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  1. #1

    Default Congreve Rolling Ball Clock

    I need some help. I recently purchased at auction what I believe to be an original Congreve. When it arrived I promply took it to my clock repairman who had never seen or heard of one. He has dispatched me to find drawings, schematics and/or photos showing the parts in relation to one another. Further he thinks the rolling ball is not correct. Does anyone have any information to assist? Futher, what is the weight, diameter and material of the rolling ball? Next, where might proper parts be obtained if required? I'd hate to have him do a sloppy job in repair, if it is truly an original? Finally, if may clock repair man is not up to the task, is there anyone you think could do a proper job in the midwestern US, as I am in Des Moines Iowa. I'd really appreciate any information anyone has. Thanks so much. Carlton Salmons.

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Click (RE: carlton salmons)

    Hi, Carlton, welcome to the message board. I am going to move your thread up to the clock repair forum for better exposure. In the meantime, if you could post some pictures of what you have, it will help us to identify it.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: harold bain)

    Carlton - I'm in Cedar Rapids and would be happy to look at it .... However there is a master clock maker not so far from you who would be able to make any parts it needs and get it repaired for you. He's in Mitchell, NE and his business name is About Time. Here's a link to his webpage:

    About Time

  4. #4
    Registered User LaBounty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: shutterbug)

    Hey Shutt-

    Thanks for the plug! There are actually quite a few other qualified clockmakers, including yourself, who are much closer to Carlton than I am .

    These can be a challenge to work on since a little dust on the ball track is enough to stop the ball from rolling. I know Mark Purdy CC21, in the St. Paul area, recently finished up one of these and he was complaining about dust buildup during his testing period since he didn't have the class cover.

    It is quite rewarding getting one to work since they are extremely fun to watch!

    Regards,

  5. #5
    Deceased Ray Fanchamps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: LaBounty)

    The clock referred to as the Congreve Rolling Ball clock has been reproduced since the original design circ 1808.
    The more common versions are model engineering or modelmaker clocks, many from Wilding's 1975 (?) plans. Wildings plans are still available and I have a copy round here somewhere as I am into my tenth year of building one of these.
    Devon Clocks (current), Thwaites & Reed and also Dent produced limited and numbered editions 1970/80's.
    I have a kit version still in it's original box from the 70's.
    Today it is a very popular clock through the Chinese versions and better bought as door stop than as a clock.
    Wilding's plans are still available . http://www.clockmaking-brass.co.uk/congreve.htm A search of the web /ebay probably would bring up US copies.

    So, when you say "original" it's probably safe to assume you mean one of the above rather than "an original"..........or................?
    Last edited by Ray Fanchamps; 05-26-2009 at 05:48 PM.
    Ray Fanchamps

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: carlton salmons)

    Hi Carlton
    Quote Originally Posted by carlton salmons View Post
    I need some help. I recently purchased at auction what I believe to be an original Congreve.
    There are only two original Congreves, and they are both owned by the British Royal Family. Sir William Congreve's design was carried out separately by two clockmakers. Ray's excellent post fills in the details.
    When it arrived I promply took it to my clock repairman who had never seen or heard of one.
    He has dispatched me to find drawings, schematics and/or photos showing the parts in relation to one another.
    Hmmm ... keep the clock and swap the repairman.
    Further he thinks the rolling ball is not correct.
    Despite the fact that he has never seen nor heard of one?
    Does anyone have any information to assist? Futher, what is the weight, diameter and material of the rolling ball? Next, where might proper parts be obtained if required?
    It's not that critical. As for 'proper parts', specific parts would need to be made, otherwise, model engineering suppliers for screws, nuts, springs etc. What precisely is wrong with it? Does it go?

    They are an awful timekeeper, but a great novelty! As well as his design in ME, John Wilding also designed one using Meccano parts!

    It looks like there are a few folk on here that will look at your clock; bit far for me; good luck, and keep us informed.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: Mike Phelan)

    Here's one that a friend of mine built from the Wilding plans..

    Ralph
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails jan09013a.jpg  

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: Ralph)

    Ralph
    He or she has done a superb job; what a fantastic conversation piece!
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: Mike Phelan)

    Yes! Very nice indeed

  10. #10

    Default Re: Congreve Rolling Ball Clock (RE: Mike Phelan)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phelan View Post
    Ralph
    He or she has done a superb job; what a fantastic conversation piece!
    He's built about 6 clocks. I have tried for years to get him to enter them in the craft contest.

    They are interesting clocks, with remontoir's, coup perdu, pinwheels, electrically wound, calendar, moon phase globes, striking, knife edge, elliot pendulums, balance wheels, ....etc.

    Ralph

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