line. (or, I believe, on some American clocks to the case)
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: George Nelson)

    They drove some kind of machine, my guess would be a clock. They are probably lead.
    Willie X

  5. #5
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: Willie X)

    Thanks for all of the replies so far! As for being sash weights, I not sure, as the pulleys are made of wood, and have a small channel in them, that is far to small for the cord that is found in window sashes.

    A member PM'd me, giving her opinion that the weights might have gone to one of the very early pillar and scroll clocks, that had compounded weights and pulleys, but I'm not sure about that either, as I've never seen a setup like that.

    Any more comments and/or suggestions will be most welcome!

    Thanks to everyone,

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

  6. #6
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: George Nelson)

    Here is an early P&S / box clock with the more or less traditional compounding of the weights. The pulleys are of wood running on steel or iron arbors.

    I suspect the ones you have George are some sort of counterbalance weights that moved infrequently in their intended use, but are not clock weights. While we all know anything is possible, we can pretty safely assume these weights are not common, and they were not a production clock weight. And they are substantially better cast than those Uncle Fixit usually makes on the kitchen stove...
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  7. #7
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: George Nelson)

    Based on the cut out at the same place on all of the weights, I would guess that at some point along its intended travel the line goes in straight on one side and comes out at somewhat of an angle on the other side. This suggests that it moves up and down in a system where the line does not hang vertically on one side - similar to how the weights in Ogee clocks have to have a cut out to avoid abrading the line near the top of the wind. The only time I have seen pulleys inside weights like this was when the weight system rode the line as a steadying counter weight. This was on an old offset printing machine where the steadying counter weight maintained pressure on the shuttle platform but had to be able to move freely as the shuttle shifted side to side against a spring. However, those weights were not square, but I suppose they could have used square ones just as easily.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  8. #8

    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: THTanner)

    Quote Originally Posted by THTanner View Post
    Based on the cut out at the same place on all of the weights, I would guess that at some point along its intended travel the line goes in straight on one side and comes out at somewhat of an angle on the other side. This suggests that it moves up and down in a system where the line does not hang vertically on one side - similar to how the weights in Ogee clocks have to have a cut out to avoid abrading the line near the top of the wind. The only time I have seen pulleys inside weights like this was when the weight system rode the line as a steadying counter weight. This was on an old offset printing machine where the steadying counter weight maintained pressure on the shuttle platform but had to be able to move freely as the shuttle shifted side to side against a spring. However, those weights were not square, but I suppose they could have used square ones just as easily.
    George,

    Perhaps this organization might clarify if they are related to the offset printing systems:

    http://www.printmuseum.org/

  9. #9
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: Dick C)

    Interesting comments, all! I was pretty sure when I bought them that they would not be for a clock, but took the chance just in case. The cost was very small, and I like to look at things in person anyway.

    Dick C., thanks for your research. I've fired off an e-mail with pictures to the Print Museum, and I'll report back if they can identify them.

    Jim D., thanks for the picture of the P/S box clock with the weight arrangement. While I'm now almost certain that the weights are not clock-related, I did think at first that they may have belonged to an early box or P/S clock.

    THTanner, your observations make perfect sense, and bring up things I didn't have a clue about. Thanks for your thoughts and knowledge!

    Thanks to everyone-this little venture has been quite interesting!

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

  10. #10
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: George Nelson)

    here is a bit better photo of the early P&S weights with built-in pulleys
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  11. #11
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: Jim DuBois)

    Very interesting, Jim! Any idea how much they weigh?

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

  12. #12
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: George Nelson)

    Quote Originally Posted by George Nelson View Post
    Very interesting, Jim! Any idea how much they weigh?

    George
    George, they are tin can weights, wooden top, contents can be small chunks of broken up cast iron, sometimes lead dross, usually include sand, and or small rocks. Weight is usually 2-3 pounds.

  13. #13
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: Jim DuBois)

    Thanks, Jim. I didn't realize that they were tin can weights. So, being compounded, is it safe to assume that movements with weights like the ones you show run on about 1 1/2 pounds or am I missing something obvious?

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

  14. #14
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights

    Here are examples of pillar and scroll clocks, as well as a couple of box clocks. As you can see, some of them used the tin can weights and some of them used more traditional weights with traditional pulleys. It is interesting to note that Seth Thomas as well as Eli Terry made both style clocks, some were rack and snail strikers, some were count wheel strikers. All of them are from the very early period of the wood works shelf clock production, some have visable escapements, some do not....rare and interesting in my opinion. And yes, the glass dials reverse painted are featured on 10 or more know examples. Some are 1 piece, some are 2 piece and have a wood divider like more traditional P&S clocks.
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    Last edited by Jim DuBois; 05-21-2017 at 08:13 AM. Reason: add glass dial thoughts

  15. #15
    Registered User George Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Strange Weights (By: Jim DuBois)

    Very interesting, Jim. Thanks for the additional photos! Always learning, and always loving it!

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

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