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Eureka German Eureka clock?

Weight Driven

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May 24, 2004
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I have a Eureka type large balance wheel type clock that I believe is a German Eureka clock, but am unsure. Obviously in need of restoration, the clock is substantially made and heavy for it's size. If not for that clear plastic dial, would present itself as a more expensive clock. I have never worked on anything like this before but would like to try. Are they difficult to work on? My question is is this a German made Eureka clock and would it be worth the effort to restore? Thanks for any guidance with this.
 

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eskmill

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Hard to determine from the photos if English or German origin. The post WWI German versions I've seen have a large sector to adjust the "hair spring." The sector is missing in your photos along with most of the hairspring.

English version was only made for a few years and serial numbered if from the factory. It is thought that many more were made of surplus parts without serial numbers, yet of English origin.

German versions were made Post WWI and are very similar.

Neither had the transformer/rectifier in the base and were made to operate on two dry cells.

The Eureka clock, an American invention are much sought after and interesting in operation; especially those cased where the balance wheel is visible.

Personally, they've always been "out-of-reach" for me but I admire them.
 

eskmill

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A little more browsing reveals that the Eureka battery clock was designed to operate using a single 1.5 volt dry cell.

However, most owners and repairers have stated that the English version "runs well" using two dry cells in series. And several times I have heard that the English Eureka needs 3 volts and the German version requires 4-1/2 volts.

That being said, just last week at a Chapter meeting, a program on the frustrations of repairing and bringing a German Eureka to a reasonable rate was shown. One of the questions from the audience was, "what kind of battery does it use and how long will it run on the battery?"

The presenter avered that the example "right there on the table" has run for over a year on a single "D" size flashlight cell.
 

John UK

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The English version will run well from a single 1.5V cell - and will run for many months, very possibly over a year on a single D size cell. My 'tall movement' English clock has been running for 9 months plus on a single D cell that was not new when I installed it.

Originally a much larger cell was used, and later the 'flag type' was often used. Modern alkaline D cells have much better capacity for against size than earlier zinc carbon cells and so a D cell will run the clock for a long period.
If more voltage is needed - its likely that cleaning/service is needed.

There is a good book available on Eurekas by Alan Shenton
 
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sderek

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Wow! What a beautiful clock. I've never seen one before... you've got to love the huge exposed balance wheel. I'd love to see it restored.
 

John Hubby

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WD, in my opinion your clock is some kind of "project" that has a English Eureka "short" movement. I have collected Eurekas for over 20 years and have not (yet) seen a German made one with the short movement (balance wheel behind the dial). All have been what is referred to as a "tall" movement. I'm attaching a photo of one to show the difference. The English Eurekas had both the short and tall versions, nearly 6,000 short ones and a little over 4,000 of the tall ones were made. I have constructed a database for these clocks that shows short movement serial numbers from No. 22 to No. 5696, and tall movement serial numbers from No. 6181 to No. 10538. I have documented 164 of these clocks to date, and thus far there is no overlap between the two types.

The English "short" movements usually did not have the serial number or patent info stamped into the plates (a few do on the back plate), but on a small plaque that is fitted either to the back plate with the screw seen in the center of the plate, or to the front for those having an open (annular) dial. A photo is attached showing the latter. The "Cromwell" English lantern clock model has the serial number engraved in the chapter ring at the 6:00 position, and no ID on the short movement. With regard to Les' comment about English movements without serial numbers, the only ones I have seen thus far with no serial number are the short movements which evidently have lost their ID plaque or were with the Cromwell models; the tall movement versions all have the ID info and serial number engraved into the front plate below the balance bearing.

The operating voltage for both the English and German versions is 1.5 volts. When properly set up they will run about a year on a single "D" cell. I set mine up with two "D" cells in parallel and they will run about 2-1/2 years that way.

The transformer arrangement in the base of your clock appears to be original to the project, but is not original Eureka. Thus far I have not seen any original English or German Eureka being powered by anything other than batteries. The balance spring appears to be complete but badly tangled up, that can probably be returned to normal shape.

For repair info (and parts such as the silver contact leafs and balance spring) you should check Peter Smith's Bulle and Eureka site a http://www.horologix.com. He has photo examples showing restoration and repairs.
 

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Weight Driven

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thanks for all the valuble info guys. I failed to point out that mine has what appears to be a sub second gear and place where it would have been, had it not been broken off(see photo of front, at 6 you can see a piece sticking up that has been broken off). Don't know the signifigance of this but there it is. Also, with all that stuff in the base I don't even see where the battery would go.
 

John UK

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Some Eurekas did have a sub seconds dial.

Strictly - its not seconds as the balance wheel is too large (and hence to slow) for once a second.

The battery would have been housed in the base. There would not (in an original clock) have been a mains transformer/rectifier. Original Eurekas were C1909 to 1912 when AC mains was not common - however low voltage DC batteries were available - a large single cell battery was supposed to power the clock for 1000 days.
 

Ray Fanchamps

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I have collected Eurekas for many years. They exempilfy all that is wrong with electro-mechanically impulsed pendulums. Great clocks.
Anyone familiar with the ubiquitous BSA Bantam two stroke knows that even when everything is set to "factory spec" they still don't work.
Shenton's book is essential reading. The recent CD is way overpriced for a simple but clean presentation.
The tall versions sometimes had a seconds bit set in the dial, not very common. I have never seen the short version with the seconds bit in the dial though many do have the stub on the ratchet wheel to accommodate same.
The "annular dial" did use the shield in front for the dataplate and as such did not lend itself to a seconds bit. I am not aware of a reason the short clock could not use a seconds bit if it used the full dial.
There is a limited catalog of Eureka clocks reproduced by the Midwest Electrical group many years ago. Many clocks come up in legitimate cases not found in the catalog and many are just "made up".
For some years you could buy Eureka castings and "make the clock". The clock is still made by modelmakers today but generally using plate not cast brass frames.
 

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Weight Driven

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again, thanks guys for the help. So can I assume that this is a made up Eureka clock? Initially I did not like the plastic dial but once I started thinking about it it shows the balance better than any other dial would, which is really what Eureka's are all about, even though it lends a bit of cheapness to the clock and also, it has a plastic cover. Anyway, I would like to get this restored so anyone out there willing to accept this challenge, let me know. Thanks again.