Brockbank Regulator

digitalpan

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Oct 29, 2012
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Hi everyone

Not strictly an acquisition, but I was asked to help to put the pendulum back on a long case clock that had been moved. The owner, a gentleman in his 90s, had recently entered a retirement home, and had been careful to take off the pendulum and weight before moving it. At the home I found the case had been carefully screwed to the wall to prevent any movement. It turned out to be this:
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The dial is 10" wide and 12.5" high, the movement is 8" wide, 9.5" high and 3" thick. The plates are thick, 3/16" brass.
The name on the dial is John Brockbank London, who is extremely well known as a chronometer maker. There is a large outer minute hand, and two further dials, the upper being the "second hand" (see later below!) the lower the hour hand.
The movement is unusual. It has sliding plates which enclose the mechanism. Where the arbors protrude slightly through the plates the exposed ends have been covered with small brass plates, properly pinned and screwed.
Removing the left hand side plate reveals
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A 5 pillar movement of substantial construction, deadbeat escapement and maintaining power. Stopwork has been added to prevent the clock being wound too far.
The pendulum, with extremely heavy bob, is supported by a separate cast A frame attached to the seatboard. At the top is an adjuster (partly dismantled in the photo below) which permits the pendulum to be raised and lowered on a fine pitched screw. Whoever made the A frame has been careful to set the pendulum suspension point almost exactly in line with the pallet arbor.
IMG_1103.jpg IMG_1102.jpg
For some reason the crutch is now a peculiar cranked affair to pick up the brass pendulum rod.
The owner of the clock knows that it was bought by his grandfather (who was in the shipping trade) around 1910, possibly in Wales (UK).

I can see that it has had a long, interesting, and possibly chequered history!

John Brockbank died in 1808, the business being carried on by his sons, one of whom was also named John. Clocks usually have Brockbank & Atkins on the dial and date up to about 1820.

The escape wheel ticks 56 times for one revolution (and takes 56 seconds) and the clock keeps very good time. I would guess that the pendulum arrangement has been modified to improve the timekeeping, and that the covers are meant to keep dust/dirt/grit away from the mechanism. Perhaps it was used in a dusty environment?

Has anyone seen anything like this, or can refer me to any references?

Best wishes

Ian
 
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Ralph

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Jan 22, 2002
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Ian,

It's a very nice regulator. As you say, Brockbank was a fine maker and this regulator demonstrates it.

The covers are dust covers and are implemented to prevent dust from fouling the movement. The pivot covers are actually
thrust plates ( I call them end stops) and intended to keep the arbor shoulders away from the plates, to reduce friction. They are sometimes adjustable. This clock's end stops do not appear to be adjustable.

The 56 ticks per revolution doesn't sound right. Are you sure. I would expect it to be a seconds beat clock. Does it have a 30 tooth escape wheel?

The crutch is interesting and probably altered?? Any more information on the pendulum. .. the rod and bob would be interesting to have more details.

Thanks for posting.

Ralph
 

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