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Hamburg American Clocks

J. A. Olson

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Your clock appears in the 1924 catalog but with a different dial. The top of your clock's case appears to have been cut down.
It could be had with an alarm movement or simple time/strike.
The case style had no objective name in the catalog but may be referred to as a shelf clock by some.
It was a popular style throughout the 1910s-1920s in Germany.

7220.jpg
 

J. A. Olson

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And a belated response to dcjens with this entry from a 1928 catalog.
Popular models were regularly produced for multiple years, periodically offered with different movements or dials.

3456.jpg
 
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new2clocks

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say 147/38, and under that 130. Possible build dates?
No, these numbers are not date codes.

- 147/38 - the 147 represents beats per minute. The 38 represents the number of teeth on the escape wheel.

- 130 - represents the length of the pendulum.

Your clock was made prior to the association that HAC had with Junghans, which would be anywhere from 1891 or so until 1927 or so. Prior to the association with Junghans, HAC clocks are difficult to date.

However, your clock is Model 7220. Others have HAC catalogs and an identification of that model should get you close to the year(s) it was offered. (+/- 5 years or so.)

Regards.

EDIT: I see Steven and Justin were typing at the same time as I was typing.
 
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T.Cu

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Well thank you for the information and picture! That I will have to dig mine out and take a look at the top of it for signs of a removed crest.
Your clock appears in the 1924 catalog but with a different dial. The top of your clock's case appears to have been cut down.
It could be had with an alarm movement or simple time/strike.
The case style had no objective name in the catalog but may be referred to as a shelf clock by some.
It was a popular style throughout the 1910s-1920s in Germany.

View attachment 682935

Well thank you for the information and picture! I will have to dig mine out and take a look at the top of it for signs of a removed crest. Because my paper sticker and this model number shown in the title of the picture are identical..
 

T.Cu

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No, these numbers are not date codes.

- 147/38 - the 147 represents beats per minute. The 38 represents the number of teeth on the escape wheel.

- 107 - represents the length of the pendulum.

Your clock was made prior to the association that HAC had with Junghans, which would be anywhere from 1891 or so until 1927 or so. Prior to the association with Junghans, HAC clocks are difficult to date.

However, your clock is Model 7220. Others have HAC catalogs and an identification of that model should get you close to the year(s) it was offered. (+/- 5 years or so.)

Regards.

EDIT: I see Steven and Justin were typing at the same time as I was typing.
Funny! But the extra information that the clock predates the association with Junghans is great to know. Now I have lots more I can add to the document I wrote up about this clock, what I'd done to it, and what was known about it. Thank you very much!
 

J. A. Olson

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It's always a pleasure to help fellow hobbyists. :emoji_relaxed: These German shelf clocks are well made and would have been a common sight in Germany during their heyday. I find HAC's offerings to be among the most aesthetically pleasing out of what was made.

Your clock was made prior to the association that HAC had with Junghans, which would be anywhere from 1891 or so until 1927 or so. Prior to the association with Jumghans, HAC clocks are difficult to date.
The topic of the HAC/Junghans merger has been brought up several times - as quoted from the late & great Douglas Stevenson, a horological expert we all miss very much:

What happened as far as the use of HAU/HAC names and trademarks after 1930 is this. In May 1927, Junghans, VFU ("Gustav Becker"), and HAU rejoined earlier discussions that led to an "Interessengemeinschaft." The three firms remained formally independent, and did not share sales structures, but agreed to exchange stock, share profits, and exchange information as to rationalization of costs, and so on. This agreement was made retroactive to 1 July 1926.

At this time -- May 1927 -- Erwin Junghans had assured the Landenberger family (in a letter from Junghans to HAU dated 23 May 1927) that the HAU trademark(s) would not disappear. The formal "fusion" of the three -- actually Junghans absorbing the other two -- which was announced by the Schramberg city council 18 September 1930, was made legally retroactive to 1 July 1929.

By 1935, despite his earlier assurances to the Landenberger family, Erwin Junghans was claiming that there was a need to rationalize the Junghans sales structure. And in a letter dated 26 October 1935 to the Directors (PLEASE NOTE that this will all be on the test!) Erwin Junghans stated that it was his view that in the future there should only be one tradename, that that would naturally be the Junghans mark, and that the others should only be used where they might add business. The full original German quote is contained in Lixfeld and Krämer's (1989) exhibition catalogue text, Hamburg-Amerikanische Uhrenfabrik Schramberg, whence also stemmeth the above basics and much more.
It was my impression that the 'Interessengemeinschaft' actually began in 1926 in accordance with new research, however I will have to dig through the older threads to see what was what.
 
