Early "Huber" year clocks

Discussion in '400-Day & Atmos' started by etmb61, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    I haven't been researching this for very long. After all, I only acquired my first Patent Angemeldet clock in 2012. But the question I keep coming back to is "Who really made this clock?" The popular answer is Huber, but the more I look, the more it looks like Huber made exactly zero of these. Huber certainly marketed the clocks and profited from them, but they did not make them.

    Eric

    Another Huber
     
  2. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Ok, so here's what pushed me in this direction.

    Chapter 168 printed some articles translated from the 1926 DUZ and gave it as a supplement to the Torsion Times. I don't have that supplement, but I do have access to what I believe are the original articles. I found six articles by a Mr. A. Held in the DUZ for 1926 covering the nature and treatment of year clocks during repair. Good stuff.

    The first article starts with a history lesson. Harder saw his chandelier's isochronism and thought up a torsion pendulum clock. He went to several clockmakers to get it to market, all of which gave up on the project, before finding GW & Cie. in Triberg who solved it. According to Herd, that's how it was until Huber entered the picture in the late 1890s.

    We know there were several makers of torsion year clocks under the Jehlin patent, and that Harder sold the rights to de Gruyter, and that GW & Cie., and later Jahresuhrenfabrik, made the clocks for de Gruyter.

    According to Herd, when Huber took over that clocks were produced in an arrangement with JUF where a certain number of movements had to be produced. This would probably be the same type of arrangement JUF had with de Gruyter, but rather than JUF working for de Gruyter because he financed the purchase of "American" style manufacturing equipment, JUF had to work for Huber or they were out of the market.

    So who is A. Herd, and does his history have any value 28 years after the events? Well in examining the 1926 articles it occurred to me that I'd seen them before. Turns out that all but the history lesson were originally published by Mr. Herd in the DUZ in 1907. This would place Mr. Herd in the position to most likely be an eye witness to the Huber takeover. Probably the closest we will find.

    Eric
     
  3. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    OOPS! I started with his correct name, Mr. A. Held, and changed it to Herd. Sorry for the confusion. I should have proofed it.

    Eric
     
  4. KurtinSA

    KurtinSA Registered User
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    Eric -

    Just curious which TT provided that translation of the 1926 DUZ...the back issues that I recently got didn't include that. Looks some supplements were provided early on, say up to 2002.

    Thanks...Kurt
     
  5. John Hubby

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    Eric, the 1926 article is a compilation of multiple articles (I believe there were five) by A. Held from 1906 to 1926, but this fact wasn't readily evident at the time the 1926 article was published. If I recall correctly from the research done by Doug Stevenson, Held worked for the DUZ in an editorial capacity as well as a technical writer. One of the things we have to deal with in interpreting what he wrote is that there are a number of errors, for example the story of Harder and the chandelier is not factual according to later information published by Harder's grandson. That was only one of several inaccurate stories that circulated for years. The story of going to several clockmakers to commercialize his prototype is also only partially true, in fact only A. Willmann and Gustav Becker have been documented as making actual clocks for Harder and they cover the entire period from the time his prototype (clock No. 1 p. 33 in the Repair Guide) was completed and he switched from GB to GW&Cie in May 1882. One point not mentioned in the Held articles is that Harder failed to obtain a German patent because Jehlin's design had already been patented. Held also didn't mention the connection between Jehlin and Lenzkirch among other omissions.

    Huber actually purchased the Harder patents from DeGruyter in 1891, but did nothing with them that we have been able to find until 1896. So far nothing has been found whether Huber was charging JUF any kind of fee or royalty from 1891 onward. The premise that Huber contracted JUF to make their clocks is certainly a possibility, however the movements known to be JUF and those we think are Huber made from 1896 to 1899 have at least three notable differences: The Huber movements have a hole at lower left in the back plate for the click spring tab, and JUF only added that feature when they changed their click assembly layout in 1900. The ratchet gears have different number of teeth, and the upper brackets for the two are different. Finally the official Huber company history states they manufactured the clocks, and this was confirmed to me by Martin Huber (last family member owner of Huber Uhren) in private correspondence.

    You mention that Held states that JUF made the clocks for Huber. I did not see this in any of the early Held articles but certainly could have missed that. I'll dig into my files to see what I can find but will be a few days as my computer is being repaired at the moment and I can't access the backup drive with my iPad. I'm sure the continuation of this will be an interesting discussion.
     
