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Crosby Clock, 1880 Boston Movement

PaulB

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Jan 5, 2010
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:confused:I am hoping you can help me in determining the origins and rarity of an old clock I have. The attached photos give a good bit of detail.

I've done a fair bit of research on this, but have run into some dead-ends. I've contacted Chelsea clock and they indicate that it is older than 1897 based on the movement being a Boston Clock movement and not Chelsea, but could offer little more. The serial number is LOW based on all accounts I can find, and knowing that after the first 500 (then Harvard) clocks, a large serial interval was skipped with serialization starting at 1000. There is also a number (1171)on the main gear for the hour hand, as well as (what seem to be) the initials "DD" . I think that the fact that it is a clock that was made by Crosby or Boston Clock, for a Boston company also adds some local allure. Lynch and Woodward were a steamfitting outfit based in Boston.

In the end, I know this to be made anywhere from 1893 to 1897 based on the operational timeframe of the Boston clock company, and Chelsea indicating the movement isn't theirs. They don't have the book on the Boston movements, but indicate that it exists and they do not have access to it. I know enough about this thing to know it is rare, but would love to know more.
 

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Steven Thornberry

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Paul: Welcome to the Message Board. You seem to have done a fair amount of research and found out a lot about your clock. I hope someone will be able to assist you further. For what it is worth, Tran Duy Ly's vol. 1 of American Clocks puts the Boston Clock Co. operational between 1884 and 1894.

Rarity may be a hard thing to ascertain. It is overused and often laden with emotional aspects, thus causing confusion and impacting what actually is rare.
 

harold bain

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Hi, Paul, welcome to the message board. Have you tried the NAWCC library in your search for this book?
 

PaulB

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Jan 5, 2010
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I have not as of yet. I will try tonight.
-> posts merged by system <-
I have not as of yet. I will try tonight.
-> posts merged by system <-
Thanks for the info! From the research I did, it looks like Boston started as Harvard and then changed names. I assumed that since the movement is specifically marked Boston, then it was from the period when the company was named Boston. I agree - rarity is still questionable, but I have yet to see a clock like it in any of my research. I will check the Library and the book you recommend and check back. Thanks for the help!
 

Tom Wotruba

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You might want to try to contact James Dyson who has maintained the website on the ChelseaClockMuseum.com. If that website has no email link to him, then perhaps the NAWCC can provide an email address. I have corresponded with him a number of years ago in my research on Boston carriage clocks, but no longer have the contact information. He may be the single best person regarding the history of the various Boston, Harvard, Vermont, etc. clock companies.

Good luck.

Tom Wotruba
 

eastmanj

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Jan 5, 2010
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Paul,
Boston Clock Company was in business as such, from 1884 to 1894. Serial numbers on time only marine type movements, like yours, range from three digits up to about 2000. Your serial number, 1904, would put your clock production right near the end, 1893-1894. If you look at my website, www.chelseaclockmuseum.com, you will find a wealth of knowledge on the Boston Clock Company. Read the Joseph Henry Eastman page for a good over view of Eastman and the Boston Clock Company.
Jim Dyson
 

PaulB

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Jan 5, 2010
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Tom - thanks for the information. Jim Dyson actually weighed in on my posting with some good information. Appreciate the lead.
-> posts merged by system <-
Jim - thanks so much for the information. I'm trying to understand the rarity of this clock. Lynch and Woodward Co. was a steamfitter/commercial boiler outfit located on Atlantic Avenue, and then beach st. in Boston. Reference to the firm is all over period Boston archives. They put heating systems in some of the most popular city buildings. Lynch was a ship's captain, can't find much on Woodward. I expect that they were probably one of Crosby's top customers or distributors - hence the custom faceplate - perhaps a sales award or other "successful business partner" gift, perhaps standard showroom fare they provided to all their sales agents as a display piece - not sure. Based on what I've been able to gather, this clock seems pretty rare since it has the Boston movement in it and I can't find another like it anywhere online. But I am an amateur. Would this clock be considered rare, highly collectible, or more garden variety, and have you ever seen something like this before with a customized faceplate?

thanks much
Paul Baril
 

Steven Thornberry

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Certainly highly collectable and a lucky find you've made. Boston Clock Co. clocks are not commonly found. Thus, it uis just coincidental that in visiting a friend yesterday from whom I was purchasing a ST carriage clock, he showed me a Boston Clock Co. crystal regulator with a BCC movement, similar to yours from what I remember. But it is difficult to find the,.
 

the 3rd dwarve

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Nov 3, 2000
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I have been collecting engine room clocks for 25+ years and have only owned one BCC and one Harvard model. If not rare then they are at least scarce. Both had high quality, nicely decorated, movements. One unusual feature of the movements was the minute pipe and gear stayed with the dial.
It’s not unusual to find them with custom dials. I have models with cases by Crosby, Ashcroft, American Steam Gauge, and Howard that have personalized dials. I think that was a fairly common practice. Go to my profile and look in the photo album "engine room clocks" for other examples of custom dials.
Regards,
Jeff
 

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PaulB

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Jan 5, 2010
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I have been collecting engine room clocks for 25+ years and have only owned one BCC and one Harvard model. If not rare then they are at least scarce. Both had high quality, nicely decorated, movements. One unusual feature of the movements was the minute pipe and gear stayed with the dial.
It’s not unusual to find them with custom dials. I have models with cases by Crosby, Ashcroft, American Steam Gauge, and Howard that have personalized dials. I think that was a fairly common practice. Go to my profile and look in the photo album "engine room clocks" for other examples of custom dials.
Regards,
Jeff
Jeff - what year is the model pictured in your reply?
 

the 3rd dwarve

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Paul,

That clock is long gone from my collection and I don't have any other information on it. Seeing your post rang a bell and I dug those pictures out and scanned them.

Regards,
Jeff
 

PaulB

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Jan 5, 2010
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Paul,

That clock is long gone from my collection and I don't have any other information on it. Seeing your post rang a bell and I dug those pictures out and scanned them.

Regards,
Jeff
Jeff - thanks so much for the effort. Those pictures are the ONLY ones I've seen yet with a similar face design and movement. The location of the second hand, F/S adjust and winding hole all match what I have. Also, if you notice, the top of the number seven is square like in mine, not tapered as in all of the other ones I've seen. I'm going with the 1893-94 production date as indicated earlier in the post. I agree - based on all of the research I've done to date, these are at least scarce. I'm now focusing efforts on trying to find a picture of the Lynch and Woodward offices in Boston showing the clock on the wall. That's turning out to be a bit of a taller order to fill.

thanks again
PB
 

PaulB

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Jan 5, 2010
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1894 Crosby Ship's/Boiler Clock with Boston Movement

Is anyone aware of any books that may provide some value guidelines for such an item? I've yet to see one this old for sale anywhere online, so it has been tough to understand what I really have. Not looking for an appraisal. Looking for a resource. see my earlier post for pix.

Thanks very much for any help you can lend.
PB
 

Steven Thornberry

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Paul: I've merged your two threads for ease of reference back and forth.
 

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