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new2clocks

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It was my impression that the 'Interessengemeinschaft' actually began in 1926 in accordance with new research
Justin,

The retroactivity of the May, 1927 "Interessengemeinschaft" to 1 July 1926 implies that talks (and interactions) were going on in 1926. And, some (not many) HAC movements were dated 1926, IIRC. :)

So the agreement (for association or collaboration) was finalized in 1927, but it is fair to say the "ball was rolling" in 1926.

Regards.
 
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T.Cu

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Well, here are three sort of funny photos of the top of the clock. There does seem to be sort of a squarish indentation or set of marks in the middle of the top.. when I blow up the photos..
But aside from that one knot hole, there are not holes from nails or screws there. Maybe the crest was glued on with hide glue, and got knocked off. Then the old glue residue was removed. Which is possible to do from a surface like this.
I'll keep my eyes open for stray crowns/crests that look like the one shown in the picture. You never know what can show up online.

IMG_9845.JPG IMG_9846.JPG IMG_9847.JPG
 

Rockin Ronnie

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My most recent acquisition is a HAC mantel clock. There is a commemorative plaque on the front with the year 1926. Could be from that year but looks earlier. It has cross arrows on the movement. 164 beats per minute, 36 teeth on the escape wheel, and 130mm pendulum length. There is a cutout on top of the case, so, perhaps a crown or topper at one point. Model name and year if it is not 1926?
Ron
RS HAC_5.jpg RS HAC_1.jpg
 

T.Cu

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Hi, As to dating your new clock, according to John Hubby in another post:

"The rod gong was invented by Johann Obergfell of Germany in 1898, and a utility model protection D.R.G.M. 108469 granted on December 23, 1898. The first commercial use of the rod gong thus occurred in early 1899 but really didn't get going until 1900 and later..."

And your rod gong looks original.

I'm sure others will "chime" in..
Cheers, Tim
 
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new2clocks

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year if it is not 1926?
HAC / HAU clocks are difficult to date prior to the acquisition of HAC/HAU in 1930.

Junghans and HAC began a collaboration in 1926 and some of the 1926 HAC movements were date coded.

Plaques are a good but not a foolproof method of dating a clock. A clock purchased in 1926 could very well have been sitting on the retailer's shelf for two years.

Catalogs are another good but not foolproof way of dating a clock. A catalog confirms that a model was made in a particular year, but that same model was probably offered 5 years +/- from the year of the catalog.

You will probably not get a more reliable date for your clock than circa 1926.

Regards.
 
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daddyrider

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Hi to all,

I've got my hands on a HAC clock that I would really like to get it running, but it seems that this movement was a donor :)
It's missing both springs, fan fly and a gong.

I'm trying to do as much as possible by myself, so I have decided to fabricate new springs and gong. The fan fly is a bit more complex for me, so I need to find one to buy.

I would kindly ask someone that has or know that kind of movement, to make some measurements of both springs. I need thickness and width (width should be around 7mm, but I'm not sure). And also, what wire thickness is usually used for spiral gong? As for the fan fly, how many trundles does it have?

20220111_141259.jpg 20220111_141322.jpg
 

J. A. Olson

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These smaller clocks used a spring-like wire (Deutsch: Tonfeder) instead of a true coil gong with pedestal. These tonfeders are sometimes known as 'gongs' in contemporary terminology and were the same exact type used on cuckoo clocks, which can be easily found through several clock parts suppliers. The wire thickness is about 1 MM on average. Timesavers part number 15975 would be ideal for your clock.
 
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daddyrider

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Thanks for your note on the gong, that is very helpful.

In the meantime i was trying to produce a spring from 0,5mm thick strip and it works great. The spring is approx. 1m long, and the movement is able to do 4 full days of striking (i think it's a bit too much, but as long as it works, it's fine with me).
Now i'm waiting for 0,4mm strip to make the mainspring. Hopefully it will work as good as the other one :)
 
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Mike Mall

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Hi to all,

I've got my hands on a HAC clock that I would really like to get it running, but it seems that this movement was a donor :)
It's missing both springs, fan fly and a gong.

I'm trying to do as much as possible by myself, so I have decided to fabricate new springs and gong. The fan fly is a bit more complex for me, so I need to find one to buy.

I would kindly ask someone that has or know that kind of movement, to make some measurements of both springs. I need thickness and width (width should be around 7mm, but I'm not sure). And also, what wire thickness is usually used for spiral gong? As for the fan fly, how many trundles does it have?
I was looking for information on this movement I just got, (movement only,) and saw your post. I will be tearing it down in the next couple of days and will tell you what I find. Mine has a broken strike spring and will need to be measured anyway. I will be happy to count the trundles, as well as take a pic of the fly.

IMG_3460.jpg
 
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Mike Mall

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I went ahead, tore it down, and took measurements. 6 trundles, the spring measures 42 inches/1.06 meters long.
IMG_3471.jpg IMG_3472.jpg IMG_3469.jpg IMG_3473.jpg IMG_3470.jpg IMG_3468.jpg IMG_3467.jpg IMG_3466.jpg
 
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c.kugle

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daddyrider

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I really appreciate your input with all the measurements, they will be very helpful.