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  6. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    John,
    See what happens when I spend several days too ill to leave the house. I'm much better now.

    Actually Harder was denied the rights to the torsion pendulum due to Jehlin's patent, but he was awarded Patent Nr. 7543, July 4, 1878, for his clock design using the pendulum. He later withdrew his request and the patent was cancelled. Also, Jehlin tried to sell his patent to Lenzkirch but they saw no value in it and refused. Jehlin then offered the patent for sale to Harder who also refused. After Jehlin's death, the patent was acquired from his estate, on Harder's behalf, by Hugo Knoblauch & Co. in Berlin.

    Eric
     
  7. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    You all are doing great work in chasing all these rabbits down holes and it IS appreciated!
     
  8. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    I agree with Martin... My historical knowledge of torsion clocks has always been limited and the discussion between all of our most knowledgeable members on this board helps fill in the gaps. Thank you all!
     
  9. etmb61

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    #9 etmb61, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    This was my original interpretation.

    It's probably more accurate that Jehlin had sold the patent to Lenzkirch but they couldn't sell the clocks. Then Jehlin bought it back to sell to Harder.

    From Hugo Knoblauch & Co. in Berlin:
    "Dessen Uhr fand, trotzdem Jehlin die Fabrikation in Lenzkirch abgegeben hatte, keinen Absatz, so dass bereits Jehlin Herrn Harder das Patent widerholt zum Kauf anbot."

    Eric
     
  10. KurtinSA

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    And Mr. Google says:

    "His watch found, despite Jehlin had submitted the fabrication in Lenzkirch, no paragraph, so that Jehlin already offered Mr. Harder the patent repurchased for sale."

    ;) Kurt
     
  11. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Hi Kurt,

    The problem with Mr Google is German isn't his first language, so he makes assumptions about word usage based upon current statistics on how often they appear in documents. For example in the original sentence, the German word "Absatz" is translated to "paragraph" which has no meaning in this context. Another translation of the word is "sales" which would make sense. That being said I would translate the statement something closer to:

    Despite submission to Lenzkirch for manufacture, Jehlin's clock found no market, so he bought back the patent from Lenzkirch and offered it for sale to Harder.

    See I'm American, so by definition I only speak one language. I was hoping one of our German speaking members could clear this one up.

    Eric
     
  12. KurtinSA

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    Well, I did use a smilie!! From the google translation, as bad as it is, I can more or less see what you are taking the meaning to be by reading between the lines!!

    Kurt
     
  13. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Sometimes Google does a good job of it and other times it's like o_O!

    Eric
     
  14. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    #14 etmb61, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    John,
    The only official Huber history I've seen is that which was printed in their 150th year catalog in 2006. Is there another?

    Eric
     
  15. John Hubby

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    A couple of addendums to Jehlin's activities with Lenzkirch and subsequent purchase of the patent by Harder.

    Firstly, Lenzkirch made a number of clocks based on Jehlin's patent that were shown in an exhibition in August to October 1877. The report mentions hall clocks, wall clocks and mantel clocks, so there were likely front and rear-wind movements. No details whether the hall clocks were spring or weight driven, and as of now none of these clocks have surfaced.
    When I get my computer back from the repair place Sunday I'll dig the archive to find the article, which was provided to me by Doug Stevenson.

    Secondly, in some reports (e.g. the Repair Guide) it is stated that Jehlin either worked with or worked for Harder. This is not true, the two never cooperated or collaborated in any way per other info in the DUZ/AGU and from Harder's family. When Jehlin died in November 1879 the patent passed to his father, who did "not” transfer it to Harder as has been reported. It was not until early December 1880 that it was finally purchased by Knobloch on Harder's behalf.

    Eric, there is work by a lady carried out in the 1970s or 80s about Huber family history covering from prior to Andreas Huber's marriage up to post-WWII. It was not formally published that I am aware but I recall parts of it were published in “Uhren". Here again I will need to access my archives to find the info. Martin Huber provided me with this.
     
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  16. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    John,

    I think I've seen an ad with for Jehlin patent clocks by Lenzkirch, but I didn't record where. I was searching for something else.

