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Clock Porn! (Waltham 5-tube from Algonquin Club of Boston)

michaelbarth

Registered User
Jan 25, 2021
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Yesterday, and for $300 no less, I acquired the Waltham 5-tube grandfather clock from an estate sale. This clock was liquidated from the Algonquin Club of Boston, one of the old racist and sexist clubs down on Comm Ave near the common. The seller had no idea what he had, and accepted my low offer.

Serial number is 8690. The stamp next to it says Waltham Clock Co, USA. I think there's a stamp on the back of the wood case that says 1107. The tubes are large diameter with black rubber or plastic inserts on each end, and are also marked Waltham. The Waltham movement's thick plates and large winding arbors make Herschede look like a child's toy. Does anyone know what this dates to?

Thanks and enjoy the day!
Mike
Marlborough, MA

IMG_2139.JPG IMG_2146.JPG IMG_2145.JPG IMG_2144.JPG IMG_2143.JPG IMG_2142.JPG IMG_2141.JPG IMG_2140.JPG IMG_2138.JPG IMG_2136.JPG IMG_2135.JPG IMG_2134.JPG IMG_2133.JPG IMG_2132.JPG IMG_2131.JPG IMG_2130.JPG IMG_2129.JPG IMG_2128.JPG IMG_2127.JPG IMG_2126.JPG
 
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J. A. Olson

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Dec 21, 2006
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Waltham produced an assortment of tubular bell chime hall clocks and movements throughout the 1910's and 1920's. The one I remember seeing many years ago was a substantially built piece, it hadn't been serviced in ages but it kept perfect time and was in very good cosmetic condition. Randy Thatcher claimed in his old Herschede seminar that Herschede made Waltham's hall clock cases.

The time period between 1892 to 1929 marked the golden age of American chime clock manufacturing. Several clock companies and retailers associated with the best quality imaginable spearheaded the scene. Durfee, Jacques, Herschede, Waltham, Tobey, Horner, Colonial... Sadly the stock market crash of 1929 decimated this momentum and the few companies that survived had to tighten their belts to keep going. Cutting costs became a higher priority than unabridged workmanship... There are good books about Herschede and Durfee but there is still much to discover and publish about other manufacturers of the period.

So have a nice Waltham advertisement from over 100 years ago. Christmastime was always a golden season for clock manufacturers.
Lincoln Cathedral is featured in the portrait, but Waltham's customary six bells chime was named 'Oxford'.

Waltham 1920.jpg
 
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Robert Gift

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Nov 12, 2012
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View attachment 739115
Really Lincoln Cathedral? Looks too grandiose.
1920's watch or clock range from $250 to 1,500 or more?? What would that be today?
 

Jeff Salmon

Registered User
Apr 11, 2002
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Actually, I looked into this very question several years ago. There are several sites where one can enter the cost of an item in any given year and come up with a present value. It's really interesting. There is also a site that one can use different currencies.

Here is one for the US Dollar:

Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2022 (usinflationcalculator.com)

Here is another site with far more complexity in terms of time and currency:

Historical Currency Converter (historicalstatistics.org)

It's interesting to look at a copy of an old catalog or ad from long ago, or even a reference in a book with the price and wonder how much that would be in current money.
 
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rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
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Yesterday, and for $300 no less, I acquired the Waltham 5-tube grandfather clock from an estate sale. This clock was liquidated from the Algonquin Club of Boston, one of the old racist and sexist clubs down on Comm Ave near the common. The seller had no idea what he had, and accepted my low offer.

Serial number is 8690. The stamp next to it says Waltham Clock Co, USA. I think there's a stamp on the back of the wood case that says 1107. The tubes are large diameter with black rubber or plastic inserts on each end, and are also marked Waltham. The Waltham movement's thick plates and large winding arbors make Herschede look like a child's toy. Does anyone know what this dates to?

Thanks and enjoy the day!
Mike
Marlborough, MA

View attachment 739013 View attachment 739014 View attachment 739015 View attachment 739016 View attachment 739017 View attachment 739018 View attachment 739019 View attachment 739020 View attachment 739021 View attachment 739022 View attachment 739023 View attachment 739024 View attachment 739025 View attachment 739026 View attachment 739027 View attachment 739028 View attachment 739029 View attachment 739030 View attachment 739031 View attachment 739032
Do you have a picture of the whole clock?

There's more to a clock than just tight close ups of the movement and chimes.

Here's a Globe article about the club:

A stalwart of old Boston society is reinvented for modern sensibilities - The Boston Globe

Apparently, the club's interior has undergone a total renovation and redesign by its new owners. It was probably decided that the Waltham didn't fit with the new image, a stated desire for a more diverse membership, and new name, the 'Quin House".

Here's their website:

About – The 'Quin House (thequinhouse.com)

What interests me is the great purpose-built clubhouse, as it were. Designed by McKim, Meade and White. An architectural gem.

RM
 
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Andy Dervan

Gibbs Literary Award
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Oct 23, 2002
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Timeline for Waltham Clock Co. manufacturing chiming hall clocks is incorrect.

Waltham Clock Co. began manufacturing them in 1898 using Durfee tubes under license and continued well into 1930s even with the depression. I talked with Waltham employee who worked in clock department in 1930s and he had some great stories, but they were still manufacturing these clocks.

Highest grade movements were 9 tube, 7 tube, 5 tube, and also time and strike in traditional tall clock cases.

See my NAWCC Bulletin article on Waltham Clock Co.

Andy Dervan
 

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
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Do you have a link or article number for your bulletin? It would be interesting for us all to read it.
Never seen a depression-era Waltham hall clock, only their older products.
 

J. A. Olson

NAWCC Member
Dec 21, 2006
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Found the article in the April 2005 NAWCC bulletin. A good read and lots of nice Waltham clock photos. These bulletins are a great source of information that is not to be found anywhere else online. If one is not a NAWCC member, I would recommend joining.
 

zedric

NAWCC Member
Aug 8, 2012
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Really Lincoln Cathedral? Looks too grandiose.

Yes.

JTD
Presumably drawn from the same angle as this photo was taken

 
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