Batch production of Frames

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by John Matthews, Nov 16, 2018.

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  1. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I have started this thread by copying a number of posts from the Johnson thread as both Graham & I think that it is a subject worthy of separate consideration ...

    Graham has recently directed me to a series of marks that are described by Betts in his tome on the Greenwich chronometers. In the chapter covering the manufacture of chronometers there is a section covering the batch production method applied to movements. He describes how the movements were grouped in batches of four, so that as the work progressed, each element of the work was performed on a set of four movements. In order to ensure that individual movements in the batch could be identified a series of punch marks were used. Betts observes that at busy periods, two batches may have been worked on together, in which case, again a series of four dots would be used, but with an additional dot 'close by' to distinguish that the movements were part of the second batch, i.e. movements 5 to 8 of the two combined batches of 4.

    Graham has discovered that these marks can also be found on non-chronometer movements from the early part of the C19th. This has caused me to do a quick search through the photographs of my collection. As a result I have found what I believe to be 'batch marks' on the plates of two Johnson movements. We have also observed these marks on other Liverpool signed watches of this period.

    An example of the 4th movement in a single batch of 4

    421111-644f4431437ec048c2bcafd3438218fa.jpg 421112-f657a5b206c964329aa19beb0858e20a.jpg 421116-efeb5549aaac9e0164c24499fa5d90a0.jpg

    and from a busy period, an example of the the 8th movement from the two combined batches of 4.

    421113-249a1328085583a1099c169a7e3c9a6c.jpg 421114-5665d065ceae9ed4a508987eab2fc2f2.jpg 421115-8cfd225ae09a42b1a0b25ebc03107b56.jpg

    These are my preliminary interpretations - more examples will help ...

    Betts illustrates an example where the punch marks are triangles and I believe I have an example where the movement maker has used a double triangle punch that resembles an hourglass.

    John

    Hi John,

    I've found one possible example in my box of old parts movements, signed for Frodsham with a frame maker's mark of ES, (probably Edward Saggerson, Prescot); it has two small punched dots in the rim of the hollow back pillar plate. None of the others, dating roughly from the last two quarters of the 19th century, which are variously by Wycherley, Berry etc, as well as some by Coventry makers, have these marks.

    Regards,

    Graham


    Here is a selection of batch marks I have discovered from a very quick search of my Lancashire movements ...

    Johnson #9326 - red starred on the database ... 2nd movement of batch of 4 (2 dots)

    421170-a16d38c9fc08b9aa8746dd9706b0a3fb.jpg 421171-6f7afc77856812079c92d43ec1b32018.jpg 421172-6bdefc2b9dbf745901627b865bbe8fb9.jpg 421173-c38b33ccb4640bc0abb53efad539cc3f.jpg 421174-8f32b0c06532a9f4563e90a0083a46a3.jpg

    Beesley #24424 ... 4th movement of batch of 4 (4 narrow triangles)

    421175-e48523ce4ad6526dab5618c8c3a8c0a0.jpg 421176-71afae34c592aec82d050d02dd7e2257.jpg

    Kelvey & Holland #1892 ... 1st movement of 4 (single equilateral triangle)

    421177-f40a44ad381bf0b225f6e03a786f862d.jpg 421178-bb6acedb5a5267b155f9877b832a0fc7.jpg 421179-ec9caff068fb44fa2dd6008d4d3ff244.jpg 421180-2b5dec630df7450aa3028d445004721e.jpg

    John


    Hi John,

    Something to be aware of is the frequent use of triangular punches or gravers to raise burrs under cock feet to alter staff endshakes. These marks shouldn't be misinterpreted as batch marks.

    I think Jonathan Betts is quite clear about the way these batch marks were used; "All the parts in one set would thus have one, two, three or four dots on them", and later when referring to the larger batches of eight movements, "...it seems a second batch was created, also marked with one to four dots, then in addition marked with another single dot close to, but not part of, the other group.

    Regards,

    Graham


    Hi Graham

    It is interesting that the example illustrated by Betts (Fig. 2.5) is of 4 + 1 triangles on a click & set-up ratchet. In the case of the final example I illustrated, the Kelvey & Holland Patent Chronometer, with the frame probably by Henry Fletcher of Prescot, I thought the triangular punch mark on the underside of the cock was a batch identifier, as the frame edge has the same mark ...

