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Hamburg American Clocks

Steven Thornberry

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I have been asked to start a thread on Hamburg American Clocks, and I am happy to do so. I even own one to start it off, a simple cottage clock, pictured below. A discussion was given in this earlier thread. ID German Cottage

I will put this in the sticky at the top of the forum as HAC/HAU Clocks.

Cottage Clock.jpg Cottage Label.jpg Cottage Movement.jpg
 

Missy

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Here is one of my favorite clocks that happens to be a HAC time only. The label is a little different than Steven's clock. It reminds me of a little bird house.

Missy
 

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jeules0

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This is my only HAC: a pagoda-style clock with a brass ornate pendulum and 'pineapple' finial.
 

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leeinv66

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We better add a box clock to the group. This is mine and it is a 14 day movement and strikes on a single rod that has the most beautiful tone.

13.jpg
 

Dave B

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Here's one that cme in a week or so ago. Besides having to make a rack hook, and intermediate warn lever, and a new Bypass for teh lifting lever, I also discovered there was a split in the suspension spring. So I got a chance to try my hand at a little forgery......um....forging. :D I did a Wikipedia search for Church Army - turns out it was a proselytizing arm of the Episcopal Church of England. Here are a couple of shots of the movement on the test stand. It has been running for three days now, so I think maybe I finally got all the bugs out.
 

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Steven Thornberry

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Here's one that cme in a week or so ago. Besides having to make a rack hook, and intermediate warn lever, and a new Bypass for teh lifting lever, I also discovered there was a split in the suspension spring. So I got a chance to try my hand at a little forgery......um....forging. :D I did a Wikipedia search for Church Army - turns out it was a proselytizing arm of the Episcopal Church of England. Here are a couple of shots of the movement on the test stand. It has been running for three days now, so I think maybe I finally got all the bugs out.
Nice looking clock, Dave, with an interesting snippit of history.
 

zepernick

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Greg --

That style alarm was extremely popular, came in several variations (size, bell on top...), and was made for about three decades by several German manufacturers, including HAU and Junghans.

Below is an illustration of an HAU model from a pre-WWI French wholesaler. And one in the 1928 HAU catalogue (in the Tang CD series).

Regards,
Zep
 

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soaringjoy

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Hi, just a couple of different styles...
BTW: The 2nd clock has the crossed arrows under the brass centerplate.
Jurgen
 

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jeules0

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Jeules --

Don't know when HAU introduced the model, but it was still in their 1928 catalogue (below, from the Tang CD).

Regards,
Zep
Thanks for that, Zep. I read somewhere that it was introduced somewhere around 1911. If that's the case, it had a long production run. Best wishes, Chris
 

Billy

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Below is my 30 hr. musical HAC. When I was given this years ago, it was no more than a case with a movement. No glass, topper or finials. Not having the resources at that time, other than the clock parts catalogs, explains the repro dial, hands and pendulum.
The music box is perfect, have know idea what it plays.
The other pic shows the label that was inside. I'm guessing they were the dealer.
Someday I'll do it right.:D
Billy
Musical 30 hr. HAC 001 (Small).jpg

Musical 30 hr. HAC 002 (Small).jpg
 

zepernick

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I read somewhere that it was introduced somewhere around 1911. If that's the case, it had a long production
Chris --

This is rather embarrassing -- but I can't remember if I'd posted a ca 1911 indication before, or it came up otherwise. In any case, the clip below is from a French wholesaler's sheet for 1912, so it was about before then.

Zep
 

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comfish

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Feb 24, 2008
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HAC wall clock. Not sold that the top is original. It seems to have the same face as the mantel posted by Jay.
 

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Dave B

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Nice looking clock, Dave, with an interesting snippit of history.
Thank you. It cleaned up only fairly well. The client who brought it to me said she had just spent $200.00 on it to have it serviced, but the repairman told her he couldn't get the parts to fix the runaway strike. Both plates were loaded with fingerprints, most of which I was able to remove with alchohol and lots of elbow grease. All the screw heads were bunged up, so I straightened them as best I could and reblued them, and I had to polish some very deep scratches off of both winding click wheels, where someone had used sloppy fitting pliers to remove the pins. Both mainspring barrels were full of old hard grease, so it was obvious to me that the springs were not removed in the "cleaning" process. I don't know who the repairman was to whom she took it, but I am going to find out, when I return to clock to her. She is a personal friend, so I took pity on her and am doing the work far too cheaply.
 

Dexx

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Here's another one. The crossed arrows are prominent on the gong block and are repeated on the backplate.
 

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Kevin W.

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Soaring joy that,s a very impressive collection of HAC clocks, very nice.
 

jeules0

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Chris --

This is rather embarrassing -- but I can't remember if I'd posted a ca 1911 indication before, or it came up otherwise. In any case, the clip below is from a French wholesaler's sheet for 1912, so it was about before then.