Are both springs the same thickness?
It's only one thing that bothers me... In the meantime I made the spring 0.4mm thick and 1.1m long. The movement went crazy. It ran for over 55 hours and I needed to lower the bob on pendulum on It's lowest position, I also added 2 M10 nuts on it for extra weight, but it was still running much too fast. In first 12hours it advanced for app. 15 minutes, and the rest 43hours was only couple of minutes faster.

Can you please measure the suspension spring also?
 

Mike Mall

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I really appreciate your input with all the measurements, they will be very helpful.

Are both springs the same thickness?
It's only one thing that bothers me... In the meantime I made the spring 0.4mm thick and 1.1m long. The movement went crazy. It ran for over 55 hours and I needed to lower the bob on pendulum on It's lowest position, I also added 2 M10 nuts on it for extra weight, but it was still running much too fast. In first 12hours it advanced for app. 15 minutes, and the rest 43hours was only couple of minutes faster.

Can you please measure the suspension spring also?
The springs are not the same - but it appears the time mainspring is newer, the broken strike spring was probably original. The time spring measures 6.4mm wide x .5mm x 1.22m long.

The suspension spring is .1mm x 24mm hole to hole. It is riveted to a rod that is so oddly bent - it's probably not original.
 

disciple_dan

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Well, I'm back at this HAC. I still haven't found the correct pendulum for it but I have one that will stay in the hook and I've adjusted it to keep fair time. It's either not advancing at the hour or not stopping at one of the hours and causing it to be out of sync. It looks to be set up right but I must be missing something. It seems to stay in sync on a new wind but after a day or so I think is when it begins to falter.
Here are some pics. Any ideas? Thanks, Danny
20220311_123040.jpg 20220311_123258.jpg
This second pic is HAC's control cam. I think it's set up right.
20220311_123309.jpg
This is the stop lever that arrest the pin on the gear to stop the run.
 

tracerjack

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Well, I'm back at this HAC. I still haven't found the correct pendulum for it but I have one that will stay in the hook and I've adjusted it to keep fair time. It's either not advancing at the hour or not stopping at one of the hours and causing it to be out of sync. It looks to be set up right but I must be missing something. It seems to stay in sync on a new wind but after a day or so I think is when it begins to falter.
Here are some pics. Any ideas? Thanks, Danny

This second pic is HAC's control cam. I think it's set up right.
This is the stop lever that arrest the pin on the gear to stop the run.
Mine does the same thing. On mine, the stop lever is friction fit and can be adjusted, but there is no set screw to lock it in place. I believe the impact on the stop lever gradually shifts it upward on the arbor. Then, it starts to bounce out of the stop, causing mine to go on to the half hour strike. I’ve tried reducing the impact so that that drop of the lever is as near to the cam slot stopping edge as it can be. Works for longer periods, but then starts bouncing out again. So far, the only options I can think of is to somehow add a set screw, or use some loctite.
 

disciple_dan

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Thanks for the lead, TJ. I have yet to catch a glimpse of its malfunction. I have gone round and round by hand and it has not malfunctioned. I try to remember to watch at the top and bottom of the hour to see it happen in real-time, but with little regularity.
So, I believe the train is stopped by the lever that drops into the path of the pin on the 5th gear wheel. The control cam is on the 4th gear arbor. The stop and the control cam levers are fixed on the same arbor and are lifted by a pin on the warning lever that is controlled by the center cam. So, when the lever drops into the control cam the stop lever falls in the path of the pin on the 5th wheel and stops the train. Are you saying that the lever is bouncing out of the control cam and missing that scheduled stop?
Thanks for the help, Danny
 

tracerjack

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Thanks for the lead, TJ. I have yet to catch a glimpse of its malfunction. I have gone round and round by hand and it has not malfunctioned. I try to remember to watch at the top and bottom of the hour to see it happen in real-time, but with little regularity.
So, I believe the train is stopped by the lever that drops into the path of the pin on the 5th gear wheel. The control cam is on the 4th gear arbor. The stop and the control cam levers are fixed on the same arbor and are lifted by a pin on the warning lever that is controlled by the center cam. So, when the lever drops into the control cam the stop lever falls in the path of the pin on the 5th wheel and stops the train. Are you saying that the lever is bouncing out of the control cam and missing that scheduled stop?
Thanks for the help, Danny
This is the lever on my movement that bounces out of the cam, but usually catches the next time around. I have observed it doing this on the bench. It has a helper spring on mine, which I tried tightening to add a bit more pressure to the lever, but again, it worked for a while, then the skipping began again. We may not have the exact same movement, but this dual lever is the same. This is my movement.
hamburg1.jpg hamburg2.JPEG
 
