Howard #00, serial #3789- help with finding date of manufacture needed...

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by Peter A. Nunes, Oct 4, 2012.

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  1. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    I've had this neat little #00, complete with a cast iron skeleton framed dial, for a couple of years now, and am getting ready to get ready to start restoring it. These are similar to the number 0s, but have brass plates instead of iron, feature a slightly simpler design, and are a bit smaller. I think they were used in street clocks as well as one dial tower clock installations like this one. I've been hoping to find out when it was made and to whom it was originally sold (it has always lived in Rhode Island) but since the Howard records that we have on line are not complete, this one doesn't seem to be included. The serial number, 3789, is around a thousand numbers higher than the the 2nd tower clock book shows. This book goes up through 1905, and includes numbers up into the 2400s. So the question is, is there another way to determine the date of manufacture, short of interpolation? I suspect it was first installed around 1920, in a textile mill in northern RI, but I would like to confirm that.

    And the greater question is, where are the remaining Howard ledgers?




    Howard00back.jpg howard00frontserail3789.jpg howard00otherside.jpg howard00sideview.jpg Howard00dialandbezel.jpg howard00hands, key, and motionworks.jpg howardoocrutchandverge.jpg howardoohandsback.jpg
     
  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #2 Jim DuBois, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
    Interesting that your movement is serialized. Where is it marked if I may ask? I have owned quite a few and I don't have a recorded serial number on any of them.........none of these in the photos had a serial....so yours is pretty unusual in my limited experience. The one very poor photo is of the first one of these I owned...that was 40 years ago. The one with the dial on a stand was the last one I owned, sold it about 6 months ago.

    I also looked at several of them a couple of weeks ago, some loose frames, gears, and associated parts, maybe frames and parts for 5 of them...., no serials on any of them that I saw. but, I will take a much closer look next time. The last photo is the small sized time and strike that I started work on a couple of weeks ago. It is serialized, 34xx, each part has the last digit of the serial number stamped on it, and the frame has the number stamped under the brass E Howard plate, and the serial number is painted on both ends of the frame.

    Like you I have not been successful in chasing down that serial number..... I notice that serial number 3643 is pictured in their 1923 catalog, not that it helps you...
     

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  3. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    #3 Peter A. Nunes, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
    Hi Jim, thanks for your quick reply. The serial number is die-stamped into the end of the crossbar on top of the movement, adjacent to the pendulum rating knob- you can see it if you enlarge the picture of that end of the movement. Your reference to a 1923 date is very helpful- that number puts this one in the time range that I was told- early or mid 1920s.

    You have one with what looks like original paint- I would be most appreciative if you would measure the width of the pinstripes. I think they may have varied from movement to movement, and of course some I've seen had none, but at least it would be a place to start. Oops- looks like you no longer own that one. I think we can interpolate from the picture.

    The tower clocks I've restored in the past have all had cast iron plates, and I've only had to paint a couple of them. This one that I propose to restore needs paint, and I am at a loss as to how to prepare the plates. I think bead or CO2 blasting will prepare them well enough, but what sort of primer and paint should be used on cast brass?
     
  4. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    #4 gvasale, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2012
    FWIW, the one I did some work on in Hamilton Bermuda also has plates of brass or bronze. I can't say for sure is all street/post clocks were made with them. I have an electrified same sized clock with cast iron plates. I'll have to check for numbers though.
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Peter, All the smallest size have the cast brass/bronze plates IMO and IME. The next size larger has cast iron plates.....I have had a couple of those too...no photos at the moment that I have found....Not that it is scientific but I remember the earlier clocks as having more "delicate" details and pin stripes, but that is no more than a slightly foggy memory... I have had them with stripes as wide as 1/8" and as narrow as 1/16".
     
  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Greg, the cast iron examples by Howard that are about the same size are #0s, as noted above. 00s all have cast brass plates, as far as I know.
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #7 Jim DuBois, Oct 7, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
    here are some E Howard street clock photos from the E Howard factory archives. All would have used the 00 movement from the factory. Most of these clocks would have had the movement in the base of the clock on the street, the 3rd photo will give a better indication of the size of some of these.

    I understand some smaller street clocks did have the movement located in the basement of the building and would connect under the sidewalk with bevel gears driving the clock dials out on the street. I have only ever had one that was set up that way, and I bought it in the Midwest as a loose movement with all the connecting rods and the like. It was supposedly out of a small rural town in Ohio street clock and the movement was located and running in the basement of the jeweler store/watch repair/clock shop. I guess the philosophy was it could be better maintained in the basement than in the base of the clock, and was less affected by weather and the like....

    And Peter, to your question on how to remove the old paint, I have used normal furniture stripper on a couple (Zip Strip) I have seen a couple that were sandblasted, I highly recommend AVOIDING that method, it removes too much of everything. I would think that bead blasting, soda blasting, or walnut shell blasting would all be fine, but I have never had to use any of those. If the paint resists Zip Strip there are commercial paint strippers available for airplanes that is better suited for paint removal from metal, it can be had from auto parts stores around here at least.
     

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  8. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    00 with original paint detail

    Here is a Howard 00 street clock movement with original paint. The pin striping is about 1/8" wide, but it is hand painted and varies just a bit in places.
     

