Gustav Becker dating needed. Please help.

marylander

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I acquired this clock recently. I like to have first hand experience on the beat setting system. The clock has a strange low serial number 359. The disc pendulum has a very think shell. Please help me to date this clock. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you in advance. I will restore the clock soon.
Ming
 

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John Hubby

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I acquired this clock recently. I like to have first hand experience on the beat setting system. The clock has a strange low serial number 359. The disc pendulum has a very think shell. Please help me to date this clock. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you in advance. I will restore the clock soon.
Ming
Ming, your clock was made about mid-1925 based on the serial number. These low numbers were started in May 1925 when GB stopped using their previous system of assigning consecutive serial numbers to all types of clocks made which had serial numbers. The highest number documented to date prior to the change is 2508167. GB assigned numbers starting around "1" for at least four different types of movements including 400-Day, spring driven Westminster, weight driven hall clocks, and weight driven wall clocks. This created the situation that there are at least four clocks made from May 1925 with the identical serial number. I have documented a number of duplicates and even three sets of triplicates which confirms this actually happened.

Keep us posted as you continue with the restoration of your clock.
 

marylander

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Ming, your clock was made about mid-1925 based on the serial number. These low numbers were started in May 1925 when GB stopped using their previous system of assigning consecutive serial numbers to all types of clocks made which had serial numbers. The highest number documented to date prior to the change is 2508167. GB assigned numbers starting around "1" for at least four different types of movements including 400-Day, spring driven Westminster, weight driven hall clocks, and weight driven wall clocks. This created the situation that there are at least four clocks made from May 1925 with the identical serial number. I have documented a number of duplicates and even three sets of triplicates which confirms this actually happened.

Keep us posted as you continue with the restoration of your clock.
John, Thank you as always for your help. I was wondering why the clock has such low serial number even the clock is not that old. From this clock, I can see the disc pendulum was made from thin brass. Gustav Becker must have been under high pressure competitions. I will post more restoration photos when start to work on it. I will take three weeks vacation abroad after Christmas. I can't wait to come back to work on the clock.
Thank you again for your history lessons and dating.
Wish you and your family Merry Christmas and happy new year!
Ming
 

marylander

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Ming, your clock was made about mid-1925 based on the serial number. These low numbers were started in May 1925 when GB stopped using their previous system of assigning consecutive serial numbers to all types of clocks made which had serial numbers. The highest number documented to date prior to the change is 2508167. GB assigned numbers starting around "1" for at least four different types of movements including 400-Day, spring driven Westminster, weight driven hall clocks, and weight driven wall clocks. This created the situation that there are at least four clocks made from May 1925 with the identical serial number. I have documented a number of duplicates and even three sets of triplicates which confirms this actually happened.

Keep us posted as you continue with the restoration of your clock.
Hi John, was this clock made in Freiburg or Braunau factory? On the back plate, it only stamp Gustav Becker, Germany.
Thanks,
Ming
 

marylander

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Happy new year everyone!

I used the weekend to clean and polish the clock before leave for vacation. The brass parts were polished well but did a lousy job on lacquering. It was too humid. I will get rid of the paint and repaint it when I am back and if weather permits. I used the original steel S. Spring for testing run and found it ran quite well with about 300 degrees rotation and 1" over swing at half way mainspring wound up. It was very convenient to adjust the beat with the scale marking. Here are some photos.
Ming
 

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marylander

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Finally i repainted the brass base and replaced the suspension spring with a horolovar 0.0040" spring. After regulating the time, the pendulum rotation reduced to 220º with about 0.75" over swing. I do not know why the rotation reduced with differet suspension material. The original suspension spring looks like made out of steel. Here are some new photos.
Ming
 

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KurtinSA

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Very nice job! What does "repainting the brass base" entail? I've just been doing a hand polishing effort; it shines things up mostly but doesn't really remove any of the old stains. I don't want to polish it too far...just being careful. I just want some of the shine back is all.
 

marylander

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Very nice job! What does "repainting the brass base" entail? I've just been doing a hand polishing effort; it shines things up mostly but doesn't really remove any of the old stains. I don't want to polish it too far...just being careful. I just want some of the shine back is all.
Hi Kurt, What i meant repaint was that I spread painted lacquer after polishing the clock three weeks ago, but because the high humidity, the result was not very good. So I used lacquer thinner to wash away the previous lacquer layer and repainted. It is my personal choice to cover the polished brass with lacquer instead of using wax, thinking that lacquer will protect the brass longer than wax. But spread lacquer on the brass is a charlinge in high humidity condition. About the old stains, did you mean stains, not rusts? if it is stain, I will polish it out. If it is deep rust, then you may not want to polish all the way to remove it. You may want to use fine sand paper to remove just that rusted point, it needs to be decided case by case. My clock was rusted in many places but they are not very deep. So I was able to polish them out except the places on the bottom plate which was steel plate with brass plating. which I did not want to over polish to completely destroy the brass plating. So, there are many rushed marks still there. You can compare my before and after photo shots. I consider myself a clock saver instead of collector. So I do not make everything perfect as a collector. But I want every my clock to run as they were made for.

As long as over polishing is concerned, most clock brass parts are fairly thick, you can hardly weaken them by polishing. I may not be correct here. Many professional clock repairers and makers here can help you with their experiences.
Ming
 

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