Hills, Goodrich clock restoration

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by MikeP, Nov 22, 2002.

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  1. MikeP

    MikeP Guest

    In General, ANYTHING you do to an original antique clock that alters it's current condition, other than perhaps cleaning the dust off, reduces it's value as an antique/collectable. Many would argue that cleaning the dust off is not good either because there may be valuable historical information available in that dust!

    There are basically 3 things you can do. Preserve it, restore it, or repair it.

    "Preserve" means what it says - touch nothing and make sure it is kept in the proper environment to reduce any further wear of any kind on any part.

    Restoration means to put the clock into virtually as-new condition using original parts or the type of parts/repair that would have been done in the period the clock was made.

    Repair means to fix what's broke so it will operate properly. This may mean that methods used are NOT the original methods - modern style bushings, Elmers glue (ARghh!) for case repair, etc.

    The most important questions to ask yourself are: "What do I plan to do with the clock?" and, "Is this clock of sufficient historical value/rarity to require that it be preserved as-is?"

    If you want the clock for your own enjoyment and want it to look as it did when it was new, then go ahead and have it restored if that will make you happy.

    Keep in mind that old clocks are seldom "original" anyway and have probably been repaired many times. Sometimes items are "restored" to the condition of a certain historical repair that was many years after the clock was produced.

    For example, Let's say we have an old English Bracket clock circa 1710 that needs "restoration." In our examination of the clock we find evidience that in 1765, it was rebushed by John Harrison, inventor of the marine chronometer. We could "restore" the clock to it's 1730 condition which would eliminate the bushings that JH installed. Or we could restore it to the 1765 point, ensuring none of JH's work was touched, which would be of far more historical (and monetary) value.

    (Don't bother looking for this clock. To my knowledge, JH did not run a clock repair shop in 1765.) :)

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