    Yes I found where Knoblauch wrote that only when it became obvious that Jehlin's heirs were not going to pay the taxes on the patent they acquired it for Harder. Also that Harder was surprised when told that the Jehlin patent existed.

    Good stuff!

    I would be very interested if the other Huber history you refer is available for review somewhere. Everything I've found so far is a rehash of that which is in the Huber catalog.

    Eric
     
  17. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    While were on the Harder subject, here is a diagram I had not seen before:
    Harder_torsion_pendulum_verge_escapment.jpg

    I have recorded a couple of example clocks of this design.

    Here is the source publication:
    AJU_Nr1_1882.jpg

    And here's a link:
    Allgemeines Journal der Uhrmacherkunst

    Eric
     
  18. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    John,
    I know what the DUZ is, what is the AGU?

    Eric
     
  19. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    John,
    Found it! DUZ 21, 1 Nov 1887, pg. 153.

    It says they priced the Jehlin clock at 2000 marks. Was that a good price for a standing regulator back then? It also says the execution of the Jehlin clock has taken over the corporation. If that were true, why would they give up the patent?

    Hmmmm.

    Eric
     
  20. KurtinSA

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  21. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    These don't prove my point but:

    Huber1.jpg

    Huber2.jpg

    Anybody seen these before?

    Eric
     
  22. John Hubby

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    Eric, my error re AGU, actually is AJU as you have posted. There is a lot of info in that journal that hasn't been fully explored such as the item you posted above. That one appears to be a variant of Harder's Austrian patent. The Huber drawings I've not seen before, could be these were related to DRGM 229963, granted June 25, 1904 for Huber's tubular suspension guard. Any other info aside from the drawings?

    As Duck would say "great horostuff!!"
     
  23. John Hubby

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    #23 John Hubby, Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    I think 2000 marks might be expensive at least in 1887 if that is the year. For example, DeGruyter let the Jehlin patent lapse because the annual fee had risen to 400 marks. Also, 1887 :???: The exhibit I mentioned was in 1877 unless I'm totally off-base.
     
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  24. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    John,
    Yes I did mean 1877, not 1887. OOPS!

    Lenzkirch exhibition DUZ 21 1877 b.jpg

    It does say the 1 year going regulator was priced at 2000 Marks!

    Eric
     
  25. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    #25 etmb61, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Jahresuhrenfabrik advertised in various publications and I've spent some time searching them out. The earliest I've found so far was in the DUZ No. 7 in 1897:

    JUF_Ad_DUZ_7_1897.jpg
    They recommend their Year Clock going 400 days, using the American system (of manufacture). Recall that de Gruyter helped purchase American system machines in 1884.
    They placed this same ad in several publications each month until April of 1899 when they abruptly stopped. Unfortunately almost all earlier (than 1897) publications I've found have had the advertisement sections removed.

    I've also been searching for ads for Andreas Huber. I'm surprised because I have not located any in the clock trade papers, but I have found them in others. Here is one of their ads from a Jun 1896 magazine:

    1896_ad.jpg
    They ran this same ad until March of 1899 when they changed to this one:

    Huber_16_March_1899_IZ.jpg

    Right when JUF stops advertising their clocks, Huber starts. I'm still searching for more ads.

    Eric
     
  26. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    I'm guessing it'd still be better than $500 at the time. Hard to convert prior to 1913.
     
  27. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    #27 etmb61, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    John,

    Yes there is a 4 page article, part of which was written by Herr Huber. I'm still deciphering it. I found it in still another general clockmaker magazine dated 1907.

    I've also found Andreas Huber's (Jr) 75th birthday announcement with referenced dates that contradict the official Huber history I've seen. In addition to that I just found Joseph's obituary. It too tells a story of a different man.

    Eric
     
  28. etmb61

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    John,

    More notable than the differences between JUF and "Huber" clocks is that the manufacturing processes are identical. While it is reasonable to say that Huber purchased the patents and plans for the clocks and then set up a factory to make them, it's a stretch to say that they made an identical clock on different machines with a different workforce. Remember that Munich is 200+ miles from Triberg (by steam train in the 1890s). JUF invested in American style machines, aided by de Gruyter, for their expanding line of products. They would have developed the procedures and techniques to produce their wares in the most economic way possible on that equipment, and control their quality. And they kept expanding, in 1893 they even received a DRGM for a telephone timepiece. By the start of WWI they were producing over 3000 clocks of all types with a force of almost 300 workers. My point is that had Huber established a factory capable of making the movements for the torsion clocks they sold, the physical evidence would show that hey were made by different hands on different tools. I would add that they would have the "look" of clocks made by other houses around the Munich area.

