American Another Timepiece

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Jim DuBois, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,466
    375
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Over time I have owned a lot of timepieces/banjos if you prefer. I have also been fortunate enough to have repaired/restored a fair number of them, and have inspected many more. So, today another early timepiece has surfaced here. It is unusual in that the throat sides are very thin, about 1/2 the normal thickness. They also end at the top of the base, whereas many timepiece cases the throat sides extend to the base of the lower case. It is a Tee bridge movement, recoil escapement, it utilizes two long diagonal screws to retain the movement in the case, the case backboard is mahogany, the dial is convex (highly unusual and an early feature usually ascribed to the Willard shops but still not common).

    The case has conventional crossbanded treatment with 2 screws to retain the throat glass and frame. This is also an earlier feature.

    We note the presentation made by Robert Cheney at the 2019 National, he spoke to the Willard shop processes extensively. Some of that presentation certainly speaks to what we see here.

    It appears the glue blocks are all original, a condition not often seen in these. Sadly, the right side extension of the right side rail is a very recent and very poor replacement. I suspect that problem will be corrected shortly.

    This clock needs only a bit of restoration. The dial is a bit weak so some freshening of the numbers and chapter ring may be undertaken. The throat glass appears to be original, the lower glass is missing and will require a sympathetic recreation. The movement is quite nice.

    Better than the other stuff I got today......

    20190712_114623.jpg 20190712_144949.jpg 20190712_145059.jpg 20190712_145105.jpg 20190712_145015.jpg 20190712_144954.jpg 20190712_145109.jpg 20190712_145224.jpg
     
  2. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2009
    1,533
    40
    48
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I enjoy puzzles!

    Very interesting timepiece.

    What is the thickness of the throat sides?

    What is a "diagonal screw"?

    Thanks for all of the sharing of your finds, etc. I learn a lot through your postings.
     
  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,466
    375
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The sides of the case throat are .200". The throats on these style clocks often approacht 3/8" or nearly 2X the thickness seen on this timepiece. The "diagonal screws" are the two thru bolts that hold in these movements. They protrude through the front plate of the movement so as to allow easy access to them to remove and install the movement. Their threaded portion carries a machine screw/bolt thread and many a ham-fisted repair person has stripped out their mating threads in the wooden backboards. This timepiece has that problem. Correcting it in a workmanship like manner can be difficult. Usually, the repairman just whacks in some extra screws and calls it a day. As we see the remnants of such work here.

    Some of the very early timepiece movements have pins thru only two of their columns and the diagonal thru bolts have heads on them that pin the front plate firmly to the movement. This approach didn't last long, only a very few have ever been found. Just fyi.

    And Dick C, glad you find my postings of interest. We seem to sadly be in the minority in that regard. I try to post unusual stuff. Much of what I see and do clock related is outside the norm and sharing is intended to be educational.

    cummensbanjo_movement.jpg 20151006_192911.jpg 20190713_061149.jpg
     
    PatH, Raymond Rice and Dick C like this.
  4. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Dec 5, 2014
    1,225
    840
    113
    Female
    Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Is the dial slightly convex, or is that camera perspective? I'm assuming camera due to the close-up, but thought I'd ask.
    Looking forward to hearing/seeing more on this clock.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,466
    375
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yeah, Pat. Good eye. The dial is a bit convex. This is usually a sign of earlier versions of the patent timepieces, and usually thought to be from the Willard school of clockmaking. Coupled with its 2 bolt throat retention, it is a nice example of that school IMO.

    20190714_124828.jpg
     
    PatH likes this.
  6. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
    NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Dec 5, 2014
    1,225
    840
    113
    Female
    Texas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks for taking the time to take another pic and post it. I've seen convex dials on clocks primarily from the UK, so was curious about this one. Not too much experience with close examination of American clocks of this era, so I really appreciate your posts. Now I just have to try to remember it!
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jun 14, 2008
    2,466
    375
    83
    Male
    Magnolia, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Another early characteristic of this clock is the throat panel is recessed into the sides of the throat. The hanging bracket is "dovetailed" into the case which theoretically would provide a bit more support. Also, an uncommon feature.

    20190714_140347(0).jpg 20190713_143659.jpg
     
    PatH likes this.
  8. Chris Radano

    Chris Radano Registered User

    Feb 18, 2004
    3,362
    133
    63
    Male
    Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The clock in this thread draws me to the only banjo I have today. The characteristics of mine, based on your statements, is encouraging to me that my banjo is probably the next generation after Simon Willard.
    My timepiece: thin mahogany boards, short throat sides, 2 screws at bottom of throat glass panel.
    Amazing old banjo clock.

    Of course the diagonal screws and convex dial are desirable characteristics.
     

Share This Page