American Colonial clock runs 6 days before the weights hit the ground

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by TJ Cornish, Apr 1, 2020.

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  1. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    I bought this Colonial clock as part of a collector's estate. It was running OK, but the strike wasn't stopping. I went through the movement, which was very uneventful. Upon reassembly, the clock is running and striking like a champ, but I've discovered that the clock runs not quite 6 days before the weights hit the bottom of the case. As far as I can tell nothing has been changed - I have no reason to believe the movement didn't originally belong with the case. I thought that perhaps the weights are a replacement and taller than designed, but I would need about another 15" of weight fall to get this thing to run for more than a week.

    Did Colonial make 5-day clocks? It seems very odd. The movement is stamped Colonial but the winding chains are longer than they needed to be, so I suppose it's possible it's a marriage.

    This is a clock that I need to find a new home for - an oddball wind-one-and-a-half-times per week characteristic isn't going to help its resale value. More photos in my blog link above.

    1930Colonialwhole.jpg
     
  2. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Hello TJ,

    Colonial Mfg Company would not have produced any oddball clocks that ran less than a week (8 day). It designed its cases and purchased movements to run at least a week.

    The pendulum does not look centered to the movement.

    Are you sure it was produced by Colonial Mfg. Co. - there should be a 4 digit case serial number stamped on the outside back of the case. What is it?

    Andy Dervan
     
  3. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Some details on the clock can be seen by following the link in post #1.
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    there are no photos of the back of the case, but a colonial label can be seen inside the case, behind the movement. the side doors are reminiscent of my colonial case.

    more photos, pls?
     
  5. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    I don't have a picture of the back handy, but it's definitely a Colonial case and did have a serial number on it - IIRC something like 1232. I will try to get the picture later today. The movement isn't off-center; it was running when I took the picture.

    Thanks - more soon.
     
  6. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    I looked through Colonial Mfg. Company's 1914/15 and 1919/20 catalogs and I did not see any case exactly like it.

    Need to check for correct case serial number.

    Andy Dervan
     
  7. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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  8. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Is it possible that those heavy weights should be on a single pulley set up which, with longer chains, would extend the run time? Common with cables, but not with chains.
     
  9. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    Some of these smaller German floor clocks only run 5 days, there just wasn't enough space for the weights to run a full 7 or 8 day run. If one wanted a full week runner you would shell out more cash for a higher-grade clock that ensured this function.
     
  10. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    Case is marked "1321". I am confident that the weight setup is correct - there are no extra holes in the seat board, and both ends of the chains have fittings - the weight end has a fitting with arms to prevent the weight from being pulled through the seat board, and the pulling end of the chain has a fairly large ring.

    As I mentioned, the chains are longer than they needed to be - they would easily accommodate a taller clock. It's not super huge - I need to measure it, but I think it's only about 78" tall.

    Thanks for all the replies - this is very interesting. Andy - thanks for your catalog hunting!

    IMG_0628.jpeg
     
    THTanner likes this.
  11. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Guys,

    I will repeat it one more time - Colonial Mfg. Company would not sell anything that ran less than 8 days. I have their early catalogs illustrating cases and movements.

    I found 1331 in 1919/1920 it looks it has slightly different top from your case. See Attached

    Andy Dervan
     

    Attached Files:

  12. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i read the number in the photo provided above as 1321... is there a 1321 in the catalogs? it certainly isn’t a 1331.

    There’s something about that case that bothers me… It just doesn’t look balanced, or like the other colonials I’ve seen… I don’t think we’ve resolved the mystery yet
     
  13. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    The clock feels somewhat German to me - especially the bronze-colored dial and ebony color, but the movement is marked made in Germany for Colonial and, unless someone has gone to a lot of trouble, is definitely a Colonial - the case has a Colonial label plus the four digit number on the back, and a stamped Colonial plate on the inside of the door.

    Attached are a few more pictures including the attachment brackets for the seat board to the case, the bottom of the seat board itself, and the labels. It's possible someone combined two Colonials, or perhaps the movement was replaced at some point with the wrong model, but that feels unlikely as the movement seems to be pretty conclusively contemporary with the case.

    Thanks for all the thoughts!

    IMG_0636.jpeg IMG_0637.jpeg IMG_0638.jpeg IMG_0639.jpeg IMG_0640.jpeg
     
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  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Not my area of collecting, but how much line is left on the great wheel drum when the weights stop on the floor? It will tell you if the movement was expected to be in a taller case.
     
  15. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    Quite a bit of chain is left with the weights on the bottom of the case. More than enough for it to last 8 days if the movement was in a taller case. BTW I measured the clock case and it's 80" tall. These weights are maybe a little longer than some, but if my estimate of needing another 15" of drop is correct, that would mean this movement would be a better fit for a 95" clock - nearly scraping the ceilling of most homes.

    Just to put a better number on it - my clock winding routine is Sunday evenings, say at 8:00 PM. The weights will be only a couple inches from the floor by Saturday morning, so I'm around 36 hours short of running for a full week.
     
  16. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    In the last picture, I see a Junghans trademark ("J" inside an eight pointed star) that was registered in 1920 (mikrolisk).

    Regards.
     
  17. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    chimeclockfan

    Do you know for sure if Haller & Benzing made 5 day movements?

    Regards.
     
  18. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    I could not find 1321 listed in the 1919/1920, so I suspect it was introduced a year or two before and did not sell well so it was dropped by 1919/1920. There were multiple similar looking models.

    These smaller cases were typically 78 - 81 inches tall.

    Remember 1914 - 1918, World War I was going, so Colonial Mfg. Company could not obtain German movements. The Company increased furniture production to stay in business as it has difficulty obtaining movement. It is possible that it used some American movements in place of the preferred German movements; we do know that it purchased some Gilbert movements.

    Colonial purchased most of its dials from Germany also.

    Andy Dervan
     
  19. chimeclockfan

    chimeclockfan Registered User
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    Kienzle and Junghans came to mind in regards to the 5 day runners but they were not necessarily the only companies offering these clocks. The way it worked is you had a week-running movement housed inside a smaller case that did not allow for the full week-long weight drop. Aspects to look for include how much space there is between movement seatboard and movement, space in the base to allow the weights to drop through, and how tall the movement is set up from the floor.
    This is not to say they're bad clocks but even in the old days you'd get what you paid for. The way around these "5 day" clocks would be to simply wind the clock twice a week.

    Unfortunately I do not have much data regarding the chain driven Haller & Benzing floor clock movements because they are so uncommon compared to their smaller, spring driven movements. H&B did not always make their own movements in-house and this was the "case" with many of the smaller German clock companies.



    As for the possibility of a Colonial clock that runs just 5 days, I leave the following adage: In the world of clocks, just when you think you've seen them all, something turns up that will surprise you.
     
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  20. Andy Dervan

    Andy Dervan Registered User
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    Attached is excel chart of all Colonial Mfg. Company movement offerings documented in their 1915/15 and 1919/20 catalogs - notice all are EIGHT DAYS.

    If it is a five running movement it might have swapped out over time, but I doubt it is original

    Andy Dervan
     

    Attached Files:

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