    For a more modern example of what I mean you need only compare post WWII Schatz clocks with those made by Uhrenfabrik Herr. Since the belief is that Herr was a worker for Schatz who left with the plans and had worked in the factory, his clocks should certainly be almost identical to those made in the Schatz factory. In some respects they are extremely similar, but you can clearly see they were made on different machines with different tooling.

    Martin is absolutely correct that Huber had factories, but in my opinion, the physical evidence does not support that they made these clocks. As for the official Huber history, it doesn't follow what I've discovered in other sources recorded closer to the events. Consider that the history was written 50+ years after all of the Huber factories and records were destroyed in WWII.

    I once witnessed an aircraft accident. Luckily nobody was injured. I made a written statement about what I had seen happen within hours of the event. My statement did not match the physical evidence, probably because of my viewing location relative to the accident.

    Eric
     
  29. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    More important than the click screw position is the screw itself. There was no standardization in thread sizes and forms until after WWI.

    By comparing the screws you find that Becker, Hauck, Kienzle, and Würth each used screws that cannot be interchanged between the brands. Kienzle and Würth were in the same locality and even made (shared) very similar designs, but the screws don't interchange.

    This is also true of JUF clocks with resect to the other brands except those early clocks attributed to Huber (plate 1471). The screws for the pillars, suspension brackets, minute wheel bridges, clicks, and click wheel bridges are all the same thread pitch and form for both JUF clocks and those early clocks attributed to Huber. They interchange.

    I think this is significant. No manufactures screws fit the other manufacturers clocks except JUF and those attributed to Huber. In my opinion, either JUF or Huber made them but not both, and since the screws follow JUF, I think JUF made the clocks.

    This is just the screws. There are other similarities in shop practices I'll address later.

    Eric
     
  30. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    #30 etmb61, Feb 25, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    Here are some plates:
    plates.jpg
    On the left we have plate 1471J (JUF) and on the right is 1471H (Huber). As you can probably see, all the holes line up except one, the click retaining screw. The plates are the same height, width, and thickness within a few 0.01". Nearly identical.

    Now let's take a nice close look at the Patent stamps. The JUF plate has been polished at some time in the last 100 years so it shows brighter in the pictures.
    J_pat.jpg H_pat.jpg

    J_gem.jpg H_gem.jpg

    J_nge.jpg H_nge.jpg

    J_line1.jpg H_line1.jpg

    J_line2.jpg H_line2.jpg

    You can see from these pictures that all the letters and lines shown have the same blemishes and tool marks. Also the letter and line spacing and positioning is the same for both stamps. These show that both stamps were made by the same tool. Both of these plates were in the same workshop during their production.

    Also if you look at the overall impression of the stamps you'll see it's deeper in the upper left than the lower right on both. This shows up on every PA stamped clock I've recorded.

    Still more to come.

    Eric
     
  31. tracerjack

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    If I were a juror being presented your case for JUF being the maker, I'd be strongly leaning in your direction right about now.
     
  32. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Here are some plate pillars.

    pillar_1.jpg 54544.jpg pillar_2.jpg

    The left most picture shows the screw end of a pillar from JUF 54544. The right most picture is one of the pillars from the Huber 1471H movement shown above. These tool marks don't make sense to me unless they were to spread out the first few threads to allow the screw to start easier. This shop practice only shows up on the early JUF and Huber clocks. The earliest (1890's) JUF clock I own has these marks and they disappear somewhere before JUF 80000. None of the other 400 day clockmakers whose clocks I have access to did this. These movements came from the same workshop.

    I haven't even got to the wheels yet.

    Eric
     
  33. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Correction, Andreas Huber's 70th birthday. DUZ August 1934, #18.

    Google translate doesn't do math.

    Here is the article for your pleasure:
    Huber_DUZ_18_aug_1934.jpg

    It tells us:
    Andreas Jr, took over his father's original shop at Karlsplatz and operated it until 1927.
    Andreas Huber Sr.'s older son Joseph took over the company in 1887 and moved the offices to a new location at Residenzstaße (11) some time later, and continued to expand the business until his death in 1920.
    The main business then passed to Joseph's son, Andreas Huber II.

