Howard Round top special models

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by pmiddents, Aug 27, 2017.

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  1. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    Jun 15, 2009
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    The Howard records indicate that the round top special tower clock came in three models: No. 0, No. 1 and No. 2. The No. 0 is the smallest and the size determines the number and size of dials and the size of bell the movement will support. The movements are almost identical visually. . I have clearly identified three distinguishing characteristics for the Model No. 0 and Model No. 1. The frames for both clocks are 47 ½ " wide. The height for No. 0 is 44" and No 1 is 47". The inside width between the frames for the No. 0 is 12 ½" and the No. 1 is 15". The rear verge pivot on the No. 0 is placed about half way between the frames and the No. 1 is about an inch from the rear frame. These are the only readily apparent differences. I'm sure winding drum diameters are also different and wheel and pinion sizes might differ. Additional information would be most welcome.

    I have not found a surviving No. 2 to get a photo or any dimensions. Can anyone on the forum help?
    Paul Middents
    Silverdale, WA
    PS
    This will be an article in the Chap 134 newsletter, ​Tower and Street Clock Talk
     
  2. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    I feel your pain. Some models were set upon a small riser. Some were slightly different between the plates. At least one had a slightly different pendulum setup with two pins on the outside of the pendulum rather than one in the slot in the pendulum.
     
  3. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    Thanks for your reply, Greg. The frame heights I quoted do not include the "riser" supplied with many of these clocks. Chuck Roeser sent me a picture of a No. 2 showing an "S" shaped sub-plate between the main frames. It carries the pivots for much of the strike and time trains. This would allow arbors of the same length as the No. 1 to be used on the No. 2. The wider main frame accommodates a significantly larger winding drum. I still don't have any dimensions for the No. 2 but at least we have distinguishing characteristic.
    Paul
     
  4. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    #4 pmiddents, Sep 19, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    Thanks to extensive discussions with Phil D'Avanza and Chuck Roeser, I have come to the conclusion that there were only two models of the Howard Round Top Special Striker: The No. 0 and the No. 1. I have no evidence that either were offered in a time only version. The space between the frames on the No. 0 is 12" and 15" on the No. 1. There is a variation of the No. 1 which has an "S" shaped subframe which carries the rear pivots for most of the time and strike trains. The frames on the No. 0 are separated by two threaded studs bolted in place by brass hex nuts. The frames on the No. 1 are separated by a single threaded stud bolted in place by a large cast nut. The frames of both models are essentially the same size: 47" wide by 41" high (excludes the separate "riser"). Thanks also to Doug Sinclair, Greg Vasale, Brian Tanguay for pictures and comments.

    A complete survey of the existing Howard records 1882-1905 shows that the No. 0 was most prevalent--80% of the known Round Top Specials. The earliest known example, a No. 1, (1884) survives in the Unitarian Meeting House Warwick, MA.
     
  5. bptanguay

    bptanguay Registered User

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    Glad to help with your research, if you know of any models you want checked out in the Mass, NH, or VT areas, let me know and I'll make a visit, take pics, and measurements.
     
  6. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    Thanks, Brian. I will forward you a list of all the round tops I found in the Howard records for those states. Just finding the survivors would be a good start.
     
  7. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    That's a pretty common clock. In addition to Warwick, they are in Athol, Amherst, Worcester, Holden, Holliston and Wellsley. And that's just a few. Also Southbridge, Brighton, Boston and probably many other places.
     
  8. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Also in Sturbridge, Brookfield, North Brookfield and Warren. I'll remember more later
     
  9. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Essex, Wayland,Auburn, Westboro and Leominster also come to mind.
     
  10. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Also Groton and Middleton and...
     
  11. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    Greg,
    Don't stop plumbing the depths of your memory. I need these references. You make my point that the round tops became Howard's bread and butter model. I will run each of your towns through the Howard records and get back to you.
    Paul
     
  12. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    Also Sterling and West Boylston, and...
     
  13. gvasale

    gvasale Registered User
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    South Barre, and...
     
  14. Ross Hochstrasser

    Ross Hochstrasser Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2014
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    There are examples of both in Hingham MA, the New North Meeting House has a number "0" serial number 2775 and the Congregational Church has a number"1" serial number 1115. We take care of several of the round top movements and all of them have serial numbers ending in 5. Is this just a coincidence??
     
  15. pmiddents

    pmiddents Registered User
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    Ross,
    Thanks for your reply. I discovered the North Meeting House clock from your excellent YouTube video showing the complete disassembly of a round top special model no. 0.
    I found this clock in Howard Customer List No. 1 order number 27/3645 which corresponds to a sale date in 1909. This is quite consistent with the serial number 2775.

    The much earlier clock serial no. 1115 (new to me) in the Congregational Church in Hingham is recorded only in the list created by Ward Francillon in 1974 from a ca 1900 catalog annotated in the Howard Boston factory. It is recorded as a #1 striker installed in 1877. This date is also consistent with the serial number. The first tower clock record book started in 1888. Howard didn't start referring to the round top as a Special Striker until after 1890.

    Round top serial numbers could end in any digit. That these two end in "5" is happenstance.

    I would appreciate hearing about any other Howard round tops you know of.

    Paul Middents
     
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