• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

electric post office clock

Chimed

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My first post - I bought a 1935 post office 4 years ago with an 'international' clock on top - pic attached. It has never run, but a person that previously maintained the clock said it ran when the interior lights worked. I looked at the old wiring and lights 3 months ago and most of the incandescent lights were not functioning/broken. I'm interested in restoring this clock next year and would like to get ANY information what approach I should take. Does it run on 220, what should it look like inside, weakest part of the clock, for example.

20201213_154027.jpg
 
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Tim Orr

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Good afternoon, Chimed!

Welcome to your initial post!

Can you get any additional photos, both of the front and back of the clock? If it ran when the interior lights worked, it does kind of suggest that this was a synchronous motor clock. Otherwise, one would expect it to be a secondary or slave clock, given the "International branding," attached by wires to a master. Chances are, if you had a master someplace in the building, you'd know it.

If it's synchronous, it might be a conversion from an earlier secondary system. In a post office, one might expect quite a number of secondary clocks running off a single master.

Your profile says you're from Canada. Wouldn't we more likely expect 110v current? For a secondary or slave, we might expect 12 or 24 volts DC.

Best regards!

Tim Orr
 

Kevin W.

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Hello Chimed. I have seen similar clocks around the city of Ottawa. Outskirts. What part of Canada do you live in?
 

Chimed

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Hi Tim, Kevin,
Thank you for responding - the lights (6 or 8) surround the clock circumference. I was thinking it would be like Christmas lights, where if one went out the connection was broken and it would stop. As far as it being a slave, I'm not sure where the master would be - this place has been thoroughly renovated after being a post office - to be a restaurant, doctor's office, etc... in Stanstead, Quebec, a town bordering Vermont. If fact, I'm probably a kilometer from the border.
I'll try to take pics of the mechanism interior, but why can't I find any info on the International brand name? That is the name on the clock face....
 

Kevin W.

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You live close to many of my relatives do. My brother lives just over in Ayers Cliff. Looking forward to your pictures.
 

Toughtool

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The "International" is the trade logo that International Time Recording Company used, Later to become IBM. It could be a secondary. Photos would absolutely be a help.Do you know the approximate minute hand length or dial diameter? If it is a secondary and there is no longer a master, all is not lost. There are many solutions. View attachment 627188

ITR Secondary 1.jpg
 
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Toughtool

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https://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/cc/pdf/cc_2407TED1.pdf

This IBM PDF mentions a clock using, "heavy-duty induction motor driven movements", on page 7, paragraph: IBM Outside Clocks.
This could be the movement type of this clock. It is also supervised from a master.

By the way I don't think they wired the lights in series. Only Christmas tree light companies did that stupid stuff, probably because each bulb was a low voltage bulb, like 1.5 volts each, totaling 75 bulbs to get to 115 volts.
 
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Chimed

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Happy New Year!

Went in the attic today to get some pics of the back of the clock - not much to see, but it has space for 6 bulbs, translucent glass dial is approx 22 inches with an hour hand maybe 8 inches from center. The person that was responsible for replacing bulbs said there was no master clock & that it worked independently. Unfortunate when time changes? I'm guessing that one of the purposes of the bulbs was to burn off condensation... I won't take screws off to access the entire dial until it warms up, but looks like wiring and bulb sockets need checking. The 'container'/movement in the middle of the dial seems very solid, but I couldn't see any label or marking.

Anyone seen this type of building clock?

20210101_134850.jpg 20210101_135023.jpg 20210101_135510.jpg
 

Tim Orr

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Good evening, Chimed!

I am betting the guy who worked on the bulbs actually didn't know what he was talking about. The black "can" on the back with the wires hanging out looks exactly like the black can that contains a secondary movement (NOT working independently of a primary clock elsewhere). It even has the characteristic 3 wires coming out of it that are common on such clocks.

Most of the time, the 3 wires were "Common" (or ground), "Advance," and "Minute Reset." In, say, a lot of Standard Electric Time clocks (predecessor to IBM), you put 24v across Common and Advance to advance the clock one minute. The Minute Reset wire caused the minute hand to jump to the top of the dial, effectively syncing the minutes at the top of the hour.

Might also be fun to see if you can figure out where the other ends of the 3 wires go! Basement?

If you can grab the back of the can and look at it carefully, I am betting you will find that it's really a cover that you can twist and pull off. Sometimes, it is keyed, so you have to give it a partial turn before pulling. Often, they are gummed up or rusted and take a lot of worrying at it to get them loose. Once you get the cover off, we can probably tell you a lot more from a photo of the innards.

In early days, there were no spring and fall time changes. Now, you need to handle this another way. I am betting you will need a primary clock. Ken's Clock Clinic ( Ken's Clock Clinic - Self Winding Clock Restoration & Products ) has these, even ones that figure out what the voltage needs to be for the clock mechanism. They can, I believe, make the spring and fall time changes automatic as well.

Bryan Mumford used to make a device that would – on command – give you 60 extra minute pulses for the spring advance, and automatically withhold 60 pulses for the fall "back." I don't think his device is available any longer. There are a few others.