    421198-a6ef384137e75da419ce57c45de4da74.png 421199-8f8cbf5281e1bae6ff8ca693bdb82054.png

    John



    Hi John,

    I think you're right in this instance, because the punch mark under the cock foot was made so as not to raise a burr and was clearly intended as an identifier and not a 'pig's ear' to alter the endshake.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  2. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I have just looked through photographs of some of my watches with signatures from the English Midlands.

    The first example is similar to those I have previously posted. Free sprung single roller, signed William Wray of Birmingham ~1875, based on a Lancashire frame which I suspect was also finished in Lancashire as the 2nd movement in a batch of 4.

    20170728 006.jpg 20170728 013.jpg 20170728 008.jpg 20170728 009.jpg

    The second movement is also based on a Lancashire frame, but in this case it was finished in Coventry by Yeomans and signed H Morris of Birmingaham ~1885. This example using the last two digits of the (Yeomans?) serial number on the cock and bridges.

    20170930 004.jpg 20170930 006.jpg 20170930 007.jpg 20170930 001.jpg

    Finally a 1844/45 movement that I believe was produced by Rotherham & Sons for Benjamin Bell of Uttoxeter, I have no evidence that the frame was originally produced in Lancashire and I have not completely dismantled this watch. However,the under dial pillar plate has the number 7 and 7 punch marks, which may have been used by Rotherham & Sons to identify the components of the watch during finishing - in this case it does not relate to the serial number, which may have been that of the retailer Bell.

    20170301 004.jpg 20170301 001.jpg 20170302 001.jpg Marks.JPG

    At this stage, it seems to me that the batch marks, as described by Betts, are most likely to be found on 'single design' watches that were delivered in a near finished state to the retailer/finisher. A single batch may have been delivered to a single retailer/finisher to satisfy an order or the batch distributed to a number of retailers/finishers.

    John
     
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  3. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Allan,

    I agree these are batch marks and in this case indicate the movement is the 2nd of a batch of 4. It is entirely likely, I would have thought that they were produced at an early stage, possibly before gilding. We now have examples on frames from a number of different Lancashire frame makers.

    John
     
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  4. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I have found two examples from my London finished movements, both are based upon Lancashire frames ...

    The first a John Cooper duplex with a jewelled impulse ~1860 based upon a John Wycherley frame, marks are probably those of the latter being the 2nd movement in a batch of 4

    20180414 013.jpg 20180414 012.jpg upload_2018-11-17_0-1-44.png upload_2018-11-17_0-2-13.png

    The second based upon an Abbot & Garnett frame of ~1850 finished by John Hutton with his patented compensation stud - again Betts would interpret, I believe, as the second movement in a batch of 4.

    20181117 001.jpg 20181117 002.jpg upload_2018-11-17_0-9-36.png upload_2018-11-17_0-11-3.png

    It would appear that the marks so far found can principally be traced back to the Lancashire frame makers, as is probably to be expected.

    John
     
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  5. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    Great thread, we are learning much about the production process across the UK, all the way back
    to Verges. Thanks John for all the work and photographs, (and to Graham).

    Keith R...
     
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  6. John Matthews

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    This ~1880 inverted double roller was finished by David Keys (15 Craven Street, Strand, London) for Reid & Sons, Newcastle. It is based upon a size 16 hollow back frame in all probability of Lancashire origin. The marks I interpret as the batch marks are 4 equilateral triangular punches - they occur both on the frame and beneath the balance cock. I would like Graham's opinion as to those on the cock to confirm, that because they have not formed burrs, they are unlikely to be there to adjust endshake. In my opinion, these marks are those of the frame maker and were produced at an early stage of manufacture, before the frame passed to David Keys. Further, I believe Keys received the frame in a fairly 'raw state'; subsequently, David Keys, stamped his makers mark and his serial number on the frame partially over the frame makers punch marks.

    20181117 001.jpg 20181117 002.jpg 03.jpg 20170509 005-2.jpg 05.jpg

    John
     
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  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Yes, as far as I can tell, (some of the images are very small), the punch marks have no burrs so it's reasonable to interpret them as batch marks.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  8. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Thanks Graham for the confirmation.

    Incidentally, I have just found an example with 3 dots on a pocket chronometer movement, unfortunately I don't own the photograph and the movement is currently for sale, so I cannot post the link.