Zep
Hi, Zep, came up otherwise! I got the info some months back just after I bought the clock. Info could have been on Dave West Clocks website. Thanks for the additional clip. Chris
 

clarke

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Oct 25, 2009
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Here is my Hamburg American. Anyone have a guess as to it's age?
Hey ClocksCollector,

Here’s your clock.
It’s from Kochman’s “Hamburg American Clock Company”.
He says: “The dates on the catalog pages refer to the printing date which is not necessarily the year of the clock model shown. To estimate the age of a clock on a shown page, it is safe to assume the clock is five to ten years older than the cataloge date.” So it's 1929 minus....

The page says this clock is “For office desk, parlor or ladies room” I hope you don’t have it in an inappropriate location.

c.
 

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zepernick

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Hi, Zep, came up otherwise! I got the info some months back just after I bought the clock. Info could have been on Dave West Clocks website. Thanks for the additional clip. Chris
*Finally* remembered where I'd seen a dating before, as I'm not aware of any publicly-available HAU cats from the time. There are also two specific references in Shenton & Shenton's The Price Guide to Collectable Clocks 1840-1940. There's a B/W photo on page 161 saying that the clock appeared in the 1911/1912 HAC (assumedly UK) catalogue, and a color photo of another model on page 220 with a similar notation.
 

jeules0

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*Finally* remembered where I'd seen a dating before, as I'm not aware of any publicly-available HAU cats from the time. There are also two specific references in Shenton & Shenton's The Price Guide to Collectable Clocks 1840-1940. There's a B/W photo on page 161 saying that the clock appeared in the 1911/1912 HAC (assumedly UK) catalogue, and a color photo of another model on page 220 with a similar notation.
Hi Zep, yep that's where I must have seen it as well, as I've got that book. Thanks, Chris.
 

clarke

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Hello,

Here are my HAC’s.
(the “model” names are only for my own identification.)

The first four were made for the China Export-Import & Bank Compagnie as shown on the label. I can't find any reference on the company.
The bank’s initials were incorporated into the HAC crossed arrows logo on the dials.
HAC had distributors in Canton (now Guangzhou), Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tientsin and these must have been in company offices.


HAC Square Face:
got this in Hong Kong in ’84.

HAC Grid:
Also from Hong Kong in ’84. It’s a bim-bam with three rods and hammers. It strikes once on the 1/4 hour, twice on the 1/2 hour, three times on the 3/4 hour and of course, counts out the hours.

HAC Spiral & Spindle:
These two mantels, both gongers, were bought in Beijing in ’98.

HAC Zanzibar Vienna:
I found this in ’85 in Zanzibar. That’s right… Zanzibar! … as in “The Road to…”
I was in Nairobi, Kenya, and wandered down to the coast to the old Arab trading port of Mombassa. There were some clocks there in junk shops. Hearing that Zanzibar (an island off the east coast of Tanzania) had a lot more, I hopped a little plane and flew down.

Zanzibar was a main stop on the old Arab-African trading routes and the old heavy walled fortress-like part of town had a number musty antique/junk shops. All the clocks were in marginal-to-horrible condition (abuse/lack of care/humidity), but a few stood out as being remotely fixable.

This clock had a lot of case problems, but did some amateur “cabinet” work on it. It didn’t have a top and ones I saw in parts catalogues were pretty mundane, so I found some references and made one – I’ve since done the same with two other topless Junghans.

Zanzibar must have been on the cutting edge of “horological globalization” as I also bought an Ansonia “Oak” alarm mantel and a Japanese calendar short schoolhouse on the same visit.

so that's it.
c.
 

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Steven Thornberry

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They are very nice, clarke. I particularly like the spindle.
 

zepernick

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Hello,

The first four were made for the China Export-Import & Bank Compagnie as shown on the label. I can't find any reference on the company.
The bank’s initials were incorporated into the HAC crossed arrows logo on the dials.
HAC had distributors in Canton (now Guangzhou), Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tientsin and these must have been in company offices.
Clarke --

Very interesting indeed! Thank you Clarke. The CEIB does show up in various references as a German bank that also handled the import of e.g. German dyes in Asia. We're in a bit of a rush this morning (there's an NAWCC Regional) but will try to run down more information later. Below is an extract from a 1905 German report of German firms overseas.

Regards
Zep
 

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clarke

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Hi Zep,
I look forward to your information. The resolution on your .jpg was too loose. I couldn't read it ( I haven't figured out how to best post .jpgs on these threads.)
c.
 