You can, of course, also figure out a way to retrofit a synchronous motor (since you have AC there already) or some other arrangement. In the fall, you shut off power for an hour. In the spring, you shut it off for 11 hours. Kinda depends on how much work and expense you are up for.

You may very well be right about the bulbs driving out moisture, but of course, they would also be there to illuminate the dial at night.

Good luck, and let us know what further investigations reveal.

Best regards!

Tim
 
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Toughtool

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I agree with Tim, It could be a synchronous movement with two (AC) wires running a synchronous motor and a third wire to set to the top of the hour. Or it could be a three wire self correcting IBM model type 563, a heavy duty version for large hands. Here is a photo of the back of my movement in post #6, a model type 561. Notice the black round rim around this movement. This rim or what I would call a lid for the can, looks similar to your photo's can. Removing the can should reveal what the movement really is.

Your lights look to be wired in parallel. I would check the insulation and replace the bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce the 600 watts to about 75 watts. Also the bulbs shown are 120 volts AC @ 100 watts each. Just a standard incandescent bulb. Actually I would replace the bulb wires with the higher temperature insulation. Some of your wires look frayed.

561-2.jpg
 
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Toughtool

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I don't know your plans for the building so I don't know the extent of renovations. I do see a couple of possible problems down the road. I like to keep an antique as original as possible. Where I live, if your renovation cost is 50 percent or more you have to bring everything up to code, including electrical. This could be a problem with the “tube and knob” type of electrical wiring of your lights. Tube and knob wiring was used from about the 1880's to the 1930's. Knob-and-tube wiring - Wikipedia
It would be a shame to have to replace your ceramic light socket bases with plastic or metal conduit and boxes. I did notice the two armored conduit cables at the bottom of your clock. Any idea what these cables are for? If this type of wiring becomes an issue, remember there may be a loophole. The building's electrical wiring stops at the appliance's cabinet. i.e. a clock radio or toaster. So you may have to build an enclosure around the back of the clock to protect original wiring of the clock, keeping people and rodents away from the wiring. The top part of the ceramic light sockets look like they unscrew, exposing the wiring terminals, so rewiring the lights should be a pretty easy task.

Here is a couple of photos of the “can”, that covers my movements. These look very similar to your "International" clock movement's can. There is a notch that is orientated to the location where the three wires enter the enclosure. You will notice also two of my electronic master clock versions that will run multiple IBM secondaries as a stand-a-long master clock system. Accurate to about a second forever. One is the Raspberry Pi Zero computer and the other is the cheaper ESP8266-E12 processor. I can give you more information about the electronic masters if you are interested. These two masters require a wireless internet network connection. The Arduino version (not shown) requires a wired internet connection.

IMG_20210102_140751221.jpg IMG_20210102_140508727.jpg IMG_20210102_140920053.jpg
 
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Chimed

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Thanks Tim! Thanks Dave!!!

Now I'm looking forward to 'unlocking' the can. Since being a post office this place has been a restaurant, a doctor's office, etc... ., but hasn't been a post office since 1977. Will find out when the last time the clock was running, but was told recent (6 years ago?), and have similar questions like how it ran/was adjusted. For now I'll try to trace the wiring. I even thought the timing might be (was once) in synch with a timing motor in the vestibule for the exterior front lights, but see no evidence. I'm restoring slowly - I am maintaining/preserving as much as possible. It's fun!
 
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Chimed

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I don't know your plans for the building so I don't know the extent of renovations. I do see a couple of possible problems down the road. I like to keep an antique as original as possible. Where I live, if your renovation cost is 50 percent or more you have to bring everything up to code, including electrical. This could be a problem with the “tube and knob” type of electrical wiring of your lights. Tube and knob wiring was used from about the 1880's to the 1930's. Knob-and-tube wiring - Wikipedia
It would be a shame to have to replace your ceramic light socket bases with plastic or metal conduit and boxes. I did notice the two armored conduit cables at the bottom of your clock. Any idea what these cables are for? If this type of wiring becomes an issue, remember there may be a loophole. The building's electrical wiring stops at the appliance's cabinet. i.e. a clock radio or toaster. So you may have to build an enclosure around the back of the clock to protect original wiring of the clock, keeping people and rodents away from the wiring. The top part of the ceramic light sockets look like they unscrew, exposing the wiring terminals, so rewiring the lights should be a pretty easy task.

Here is a couple of photos of the “can”, that covers my movements. These look very similar to your "International" clock movement's can. There is a notch that is orientated to the location where the three wires enter the enclosure. You will notice also two of my electronic master clock versions that will run multiple IBM secondaries as a stand-a-long master clock system. Accurate to about a second forever. One is the Raspberry Pi Zero computer and the other is the cheaper ESP8266-E12 processor. I can give you more information about the electronic masters if you are interested. These two masters require a wireless internet network connection. The Arduino version (not shown) requires a wired internet connection.

View attachment 630399 View attachment 630400 View attachment 630401
Thanks Toughtool - great pics!
 

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