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F.B. Adams & Sons 73313

PapaLouies

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I purchased this movement in 1984 because I was intrigued by the compensated balance wheel with 4 mean-time screws.
Maybe John M. can date the movement by the Frame Maker J.H.
Graham may know if this is an early example of mean-time screws in an English movement,
Regards, P/L
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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PL, to tell you the truth, if the dial is original alone, it gives a date, not before the 1840s. Though balance wheels were rare on early pocket watches, except of course pocket chronometers, the balance wheels of your type here were made by Penlington of London, the ones in Pocket chronometers were in the main too heavy for say a Savage two-pin, and would not have improved their the timekeeping at all. I feel Graham will improve my thinking on this, but it´s a start. Dr Jon. is an expert on early balance wheels on lever watches.

Regards,

Allan.
 
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Allan C. Purcell

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While looking for F B Adams & Son, I enlarged your photograph, and I think it is a J and not F, could you verify this, please?

Regards,

Allan.

666-48.JPG
 

gmorse

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Hi P/L,

Vaudrey Mercer's AH article from Spring 1981 on the Penningtons and their balances includes an illustration of the later, fully developed 'screw' balance with quarter screws; he states that this is taken from a watch dated by its case to 1820. If your Adams still has its original dial, it's unlikely to date much before the 1840s I should think; the balance cock screw with the large 'cheese' head also suggests this. The more complex and possibly earlier Pennington double 'T' and double 'L' types do have screws at all four quarters, but one pair in the 'L' and both pairs in the 'T' are involved with securing the affixes. However, I wonder whether these could also function as quarter screws since their sole use was to secure the fragile balance rims during adjustment, leaving them free for the alternative function during normal use.

PS, I've also seen quarter screws on a pocket chronometer balance from 1818, almost certainly by Robert Pennington II.

Regards,

Graham
 
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John Pavlik

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A couple of examples close in serial number… First is 47.5 mm 2nd 50.0mm..
Both with cap maker I B
Frame maker unknown as I serviced them long ago and did not record ..Both have capped escape wheels..

0913376D-5096-4C3A-88AC-BA145B933EA9.jpeg 4A827A7B-F855-41D8-8FD1-96AF2C5651F7.jpeg 08A8DFB9-315F-4DC9-8330-59115B05292F.jpeg 3FD2F2BA-66AF-4B72-B926-4E7633A4D1FC.jpeg 263B4706-67A5-432E-966C-F9EF9B3E1977.jpeg 3780EEF0-7013-4D53-AC29-37D98D9C3887.jpeg
 
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SKennedy

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73313 is almost certainly early-mid 1850s according to some info I was sent after posting my Adams watch recently. That date tallies up with that type of dial too.

I was passing where they worked in St Johns Square a couple of weeks ago and took this photo. I think it was the house on the end nearest the alley, (Jerusalem Passage) plus the one next to it. (If you look above the second ground floor window across you can see an arch in the brickwork corresponding to the original doorway.

IMG_6805.jpg
 

John Matthews

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Hi PL

Francis Bryant Adams one of a well known family of Clerkenwell watch makers. Unfortunately there are four generations with the same name. The period when the watches were signed & Sons from the late 1830s through to 1880s. Earliest I know is in 1836/37 18K case, probably by [WF] William Francis also of Clerkenwell, latest 1882/83. There are trade listings in 1841 & 1856 PO directories when based at 21 St John's Square. The firm had a good reputation for fine watches exported to America.

The frame is stamped 22 - is it a large diameter frame? I assume it is a single roller. Is the lever planted next to the fusee? I'm not certain but capped balance, escape and 4th with jewelled 3rd next to the barrel - 17 jewels?

JH is a mark mainly found on movements dated 1850-60s some slightly earlier. There are many names of frame/movement makers with those initials working in Lancashire in that period, including James and John Hewitt (1840s on) and James Hesketh (1850-80s).

I·B the mark of a cap maker used by a number of London finishers including James Hoddell & Co.and often by Adams. Most likely to be James Bennett of Liverpool, which would put the movement post late 1840s - he was 22 in 1851.

That shape of the cock started to become more common in the mid to late 1840's, although I have captured one example from the late 1830s. Similarly dates for 2 piece dials.

So I would have to go with late 1840s at the earliest.

John
 
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John Matthews

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An early morning search for Adams & Sons watches reveals that the firm favoured the Liverpool runner configuration with the lever planted next to fusee. The photograph posted by Seth shows it clearly. In truth all the examples I have just found have been runners. However, I have an unfinished movement with a dial signed for Adams based on a Lancashire frame with the mark

1641882854838.png that is most probably that of Edward Scarisbrick from a somewhat later period (probably late 1870s) that has a normally planted train.

The point worth noting is that the configuration of the train is fixed very early in the manufacturing process and that certain London makers/finishers where making a conscious decision to order unfinished movements with the runner train.The type of train is therefore not a reflection of where the watch was finished, more where it started life.

John
 

PapaLouies

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Thanks to all for the wonderful input.
The movement is an S.T.R. and 15 jewels with the escape wheel caped up.
The movement is marked 22 that should be for Lancashire 22 size, 1 27/30" or 1.90", however the pillar plate measures1.968" which is closer to Lancashire 24 size.
It is a Liverpool Runner that I describe as having a clockwise train with the third wheel planted near the barrel.
The banking pins are inboard and suspended from the upper plate.
The balance cock screw is not counter sunk and I think Oliver has suggested that may indicate post 1850.
Regards, P/L
 
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PapaLouies

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Apr 14, 2010
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A couple of examples close in serial number… First is 47.5 mm 2nd 50.0mm..
Both with cap maker I B
Frame maker unknown as I serviced them long ago and did not record ..Both have capped escape wheels..

View attachment 689336 View attachment 689337 View attachment 689338 View attachment 689339 View attachment 689340 View attachment 689341
John, Your S/N 70016, no mean-time screws.
Your S/N 72244, 2 mean-time screws.
My S/N 73313, 4 mean-time screws.
Regards, P/L
 

Ralph

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A friend of mine who is not on the board, but saw your listing offered this information

" Bond & Sons retailed F.B. Adams watches in the 1850s. Not much is known about the ones they sold to the general public, but the company records do contain some information about the ones that they retailed for more official uses--namely those bought by the Ordnance Office and the US Navy (63173, 64435, 64439, for use as comparing watches), as well as those sold to local railroads. A receipt issued to the Boston & Providence Railroad Corporation, for instance, shows that in 1853 the BPRR owned F.B. Adams Nos. 58896 & 62574 (old watches in for repair and testing) and that Bond "examined" No 71303 as a new watch in October of that year. So, serial number 71303 was from 1853.

F.B. Adams & Sons No. 72408 sold on eBay last year. According to the engraving on the dustcap, that serial number was purchased new in 1854 by Robert Ransom, a West Point graduate who served in the US Army during the Mexican War and later rose to the rank of general in the Confederate Army.

So, the estimate of middle of the 1850s seems about right for No. 73313.

The diameter of the brass edge/dial on No 72408 is roughly 47.5mm. "

Ralph

F.B. Adams 72408 cap interior_(1024_x_768).jpg F.B. Adams 72408 cap signature_(1024_x_768).jpg F.B. Adams 72408 dial 2_(1024_x_768).jpg F.B. Adams 72408 movement engraving_(1024_x_768).jpg
 
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Dr. Jon

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I am relieved, I feared I had lost even more of my mind. Anyone who bought a watch in 1884 would likely be the oldest person on this forum.
 
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