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disciple_dan

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Yeah, I was looking at the pic you sent of the inside of the movement and thinking wow, that looks almost like the exact shot I took of my movement then, I realized it was my movement. I think we have the same movement. That front shot looks just like mine. I had a bunch of pictures but somehow they are gone from my PC.
I reset mine at 1:30 and then I happened to notice at 3:30 that it struck 3:00. at 4:00 it struck 3:30 and at 4:30 it struck 4:00. I reset it again at 4:30 so it's right again. I'm watching it closely.
I'm starting to suspect the count wheel. So, somewhere between 1:30 and 3:30, it either missed a strike, as in, did not release or, dropped into a notch when it should have gone on to the next half hour. In other words maybe at 3:00, it dropped back into the notch after one strike instead of striking the full three times then, at 3:30 it struck 3 times. I may need to advance the count wheel a couple of mm's. I don't know. I haven't seen it happen yet so. I'm reaching.
20210518_145023.jpg 20220311_123154.jpg
 

tracerjack

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When setting up mine, there was very little room for error with that lever. A little too deep and it wouldn’t release from the cam slot. Too shallow and it wouldn’t catch consistently. That’s why I thought it should have had a set screw. Haven’t figured out how or even if a set screw could be done. Mine’s on the back burner for now while I finish a crown for my Baduf free swinger. Be sure to let me know if you figure it out.
 

disciple_dan

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I sure will tracerjack. Thanks for the comments, that really got me away from one of those pinpoint focus paths that can keep you from seeing the real problem. I'll let you know, Danny
 

Jonas Clark

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Any idea on an approximate era, say, down to the decade? I can't find photos of any other HAC regulators which lack half-round columns on the sides. This one has slightly rough carvings at the almost top and bottom, flanking flat panels, each with an also kind of roughly-carved (the outer sjape of each is very different) carving. Another rough carving is underneath the case. Finials and lion are undamaged. There's a thin, flat sheet across the lowest part, and I'm not sure if this was added to cover a finial hole if one was lost or broken?

I saw this sitting flat on a table in the back room of a thrift store. I assumed it was one of the 1980s Korean clocks, until I got a bit closer. They priced it for me on the spot. Works like a charm, nice big gong. Bi-color rods in the grid pendulum. The only damage I see is some lost veneer around the top on the sides, and some scattered wormholes in a few of the carved bits. 31" tall, 12" at widest, and no markings save for the crossed arrows on dial and movement and a 4-digit number very faintly scratched in three spots on the movement (can't recall it offhand, but it's obviously not a date).

Any ideas?

 
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disciple_dan

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I saw this sitting flat on a table in the back room of a thrift store.
Nice find. I have about 20 clocks similar to yours in various stages of disrepair. Almost all of them are HAC. I hope to, one day, get them repaired and on someone's wall. The one in this post is the first of them to be worked on. To the best of my limited knowledge, this one is from the turn of the century. I haven't read up on HAC history. I'm sure a google search would turn up something.
tracerjack, I found the problem with mine going out of sync. It was as I thought, the count wheel lever was touching the wheel at or around the 3:00 hour. I thought at first, as mentioned in post 474, I would need to advance the wheel but as it turned out I had to retard it. This count wheel is set on a friction fit split bushing for, I suspect, that very purpose. I was able to view it through this hole in the plate. So, it has been running without incident for 3 days now. I think I've got it.
20220311_123154.jpg
By the way, what does your pendulum look like? This clock did not have one. I found this one I like and it looks right but is doesn't hang on the leader correctly. Thanks for all the great help, Danny
20220303_183954.jpg 20220303_185620.jpg
 

tracerjack

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Thanks for the update. I will look at mine to see if it has the same problem. Never thought about the count lever. The pendulum on mine has a plain large bob with a groove. It seems to be a common one on the box clocks.
E78D306E-77D0-4783-A8F8-A4CDC3744FF5.jpeg F4CC55C1-3559-4073-938C-6EC05F4E1F79.jpeg
 

dcjens

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And a belated response to dcjens with this entry from a 1928 catalog.
Popular models were regularly produced for multiple years, periodically offered with different movements or dials.

View attachment 682936
Hi HAC lovers.
I'm bringing this one back up as I'd like to find the right pendulum and leader to get mine going.
10/27
164 42 130 on the back.
Deciple Dan, you said you have several Hamburg American's around maybe you can help.
Pics part numbers suppliers would be very helpful.
Thanks in advance DJ
 

disciple_dan

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Yeah, I haven't had time to get to but two of my projects and, like you, I'm having trouble finding parts, particularly, pendulums. I purchased 23 clocks unseen most of which are HAC and their a mixed bag. I hope to get to a few more in the near future and will be asking questions too. I'm not much help today.
Good hunting. Thanks, Danny
 
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