    John
     
  9. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    This practice not only occurred in the UK. I've personally seen instances in French watches of around 1800, and possibly some earlier ones too.
    See my thread on this very subject from January 2018:

    Other PW - Small punch marks on French watch movement (ca. 1800)

    Ending quote from that thread (following input from Snapper and Graham):

    "It would make sense when they were building timepieces in this "old-fashioned" way, that they would build them in small manageable batches, and not one at a time. And having a simple way to ensure that parts didn't get mixed up between batch items was good common sense. And if someone didn't have small numbered punches, just punching a number of small points makes perfect sense. Nice to see this common sense approach occurring on both sides of the Channel, but then again, there was a healthy interchange of watchmakers so that efficient shop practices like that would get shared readily."
     
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  10. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Robert - many thanks for the link.

    For certain the use of the batch method of production must go way back before the industrial revolution and from its inception, in whichever branch of manufacture, a means of identifying the components of the separate batch items would have been an essential element of the practice.

    John
     
  11. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    It would be interesting if the Pitkin brothers in 1838 America, utilized this
    system, although I'm not familiar with their beginning output, nor am I their
    output on the back end of 1852.

    Keith R...
     
  12. Tim Fitzgerald

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    Great information, :)
     
  13. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    #13 John Matthews, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    This half plate unfinished movement dates from ~1890. A keyless going-barrel movement based upon a hollow back size16 Lancashire frame. It is stamped with the mark (R.G) of Richard Glover, who at this time was based in Warrington Street, Cronton. For whatever reason work on this movement stopped after the escapement had been jewelled. In the context of this thread, I believe this is fortunate as the disposition of the marks that are preserved possibly give us a further insight into how they were used. So I will give you my interpretation of the sequence of marks as the work progressed - but I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    20181118 014.jpg 20181118 015.jpg

    There is evidence that not all frames were the work of one maker and this may be the case here. We can be certain from the point R.G was stamped, the movement was under the 'control' of Glover. The early work on the main plates, I believe was performed on a 'double batch' within which this movement was number 6 (2 dots with one close by). This can be seen on the pillar plate (the 'close by' mark on the rim), the jewelled lower plate, the upper plate and the 4th wheel cock.

    Pillar plate marks.JPG 20181118 005.jpg 20181118 006.jpg 20181118 008.jpg

    Of these only the upper and pillar plate have the mark of Glover and the complete serial number. Note that the jewelled lower plate has the last two digits of the serial number.

    In contrast the '6' batch number is absent from the balance cock and the cock housing the upper pivot of the lever and the escape.

    20181118 012.jpg 20181118 010.jpg

    However, as with the jewelled lower plate, they do have the last two digits of the serial number.

    My interpretation is that the initial work was performed as part of the double batch and at that time the components did not include the latter two cocks. I do not believe we can be certain that this work was controlled by Glover, he may gave 'bought in' the 'raw movement'. I think after that initial work he will have stamped his mark on the two main plates together with his serial number, adding the two further cocks, marking them and the additional lower plate with the last two digits of the serial number, prior to the movement being passed to the escapement jeweller. After that was completed the work on the movement was halted.

    John
     
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  14. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    I've often wondered if any of the English process, made it's way to the US. Now
    this is not a frame, but note the two punch marks on this 15J Newark balance
    cock, from about 1866. Perhaps the cocks were a separate lot, from the other
    machined parts supporting assembly of Private Label Newark's.

    Keith R...

    100_3462 (800x600).jpg
     
  15. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    #15 Keith R..., Nov 22, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    I sent John an email regarding my thoughts on the batch system. The Newark
    was the only watch I had with punch mark pics. I am going through my American
    watches regarding the frames and under dial.

    Howard, Waltham, Tremont, and the New York Watch Co. My earliest Elgin is 1869.

    Keith R...
     
  16. PapaLouies

    PapaLouies Registered User
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    Hi Keith,
    A photo of the pillar plate under the dial of 7771 would be interesting.
    Regards, PL
     
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  17. Keith R...

    Keith R... Registered User
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    You are on the mark PL, unfortunately this pic was not taken during the restoration
    project. I would guess I was more excited it was running, than capturing a pic of the
    pillar plate under the dial.

    I'm usually quite good at looking ahead, but back then I was till dealing with estate
    close out.

    Keith R...
     