Steven Thornberry

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I got my first antique clock last weekend in Prague, im a total newbie and all I know is its a HAC around 1915-1920. Hope this contributes to the thread.
It does indeed contribute. We are equal opportunity horologists here, and a very pleasant looking little alarm clock it is.
 

zepernick

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Greetings Marcus --

Would agree that this Message Board is probably the best site, internationally, for at least introductory-level information. And not infrequently, for what's available.

Similarly, although sometimes looked down upon as the mutts of the clock world, alarms have started not a few horologists off on their fascination with all things great and small that tick (or should).

Then too, alarms dominated German industrial production on that industry's way to becoming the world's leading exporter. There's an oft-quoted figure from Julius Kuckuck's 1904 study (a doctoral dissertation published in 1905/06) of the Württembergische clock industry (HAU was at home in Württemberg). In 1904, some 5.8 million clocks were made on the Württemberg side of the Black Forest (alone) and 4.1 million of them, 70%, were alarms, virtually all with so-called American-type movements.

Although we don't yet have a complete series of HAU/HAC catalogues publicly available, what appears to be your alarm does show up in a 1928 catalogue, one of the CDs available in Victor Tang's series (used with permission, below). There would have been variations with each model as to dial, etc. The color "burgundy red" seems to match yours.

Regards,
Zep
 

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instarclock

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I'll contribute my HAC clock - although it's still missing the statue that graced the front. The clock was made in 1929 and is one of my favorites. I hope someday to come across an example of what the statue looked like, so I'll know what to look for or maybe replicate.

Thanks for looking - Rt
 

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Dave B

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Update on the HAC I posted on MArch 12. It ran fine for two weeks on the test stand, so I put it back in the case. And the blamed thing stops at 10 minutes past the hour. Also the strike does not function properly. Took it back out of the case, and it ran fine. Put it back in the case, and hung a beat amplifier on it, and listened with the volume cranked up to just below feedback. There is a strange rubbing noise when it goes into striking. Back out of the case - looked at the rear of the dial, case walls etc with a tensor lamp. Nada. Does anyone know of a source for old style carbon paper, like that we used to use in the days of typewriters and onionskin? I want to put a piece inside, and see what's rubbing and where.
 

ticktock19852004

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Hello!

Here is a picture of my little HAC clock. Sadly someone has removed the strike barrel. I inspected the movement thoroughly and cannot find a reason for doing this. The strike side is in pristine condition. The top crest is not original. The top is from an junker kitchen clock case.

Thanks!

Neal
 

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hugha

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I have a soft spot for HAC clocks so have collected quite a variety in just a few years. Here are some of them.

Hugh Aston
Christchurch
New Zealand
 

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ntiqclokwize

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Hi fellow HAC enthusiasts, I'm sharing with you a simple keywind spring driven mantle clock with twisted columns that only shows the time. No serial numbers seen except for the crossed arrows on the back plate. Anyone has any idea how old this clock is? Thanks, Phil
 

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Sooth

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I have a few HAC clocks, several of which are very well made (as far as quality and case construction).

Here is a lovely 1930's style Westminster and Whittington chime clock.
58.jpg

Additional info, pictures, and sound clips here:
http://www.angelfire.com/me5/clockman/hacwhitt.html

One of my best clocks, this is a Westminster and Trinity chime clock, chiming on tuned German Silver rods. It features fast/slow regulation, chime selection, and chime/silent on the dial, automatic chime reset, jeweled escape wheel, fine French style pendulum (also adjustable for rough adjustments), etc...

59.jpg

Additional info, pictures, and sound clips here:
http://www.angelfire.com/me5/clockman/trinity.html

YouTube Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL-SGox-Ez0

This clock has the best case construction I've ever seen on a mantle clock. The mouldings are very large, thick wood, the carvings are superb, and the case alone is quite heavy. This one is a 3/4 Westminster movement using only 2 trains. For those unfamiliar with this type, it will chime the usual Westminster 1/4 hours on the 15, 30, and 45 minute positions, but it will NOT chime the hour melody, instead it will only strike the hours (thus 3/4 Westminster as opposed to 4/4). It's hard to explain the way the chime/strike trains are set up, but they operate using the same mainspring, and the functions are switched over by a cam and lever near the 50 minute mark.

60.jpg

Additional info, pictures, and sound clips here:
http://www.angelfire.com/me5/clockman/3-4wm.html

I also have this second Westminster/Whittington chime clock by HAC. It is complete (just needs cleaning and adjusting, as well as a case 'refreshing') but I haven't done it yet, and I've had the clock for several years now.

160.jpg

This is just the case. The movement is identical to the one from the first clock above, with the exception that the hammers are curved-over to the left side, since the case is much more compact on this clock. The hands are a type of diamond-tip variety, and are off-white like the dial numerals.
 

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