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  9. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    #9 Peter A. Nunes, Oct 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
    Great pictures! Thanks so much for taking the time to "post" them. Regarding getting the paint off, I would never even think about sandblasting, but bead blasting or soda blasting seem gentle enough, if done by an experienced hand, to not damage the surface- still, brass is soft stuff, so an abundance of caution is called for, and chemical stripping may be the easiest route to go.

    On the cast iron examples I've restored, I used some sort of automotive primer that was high in zinc content- would such a primer be good for a brass plated movement as well?
     
  10. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Peter, regards primer for the brass frames, I am loath to admit today I use off the shelf "professional" grade Rustolum primer as well as their paint on these clocks. In years past a professional paint shop made up paints in both lacquer and enamel in proper color mixes for these efforts, but today and thanks to the EPA and other well-meaning fools, those options are restricted to non-existent. The new low VOC water based paints I have not tried and I have no intention of trying them...
     
  11. ElectricTime

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    When painting overbrass or steel I would recommend a basecoat of an epoxy primer. We use anindustrial finish not available to theconsumer - but I would think Rust-Oleum probably makes one.
     
  12. gvasale

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    Epoxy & 2 part paints are hazardous. They must be used with proper respirators. Anyone can buy them if you know where to go. Sherwin Williams makes a lot of industrial paints. They're quite expensive.
     
  13. pmiddents

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    We have restored two street clocks in Bremerton, WA. Both cases were made by Joseph Mayer Seattle. One has a Howard #00 Movement. It is
    numbered on the top piece "3033". This clock was purchased by a Bremerton jeweler, George Moeller in 1928 mvt003.jpg
    The clock has a label as pictured Mayer plaque.jpg
    This label dates the clock to sometime before 1921. Joseph Mayer & Brothers dissolved in 1921 with the two younger brothers going off as Mayer Brothers. Joseph reorganized twice. He was Joseph Mayer Inc. 1921-22 and thence Joseph Mayer Co. I would like to get a more precise date for the movement and on the relationship between Howard and Mayer. Joseph Mayer was installing Howard street clocks in Seattle perhaps as early as 1904. Sometime after 1907, he started having his own case designs cast in Seattle but continued putting the Howard #00 movements in them. At some point, probably after 1915, Mayer started making his own movements patterned very closely after the Howard #00. I have seen one movement with an intertwined "MB" Seattle USA cast into the front plate. All the other Mayer movements I am familiar with have Joseph Mayer Seattle USA cast in them. I date these post 1921.
    Paul Middents
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  14. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Thanks, Paul, this is very helpful, as well as extremely interesting. There is a great street timepiece in Walla Walla that I think is a Mayer- it had glass doors on the base so the movement may be observed. I saw it in 1999, when I was out there with my daughter to look at colleges- at that time it looked to have been recently restored.
     
  15. pmiddents

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    The Walla Walla clock is a Mayer with a Howard movement. I have some pictures but no definitive history on it.
     
  16. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    Jim,
    I am very interested in these pictures that you say come from the Howard factory archives. Are these pictures digitized and available for use in a publication?

    Chuck Roeser, Rob Ketcherside and I are working on a Joseph Mayer research project with the intent to publish. The amount of material developed so far should justify a supplement to the Watch & Clock Bulletin.
    Some comments on the pictures numbering from left to right:

    Picture 2 is what I think is referred to in the Howard Tower Clock records as a "special 17 ft 4-dial post clock". Only two were sold from 1888-1905; one in 1891 to the Philadelphia & Reading RR in Philadelphia and the other in 1892 to George W. Richards Co. Boston. Three of these clocks were purchased in the Pacific Northwest in 1906; the Birks clock in Vancouver BC which still exists, Albert Hansen in Seattle now lost, Hardy & Co. (No. 2596) in Seattle now in private hands. the Hardy clock was sold by Joseph Mayer as an agent for Howard--probably his first major street clock sale. Haltoms clock in Ft. Worth is the only other surviving example of this style that I have found. This style inspired the clocks Mayer made for Carrols Jewelry in Seattle (now at the Museum of History & Industry) in 1913 and for Samuels in San Francisco in 1915.

    Pictures 3 and 4 are Mayer designed and manufactured cases with Howard No. 0 movements. He probably made these from about 1910-1920. Several examples of these still exist.

    Any other information of Mayer or Mayer related clocks would be very welcome and generously acknowleged in the event of publication
    Paul Middents
     
  17. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Paul,

    Another interested party is in the process of buying all my Howard photos, with the intent of publication. Also, I was recently seriously injured in a fall and am in extensive rehabiliation and follow up surgery , so I am not in a position to communicate a great deal. More than happy to discuss, just will be a couple or 3 months.
     
  18. Eric Ryback

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    Jim, Did the E Howard factory archiveidentify what city the "Pocket Watch" Howard 2 dial was located in? Thanks
     
  19. Jim DuBois

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    Eric, I don't recall there being any city noted on the photo of the "pocket watch" street clock. Don Bugh is now the owner of all these photos so you may want to check with him. Of the photos with locations indicated they were on strips of paper located beneath the photos in the Howard scrapbook, but I don't think that photo had details. And most of the descriptions were less than helpful and over time they got separated from their respective photos, at least some of them.....
     

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