  18. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    There's a thread by Seth Kennedy here which includes in the first post a picture of chronometer balance weights with what appear to be 3 + 1 pips. However, I can't see any marks on the pillar plate, so perhaps these are just marks from the escapement maker. These weights would have been turned as a continuous ring and cut into segments afterwards, so matching up pairs of equal weight would have been vital.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  19. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Graham,

    I suspect you are correct; we are seeing evidence of 'multiple marking' as the movements pass through the various stages of completion, with the use of maker's marks, various styles of punch marks and whole or partial serial numbers. I think careful examination of the individual components of a movement when it is dismantled, will show that these marks can add to our understanding of its manufacture. Identifying which components carry identical markings can be particularly helpful.

    John
     
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  20. Nick23

    Nick23 Registered User

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    See pillar plate at 11 o'clock. Third from a batch of 4?
    DSCF0081 (1).JPG
     
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  21. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Nick - thank-you for posting this example

    Yes, I think you are right - just check the rim to make sure there isn't additional punch mark. On some pillar plates, the 'one close by' has been on the rim. I missed this originally and it wasn't until I subsequently found 1 + 2 on a bridge, that I went back and found the 'close by' mark on the rim.

    John
     
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  22. Nick23

    Nick23 Registered User

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    John - I can't see any other marks on the pillar plate, but I can just make out another group of three on the top plate directly opposite those on the pillar plate.

    Nick
     
  23. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Nick - in that case 3rd movement from a batch of 4 would be my interpretation.

    John
     
  24. PapaLouies

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    Hi John,
    If your H. Morris at Post #2 was made by John Wycherley after Sept. 3rd 1867, the Pillar Plate will measure 1.48 inches plus or minus 1000th, and between plates .125 inches minus 4/250 inches or .125 inches minus .016 inches or .109 inches.

    Regards, PL
     
  25. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Pl

    The signature on the watch is, I believe, the jeweller Harris Morris, who was active in Albion Street according to Kelly's 1880 trade directory. This fits with Yeoman's dates of 1880 onwards, so I feel confident that numbers are those of Wycherley's frame dimensions as you describe. I should have mentioned the initials of JC underneath the balance cock, which I believe is likely to be John Chesworth of New Road, Prescot. He was active from the 1850's through to 1880's. A small movement purchased for <£10 because of a broken pivot, but which has a good record of it's history - a very worthwhile purchase.

    John
     
  26. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    This is the first of two unfinished movements I recently purchased specifically to gain further understanding of the use of identification marks during the process of manufacture.

    The movement is based upon a small Lancashire hollow back frame designed to support a key wound full plate fusee driven movement. Work on the movement ceased early in the production cycle and there are no elements of the train present. As an unfinished movement, it is a little unusual in having a rim cap, held in position by two oval headed screws, and also because it has the stamps of two Lancashire movement makers.

    20181201 001.jpg 20181201 002.jpg 20181201 004.jpg

    The frame is undoubtedly produced by John Wycherley, one of the best known Prescot frame makers. It carries his 'JW' stamp only on the pillar plate together with the size of the movement '4 0/5' punched with the same weight. Close by on the pillar plate and also on the underside of the top plate, is the mark of a second maker 'J.M' with the serial number #49326. Both of these marks were stamped with greater weight.

    20181201 003.jpg 20181201 005.jpg

    I believe this mark is most probably that of Jonathon Molyneux, who was active in Rainhill, in the middle of the C19th. It is my belief that 'J.M' obtained the Wycherley frame and was intending to continue its manufacture. The fact that a serial number has been assigned, might imply that the work was supported by an order he had received.

    There is evidence, from which we may infer, that JM did have the escapement jewelling done while the movement was in his control. Having mildly cleaned the movement, I discovered the the last two digits of the serial number were somewhat crudely scratched on both the tail of the balance cock and the balance potence. After this work was completed, work on the movement ceased.

    20181201 001-2.jpg 20181201 005-2.jpg

    There are no other manufacturer's marks on any of the components. This is not surprising given the stage at which the work on the movement came to a halt.

    20181130 010.jpg 20181130 011.jpg 20181130 011-2.jpg 20181130 008.jpg 20181201 006.jpg

    John
     
  27. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    The lower dovetail slide in the potence looks to be a physical impossibility! Could you post some more pictures please?

