clocks and bells

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by hmurtha, Jul 5, 2007.

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  1. hmurtha

    hmurtha New Member

    Jul 5, 2007
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    Hello,

    I'd be grateful if anyone can inform me as to approximately when you begin to see clock-work mechanisms used to strike bells in this country, specifically in the New England textile mills ... this is for work I'm doing on my dissertation. I've tracked down the fact that some authomatic bell striking machanisms were installed in the Lowell, Mass. mills in the 1830s (& I assume they were clock-work mechanisms, or else why bother?) but I wondered if more informed persons might be able to help me out a bit further.
    Thanks in advance
    Hillary Murtha, University of Delaware
     
  2. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    I never saw a stand alone bell ringing mechanism as you're seeking. Never heard of one either. I have heard of and have seen fire alarms, built on the srike side of a couple of tower clock frames, set off by telegraph or similar device. One was built on Turret and Marine frame, ane the other on a George M. Stevens frame. Somewhere, I have photos of both. Turret and Marine would be later than 1850, the Stevens, even later. Many
    of the old mill buildings around here have bells mounted on wheels, suggesting to me they were not automated. There is one old mill in town, an early Slater Mill, ca. 1820s(?)which has a "clock tower" with a timepiece inside, and a bell on a wheel close by. I could go and ask, but having been inside this tower several times, there could or could not be room for a clock, depending how large it was. There are a couple of other old mills close by, one once reportedly held a Stevens clock, but the clock came out of the tower al least 40 years ago, and once I spoke with a previous owner of the property, who could provide no information. The other mill, built in the 1860s had a bell on a wheel, with a "clock" with no dials added later. This location has the economy Howard (round top) run with electric motors. Howard actually produced many models with electric motors from what I deduce. Reason is, is one particular instance, there are no holes in the frame for winding drums. Also, to add insult to injury, Howard didn't care a whit about junking a old clock if they made a sale for a replacement. Id love to be of more help.
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    While not in the same class, the clock in the Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, UK has no dials. It just strikes the bells and chimes the quarters. The same cathedral also has a peal of bells that are hand wrung.

    It certainly is a public clock, but not a timepiece. ;)
     
  4. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    A BLIND PERSON can't see a DIAL, and a DEAF PERSON can't hear BELLS, and the modern DICTIONARY defines a CLOCK as any Mechanical DEVICE with GEARS that differentiates the TIME.

    So how about quit PARSING WORDS and let's get down to enjoying collecting!
     
  5. hmurtha

    hmurtha New Member

    Jul 5, 2007
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    Hi,

    This is just thanks to the people who responded to my question so far, especially the gentleman from Massachusetts. You've given me leads about some mills to contact, at any rate!
    Europe had dial-less bell-ringing clocks from the Late Middle Ages on - nice to know they've preserved the Lincoln Cathedral one. I'm focussing on exclusively American stuff w/ my dissertation, cause otherwise I will truly go nuts. But thanks anyway!
    Cheers,
    Hillary Murtha:)
     
  6. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Hi Hilary: There is one clock in Massachusetts that never had dials. It is a hand made clock, with laminated wheels and individually fitted teeth
    all of wood, has a metal escape wheel, and a boulder for the pendulum bob. Reportedly, it took 10 years to build, paid for by the town. No dials were ever installed because the town didn't have money for the dials.
     
  7. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Hi Hilary: There is one clock in Massachusetts that never had dials. It is a hand made clock, with laminated wheels and individually fitted teeth
    all of wood, has a metal escape wheel, and a boulder for the pendulum bob. Reportedly, it took 10 years to build, paid for by the town. No dials were ever installed because the town didn't have money for the dials.

    see http://flickr.com/photos/levelwind

    you'll see one on the website as "made by Cabbage Clifford"

    If the moderator chooses, please paste the picture here. I can't easily do it at this time.
     
  8. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Let me see if this will work?

    Greg: This Image is being Hosted on your web site and linked here. There are instructions on how to do this.

    By permission of GVASALE

    47.jpg

     
  9. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Greg: What kind of Wood was used. It looks to be Cedar?
     
  10. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Thanks for helping with the photo. If it was in my computer, its easy now. Really easy.

    Yes, looks like it could be cedar. Definitely not oak, or maple. When I looked at it some years back, I wasn't too interested in the kind of wood.
     
  11. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    It is just interesting that all the movements that I have seen up to now have used Hardwoods like Walnut or Maple.

    Cedar does not deteriorate as Rapidly as Hardwoods, and it is not as susceptible to Humidity. I am wondering if there was Brass Bushings used.
     
  12. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Most likely you've never seen one of this size. Fred Shelly's book on Early American tower clocks doesn't include this one because this clock was made in the late 1800s. Past the time frame for inclusion. This is a large clock. Pundulum bob (stone) must be several hundred pounds. I'll try and scan a photo of that for posting.
     
  13. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    I am sorry. I thought you knew. It is physically impossible for me to climb ladders to look at these clocks. All I can do is to enjoy them from afar.
     
  14. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    One hefty stone for a bob. Looks as big as some stones I've seen used as weights.
     

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  15. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

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    It may all be superfluous now. Seems as though certain replies ran the inital poster off!
     
  16. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    What Escapement was used? What is the Beat Count?
     
  17. Tony Ambruso

    Tony Ambruso Registered User

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    I think so too.
     
  18. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Escapement photo of Clifford clock. I'm sorry, but the clock has not been used in decades. If I could get some free time to see it again, I could try and get more details. I'm guessing that this is a recoil escapement and the beat is in the 1-1/2 to 2 second range. The length of the rod is over six feet. Sorry I didn't get better info.

     
  19. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    starting over
     
  20. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    one more time
     

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  21. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Greg: Thank you for the images. This CLOCK is so unusual. I do hope it is RESTORED.
     
  22. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Sam Thanks for the nice words about the photos. BTW, there is some info about it in Shelley's book. I has a 2 second beat, and it has a deadbeat escapement. BTW, the stone /bob weight according to Shelly is 417 lbs.
    Also used hardwood bearings.


    Got a treat for you too. Look closely at this Howard and notice Two Pendulums. Not too shabby huh??
     

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  23. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Why? Each pendulum a Half Dead Beat making it a full Dead Beat like me!

    My sense of HUMOR is not funny. BUT I try!
     
  24. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    I think its a different kind of gravity escapment (maybe)
    But, what's on the right is also on the left (as far as the time train), and there is a wicked bevel gear cluster tucked up in there too.
     
  25. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    I have not seen how a Gravity Escapemet would work so you have me at a disadvantage.
     

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