Donn Lathrop & The Ipswich Tower Clock

jjsantos

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May 7, 2017
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The Ipswich Massachusetts First Church, founded 1634, contacted me about six months ago. They had found out that in mid 2017 I started caretaking a tower clock in nearby Newburyport Massachusetts (an E Howard #2, delivered 1895). Their question was simple: we have this huge rebuilt tower clock in our church office, and we don't know what to do with it! I was a relative novice, having only recently caught the tower clock bug, but gladly took the 30 minute ride down to check it out.

WOW. A 1762 clock, made in England, delivered by ship to Ipswich, probably maker John Hawting of Oxford. But even more interesting is that the reason it was sitting in their office corridor was through the efforts of Donn Lathrop; he had passed away just a short time before. Donn rebuilt the clock and clock face, putting it in a modern 2x4 frame, using the salvaged parts (the clock had been damaged in a fire) while also keeping some of the fire damaged parts for storage. He also electrified the final assembly for operation.

The placement and location of the clock was an inconvenience. I suggested ensuring it was put on permanent display at the local history museum, or consider the Grafton Mass Willard House museum, or even the Smithsonian. Alas, and sadly, it as been taken apart and is now stored in their basement.

This week they sent me Donn's writeup and "instruction manual" for the rebuilt clock, which I share with all of you here... I think you'll find it fascinating.

Cheers
Jack
 

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novicetimekeeper

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he had a thread about it on here. I took pics of a signed hawting for him
 

jjsantos

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he had a thread about it on here. I took pics of a signed hawting for him
Thanks! I should have searched. That garage door rewinder was ingenious!

Well, this PDF provides a nice recap and summary of Donn's work. Disappointing that they didn't mount and highlight the clock the way he expected...
 

bptanguay

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I visited Donn as he was just completing the restoration. So sad it's not being displayed. I have a local Historical Society that would be so happy to accept it and display it next to our E. Howard Tower clock. Visitors enjoy the opportunity to see it up close.
 
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jjsantos

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May 7, 2017
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I visited Donn as he was just completing the restoration. So sad it's not being displayed. I have a local Historical Society that would be so happy to accept it and display it next to our E. Howard Tower clock. Visitors enjoy the opportunity to see it up close.
Great pics!
I’ll private message the contact info I have. Local historical society where?
Jack
 

bptanguay

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We are located in Central MASS. Templeton to be exact. We have the tower clock, with the hopes of another one on the way, and 5 tall clocks along with several wall clocks and a time clock, so it's becoming a very nice collection of timekeepers. We plan on installing the tower clock inside, I restored it 5 years ago, I'm just waiting for the building to be finished.
 

bptanguay

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Our local Historical Society is preparing to move the Ipswich clock into our building in the next few weeks. We are excited to be able to share this tower clock movement with our visitors. Currently our "Grange Hall" building is under construction, so any interested visitor who stops by in Templeton Ma, can request a private tour to see the Hawting clock and the E. Howard clock in the hall. All other timekeepers are in the main building located at 1 Boynton Rd. If you plan a visit or are passing through, contact us ahead of time and we'll do what we can to help you gain access to this amazing collection of timekeepers, not to mention the vast collection of Civil War artifacts, Art, and vintage items dating back to 1620. nh1924society@gmail.com
 
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