    The official Huber history tells that Joseph left the Karlsplatz shop to his older brother, but it also says Joseph's older brother died before he was born. It was actually his younger brother Andreas Jr. who ran the shop.

    Next the official history tells us that Joseph took over the company in 1880 at 19 years old. It was actually in 1887 at age 26.

    I've also found evidence that indicates Joseph (possibly all of the Huber children) attended the German Watchmaking School at Glashütte and apprenticed in the Swiss watch factories. That probably took place before he took over the company, it certainly took place before he opened the "German Precision Clock Factory Urania" at Residenzstaße (11) in 1893. (DUZ 1 May 1893)

    More later.

    Eric
     
  34. pahel

    pahel Registered User

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    DSC00835.jpg huber2.jpg huber3.jpg
    hi all,
    after all these informative contributions, i'm so free to get back with my Huber (?), wh ich is similar to Erics apart from the velvet coating of the base. According to sings of wear and patina when it came to me, I suppose that pendulum and base are all original, the only missing thing was the crown trim, which, in contrast to the common style, is attached by pins, as there are no threaded holes in the frontplate.
    One question I have is about the dial, all examples above have the ornate numerals, however the original Huber adv. does not. Does that differ by fabrication date or have these clocks been supplied with different dials at the same time? also its a question wether some of these clocks where really made of bronze (as stated in the advertisement) or common brass - or is that just due to a missing accuracy of discrimination ?
     
  35. etmb61

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    Hi pahel,

    The point of the thread here is that I don't think any of these clocks were made by Huber. I suggest from the physical evidence that they were made by JUF. After the expiration of the Jehlin patent, other manufacturers could sell torsion clocks in Germany, and JUF advertised them for sale until 1899 as stated above. After purchasing the Harder patents from deGruyter, Huber controlled the markets in the USA and the UK, so if your clock came to you from those areas it was likely sold by Huber, otherwise it could have been sold by JUF. The point about the dial you brought up is interesting in that the only clocks I've recorded having the numbers in the style as shown in the Huber ad, including three numbered JUF clocks I own, all have "Urania" printed above the 12.

    The crown piece of your clock is from a Becker. The rest looks original.

    Eric
     
  36. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    Oct 25, 2010
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    Here are several motion works for comparison:

    m_works.jpg
    m_works_1890.jpg

    In the first picture, the left most parts marked with 11 are from a known JUF clock number 79690. The center parts marked 31 are from a plate 1471H movement and the right most parts marked 45 are from a plate 1471J movement, both plates are shown in post #30 above. Aside from the bridges for the minutes wheels, which are married to their front plates, these parts are interchangeable. The minute wheels were all punched out using the same dies.

    The second picture is from an 1890s JUF clock shown here:
    Early JUF Pendulum question
    These parts are interchangeable with those in the first picture. Notice also that all four clocks have the same types of markings on each part.

    Again, all four of these clocks came from the same workshop.

    More later.

    Eric
     
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  37. pahel

    pahel Registered User

    Jul 26, 2008
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    thanks for this very informative and interesting discussion, since clock history in my view is as important as clocks themselves.
    All things considered, does that mean, that Huber was just a distributor for clocks beeing manufactured by JUF (?) - though Mr. Hubby's reports of the official Huber company history state that they have been the actual manufacturers...
    Is it possible, that just the finishing happened in hubers workshops while the actual production of parts were made by JUF and just little alterations in some details -such as the "Urania" marking- make the difference. Having said this, does it make sense, to distinguish between JUF and Huber Clocks at all?
    pahel
     
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  38. etmb61

    etmb61 Registered User
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    pahel,

    I think it's highly likely that Huber only sold or finished 400 day clocks, and the clocks were made by others.

    In his 1926 DUZ article Mr. A. Held says that the 400 day clock struggled in the markets until Huber brought them in and sold them in their shops. History shows that Huber was first in making real progress to solve the clock's inherent problems, spring breakage, poor time keeping, and sensitivity to temperature and position. They even had enough faith in the product to offer a 3 year warranty. They significantly expanded the market for the clocks. Huber's efforts are probably responsible for the survival of the design.

    Eric
     

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