Eureka forestville clock co inc. anniversary clock model 501

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Keeosha, Dec 18, 2014.

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  1. Keeosha

    Keeosha New Member

    Dec 18, 2014
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    attachment.jpg attachment.jpg I just got this clock from a second hand store and it has a fabric elecrical cord and it still works! I just wanted to know some information about it so I know what kind of clock I have.
    Thank you!

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  2. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Mar 31, 2005
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    Launceston Tasmania
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    I am moving your post to the electric clocks forum so you will receive the best information.
  3. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Aug 24, 2000
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    I am guessing that the Forestville clock in the photo is a AC mains powered electric. If, in fact it is, then it is one that was known as a "house burner" on account of electrical short circuit within the movement resulting in the possibility of fire hazard.

    They were supposed to be based on the English Eureka battery clock. Many, I suppose, were discarded after the mains cord burnt.

    Still, an interesting electrical clock despite its bad reputation.
  4. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Jun 1, 2007
    General-and trauma surgeon
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    #4 Burkhard Rasch, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    please more pics,from sideways etc. Verry interesting,I haven't seen one like this before!
  5. John Hubby

    John Hubby Senior Administrator Emeritus
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    Sep 7, 2000
    The Woodlands, TX
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    #5 John Hubby, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
    As Eskmill says your version of this clock was called the "houseburner" due to a design fault. What would happen is that the contact could "freeze" at the instant of contact, making a continuous circuit which would overheat the transformers. There was no thermal cutoff in the circuit so the transformers would catch fire or get hot enough to set fire to any cloth or wood surface underneath the clock. That version was produced for less than a year when the fire reports started coming in, so they redesigned to run on three "D" cell batteries which could not produce enough current to create the heat required to start a fire.

    I have one of the later ones with the original battery installation, shown here:

    JH Front.jpg JH Dial.jpg JH Side Rt.jpg JH Rear.jpg Batts.jpg

    This model has a working moon phase dial and also a passing strike on the hour. The Bell is the silver cylindrical piece mounted near the bottom of the movement back, just above the balance. It's difficult to hear it more than a few feet away when the glass dome is in place. Not shown in the photos, the bottom cover is a resin impregnated brown fiber sheet cut to fit and held in place with three screws. There are no feet or leveling device; the base sits flush to the support surface.

    The clock works on the same principle as a Eureka, having an electromagnetic coil inside the balance wheel and a flat steel stator fixed to the movement frame. The contact switch is a kind of gravity lever device (I don't have a photo) that contacts as the balance wheel is rotating clockwise (seen from the front) and then falls over so it passes the contact point on the return rotation. I can see that if this lever were to stick in position and not miss on the return it could jam on the contact and that would cause the continuous circuit that destroyed many of the early versions.

    Regulation of the clock is the same as a Eureka, with a large hairspring at the back of the balance and a rating arm that changes the effective length of the spring to speed up or slow down the clock.

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