Double dial pinwheel swinger

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Meredith Burt, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Meredith Burt

    Meredith Burt New Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    3
    0
    1
    This is a double-dial pinwheel swinger that is about four feet long. The customer had purchased it at auction, so there is no history, and wanted me to get it running.
    There appears to be missing parts. There is no way for the motion works to operate.
    The verge tail goes to a pin at the top of the movement with no way for it to oscillate.
    The movement is held on to the rods by a screw. If this screw is loose the movement can swing independently but will not with out a weight or something to make it move.
    The swingers I have seen have an oscillating weight in the motion works this does not have one.
    There is no way to adjust the beat. The rating nut at the top will just raise or lower the entire clock. Not adjust the length of the suspension spring.
    photo 1.jpg photo 2.jpg photo 3.jpg photo 4.jpg photo 5.jpg
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
    NAWCC Member Deceased

    Nov 4, 2002
    40,850
    140
    63
    Male
    deceased
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hi, Meredith, welcome to the message board. You have a most unusual clock there. Think of it as the clock being the bob, which is centered by gravity to set the beat. Raising and lowering the entire clock should be similar to changing a bob's length on a normal clock. I can't figure out how you would mount this clock to be able to see both dials, unless it can be mounted sideways. Perhaps used in a store window, visible from both sides? Without any markings on the movement, I would think it to be one of a kind.
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,238
    622
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Something has to provide impulse to the 'pendulum'. If there is nothing inside the movement to do it, it has to be outside the movement. Some more detailed pic's of the movement might provide a clue. You say it's weight driven? That's another mystery.
     
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 22, 2002
    4,662
    61
    48
    Country Flag:
    There are a number of these around. I've seen at least 10 over the years. Almost captured one a couple of times. They are French or Swiss.

    It is spring driven. I believe some of them have a stationery rod from above, which engages the crutch.

    The suspension setup looks made up.

    Derek Roberts book on Fantasy clocks has some pictured.

    Ralph
     
  5. Fitzclan

    Fitzclan Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
    542
    11
    18
    Male
    Long Island, New York
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Looks like the mvt is contained between the two dials and the upper suspension really has nothing to do with the functioning of the clock. Interesting. I have a square French movement that looks similar but is situated a quarter turn clockwise from what yours is showing. Pics of what is between the dials would be most helpful indeed. Doesn't seem like a pendulum mvt would work if the whole thing swung and if the dial is the bob of yet a larger clock, you must be missing something. And it would be hard to key wind that winding arbor while the whole thing was in motion. Sure is odd. Would love to see more detailed photos. Seems there has to be a spring in there.
     
  6. neighmond

    neighmond Registered User

    Jan 31, 2003
    938
    1
    16
    Horologist, Teacher of Horology
    Rural Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    There was an old one of these that hung in the front window of the first store I worked in, I was specifically threatened with unpleasant death if I ever touched it.....get this: the back side had a backwards dial and the hands ran in reverse! It had a mainspring in a barrel, about the size of the quarter hour chime barrel in a Hermle movement. The pendulum had an imitation gridiron rod that had a heavy triangular agate in a stirrup atop of the whole business that rode in an agate with a matching groove that was somehow affixed to the bracket (like your metal shelf bracket, but less ornate) that screwed to the top of the window jamb, instead of a metal suspension spring. The verge ran in jewels and was very delicately balanced so that only a tiny motion was needed to operate. It didn't take much motion, even fully wound. The inside glass door over the display window HAD to be kept shut because air from the registers was enough to stop it. I only saw him wind it once-he did it early in the AM when hardly anyone was up and about-and he stopped and held the clock by the trim and wound it with a regular looking key, set the hands to the next minute, held it to one side until just the right moment and let it go to start it again. I don't know how many days a wind was good for, or exactly how accurate it was. I saw the movement once when it was time to clean it, and as I recall it was a heavy-looking squarish movement with the corners rounded off and smallish wheels, and heavy pinned plates. The tail to the verge came from below the escape wheel and extended up above the top of the movement by maybe six inches, and has two holes like some other thing threaded to it, but when I was caught looking at it he chased me off so I don't know if there was a weight screwed to it or what. I always got the impression that it was all right once running, but was easy to put out of order and a royal PIA to fix if boogered up.

    FWIW
    Chaz
     
  7. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    13,666
    63
    0
    Calif. USA
    It looks like the metal bracket that the screw goes into was added by someone.
    I suspect there is suppose to be a knife edge or suspension spring there
    to hold up the clock. It may have been two points rather than a knife
    edge, like many swingers.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  8. Meredith Burt

    Meredith Burt New Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    3
    0
    1
    Double Dial Swinger update

    Thanks to all for your response on this unusual clock especially Ralph for your suggestion of Derek Roberts book. I contacted the NAWCC library for it.
    They had one copy but was not available to lend. Sara Dockery from the library was very helpful and recommended two other books by Roberts. The book "Mystery, Novelty & Fantasy" had the swinger in it. I have received the book and here are the pictures. Ralph was correct when he said it needed a stationary rod from the top and it is French made.

    Next step is for me to manufacture a rod and get this clock up and running!

    Again, thanks to all.
    photo 1-1.jpg photo 3-1.jpg photo 2-1.jpg
     

Share This Page