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  28. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Graham - see attached.

    20181201 002-2.jpg 20181201 001-2-2.jpg

    John
     
  29. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Thanks, your first picture clarifies it. The dovetail extends right across, as it has to do, and the joint was obscured by the direction of the lighting on the filing marks in the original shot.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  30. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    This is the second of the two unfinished movements I purchased to better understand their manufacture and the markings used as the work proceeded.

    This movement is based on a larger, size 10 frame, which was also made by John Wycherley; it differs in a number of respects. It is a half plate movement, the escapement has not been jewelled, the train is present, from the uncut fusee through to the fourth wheel, all with the arbors left long, and finally, there is only a single maker's mark – that of John Wycherley. Some texts appear to imply that there was a specific sequence of tasks that were undertaken – clearly, when taken together, these two unfinished movements show that the sequence was varied.

    20181201 017.jpg 20181201 016.jpg 20181201 013.jpg

    In this case, all of the elements of the movement have two punch marks to enable the individual elements to be associated through any batch production cycle, be that Wycherley in-house or in the hands of outworkers subcontracted to perform specialist tasks.

    20181201 001.jpg 20181201 001-2.jpg 20181201 002.jpg 20181201 002-2.jpg 20181201 004.jpg 20181201 004-2.jpg 20181201 005.jpg 20181201 007.jpg 20181201 009.jpg

    Note that this movements has at some point been stored in damp conditions and the steel components show signs of corrosion. In an attempt to arrest further deterioration I have soaked the train in 3:1 and this is reflected in the appearance of these elements.

    John
     
  31. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    A fine example of the way the train was planted at this stage in the process with over-size and over-length arbors, which would be pivoted, properly depthed and bushed during the finishing procedures. It seems now like a duplication of effort to do all this work twice, but this was 'the way it's done'. Some collectors now, seeing those bushings, assume that they're the result of repairs to worn out pivot holes, but it ain't necessarily so!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  32. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Here are some punch marks on the inner surface of the top plate of a John Wycherley frame, although there are no such marks anywhere on the pillar plate or in any other places that I can see.

    DSCF6743.JPG

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  33. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Graham

    If the two triangular punch marks are not present on the other plate, cocks or bridges that is a little unusual. It would be difficult to consider them as 'useful' batch marks. However, if the movement is post ~1867 and is a Wycherley standard gauge frame size, is it possible the top plate was initially from another movement (2 of 4) and at some point was transferred to this movement? If it was early in the life history of the movement, perhaps it would not be obvious, if later you would no doubt see the evidence. Only explanation I can think of.

    Are '7' & '5' the last two digits of the serial number and are they present elsewhere?

    John
     
  34. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    The '75' numbers are indeed the last two digits of the serial, and they also appear on the pillar plate, so the plates do belong together. I wonder if the two punch marks are something to do with the escapement maker, who would not be concerned with the pillar plate at all. The '75' is also scratched into the cock foot together with another two triangular punches and some pig's ears for good measure, (which I hadn't noticed before, not having removed the cock at that stage), which tends to confirm the supposition.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  35. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Graham,

    As the two punch marks are present on the foot, they were regarded as of importance when work was performed on the cock. My suggestion would be that they might have been used when the escapement was jewelled, which seems to often have been early in the production cycle. The actually escapement will have been fitted later, by which time the serial number may have been allocated. Cocks often have the last digits of the serial number scratched on, often rather crudely. I never know whether that was during production or a subsequent service, although the former seems more likely.

    John
     
  36. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    That is possible, although the potence, which is also jewelled, has no such scratched mark under it.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  37. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    I purchase this unfinished movement, housed in a contemporary 'pill box', principally because it captures an advanced stage of preparation. As with the previous example it is based upon a size 10 0/3 frame, but in this case designed to house a three-quarter hollow back fusee movement. The pillar plate is stamped J*B which is likely to be the mark of John or James Beesley of Prescot.

    20190130 003-3.jpg 20190130 002-3.jpg 20190130 004.jpg

    As can be seen from the photographs the movement has suffered from the effects of storage in damp conditions and all of the exposed steel was rusty. I had hoped that this was just superficial, but when I attempted to dismantle it, I discovered it was more pervasive. This caused me to submerge the movement in 3 in 1 for a week.

