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Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by abe, Mar 28, 2019.
Why are wooden works clocks called groaners?
Not all are groaners. The term is applied to movements made by Chauncey Boardman because of the "groaning" sound made by the gears as they rotate during the hourly strike.
There is a family of so called groaners, made by several parties, including these by Boardman. There are several that are Ives family origination called seatboard groaners, for example.
And please consider the following; "the earliest of these clocks had a printed label "Jerome, Darrow & Co., " while a clock made c.1827, has the label
"Jerome, Thompson & Co." The last of these Jerome clocks had a similar movement with the label "Jeromes & Darrow," c.1828. All of these "groaner" movements used by these three Jerome firms had the escapement and verge between the plates, thus differing considerably from the Terry patent. It is possible that all of these cases used by these Jerome firms, as well as those for Merriman, Birge & Co. and Ives & Lewis, were made by Chauncey Jerome." And Boardman was certainly building the somewhat later version that we more commonly think of as a groaner.
A VERY nice array of early "groaners"!
One other bit is that the motion works of a groaner movement is on the front plate as illustrated by Jim's pix. Also, typically, the bell upon which the hours are struck is mounted above the movement or on the top of the case behind the splat except for those made by Luman Watson of OH. See this thread for an example of that variant:
Luman Watson Shelf Clock
I will say that the examples Jim posted here quite special and rare. It's a treat that they were shared with us. Just to flesh things out a bit, here are some clocks by makers referred to by Jim with the more typical and often found groaner movement and the method of mounting it to the case, i.e., to the back of the case rather than using a seat board. For example:
Basically the same movement and method of mounting are found in all of the following.
These are clocks by the firms to which Jim referred in his posting.
A Jerome's and Thompson:
A Jerome, Darrow & Co:
And the latest and most often found, a Jerome's and Darrow:
If you search the MB, you will find more info about all of these particular clocks.
Just to keep us all confused a few of these earlier seatboard groaners have the bell mounted below the movements, but they are more rare by quite a bit. The first photo is one of these groaners with no seatboard but a bottom strike, the 3 loose movements I have in the shop, all three of those have the overhead strike, the third photo is of my clock with overhead strike, and the forth is another no seatboard with bell below. All of these are refered to as groaners, rightly or wrongly. The are not any noisier than a conventional Terry in my thinking but I haven't broken out a decible meter to document. These, unlike the so called Boardman groaners, all have roller pinions.
Oh, and the fifth photo? A very strange fragment of a seatboard groaner. To date several experts have all stated they have never seen a clock with the short seatboard. The others of these have at least 4 configurations and lengths and pulley arrangements of their seatbords and now we have this short on too.
And here is one of the most rare versions of the so called groaner, circa 1816-1820
All I can say is wow & thanks!
I know I have learned something today!
It is indeed a rare day when the student educates the professor. RM, you are the master of great research and the best responses on the MB. Now lets talk about all this off topic stuff! >)
You’re much too kind.
I strive to be off topic!
Sometimes the unpredictability of the message board leads to amazing discoveries. This thread started with a very simple (which isn't to imply unreasonable or not worthy of discussion) question about wooden works and groaners. It then evolved into a presentation of some of the rarest groaner variants I have ever seen. These are the kind of movements most of us will never get an opportunity to see in person. Only on the message board! Thanks to abe for launching it and for Jim and RM for taking it into the stratosphere.
Wow! I started quite an interesting discussion.
So my Barnes and Bartholomew clock is not a groaner.... I've never heard it groan but I love the soft tick tock it makes.
Groaners have their winding arbors level with the clocks center shaft. So, your clock is not a groaner. But you did start a good discussion!
i have a welch spring & co. regulator 2 where the right side wood pulley (two weight time only movement) groans like mad when the clock is being wound... maybe a little wax on the arbor? any suggestions? thx...
I just re-read this thread again. It is very informative. But I'm still curious....
Could some one record their groaner "groaning" and lost it here. I'd like to hear it groan.
Given my heritage, mine doesn’t groan but goes “ oy vey”.