    02.jpg 20190129 014.jpg 20190129 018.jpg

    Work on the movement stopped after all of the train had been planted including the barrel, with spring, the grooved fusee, through to the balance wheel minus the spring. In contrast to the previous example only the winding and setting arbors remain long, or should I say, as received, the winding arbor was long!

    Unfortunately, after soaking in oil for a week, I hit a problem when attempting to release the winding arbor from the centre wheel. It would not budge. Soaking for a further 2 days in WD40 failed to improve the situation. I tried tapping it gently, to no avail. Finally, I tried holding the wheel between my fingers and attempting to rotate the square end of the arbor with a pair of parallel brass pliers. Yes, I thought I could feel some movement - yes – NO - the shaft failed in shear at the point where it emerged from the plate. Given I was holding the wheel between my forefinger and thumb, the shear force was limited by the pain inflicted as the teeth were digging into my fingers. I suspected that the arbor had already been weakened by corrosion or possibly previous attempts to release it. Examination under microscope has revealed that there was indeed a pre-existing rusty crack extending halfway across the arbor seen in contrast to the brighter surface of the shear failure.

    20190130 005-2.jpg

    I had hoped, given the work that had been completed, there would be a series of marks that would document the progress of the work. This proved not to be the case. In fact, apart from the Beesley stamp on the pillar plate, the only other mark is '26' crudely scratched on the underside of the lever/escape cock. I suspect that from the absence of marks it is probably reasonable to infer that this movement was not worked on as part of a batch and that it may have only been handled by Beesley and his 'in-house' workers, but this is speculation on my part.

    20190129 001.jpg 20190129 007.jpg 20190129 011.jpg

    I have now re-assembled the movement with a liberal treatment of 3 in 1 on all of the steel components. I tested that the train was free and that power reached the escape when I rotated the fusee, before fitting the lever and balance.

    20190129 028.jpg 20190130 002-2.jpg 20190129 013-2.jpg 20190130 004-2.jpg 20190130 006.jpg

    I will store the broken end of the winding arbor with the movement.

    John
     
  38. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    I'm puzzled, what was a winding arbor doing on the centre wheel? I think you mean the hand setting square, which is on the end of a pin which passes right through the hollow centre arbor and carries the cannon pinion on its other end. The slipping clutch effect to allow hand setting is provided by the friction of the pin inside the hollow arbor. These normally have to be driven out in the staking set, but as you say, yours has succumbed to the corrosion bug.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  39. John Matthews

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    Sorry Graham - I managed to transpose the 'setting' & 'winding' arbors in the ether between my brain and the paper ...

    John
     
  40. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Work on this size 4 unfinished Lancashire movement ceased early in the production process. It is essentially just a hollow back three-quarter plate frame with the addition of the balance jewels; neither the screws to fix the plates not the screw to secure the balance cock are present. It is believed that the movement dates from ~1875.

    20190208 013.jpg 20190208 012.jpg

    The pillar plate is stamped 'T.R' and carries the serial number 71029. The maker's mark is that of Thomas Russell & Son.

    20190208 005.jpg 20190208 001.jpg 20190208 003.jpg 20190208 003-2.jpg

    In their time, they were described as one of the largest Liverpool wholesale watch manufacturers and retailers of watches from a variety of sources. The first Thomas initially worked as a journeyman to William Wakefield in Lancaster, but was working independently by ~1811. On his death, in 1830, he was succeeded by his son, also Thomas. The son moved to Liverpool by 1848 and in ~1859 he handed control over to Thomas Robert Russell and Alfred Holgate Russell. It was at this point the company name was changed to Thomas Russell & Son. The company continued into the C20th, becoming a limited company in 1894.

    The last two digits of the serial number (29) are stamped on the underside of the balance cock and the pillar plate bridge.

    20190208 008.jpg 20190208 010.jpg

    Somewhat surprisingly the top plate is stamped '27'. Clearly, this could have been stamped in error, but it seems to me to be a little unlikely as all the parts will have been stamped at the same time. Further, I believe there is evidence that this plate was originally part of another movement. Whereas the other components of the frame are devoid of batch marks, on the underside of the top plate, there are three punch marks adjacent to one of the pillar holes (directly above 'T.R' in the photograph), I believe these are batch marks.

    20190208 007.jpg

    If my inference is correct it speaks to the interchangeability of the components of the frames being produced by Russell at that time.

    John
     

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