John Wanamaker Carriage Clock

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Robert Ryan, Jul 12, 2019.

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  1. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Mar 16, 2019
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    Just arrived, this John Wanamaker Carriage Clock. It actually does run for a while...it is totally filthy. Now I need to get up the nerve to disassemble and clean. It also shows a hairline crack on the dial.

    I have had a couple of carriage clock failures....so hoping this will turn that around. I am guessing it is early 1900s. Any other information welcome.

    ~Bob IMG_3282.jpeg IMG_3278.jpeg IMG_3280.jpeg
     
  2. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    Bob,

    Your clock was made in France for the John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia. It was made sometime after 1909.

    I can not determine which French manufacturer made the clock.

    Regards.
     
  3. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Thanks. I'll attempt to keep my cleaning process updated.

    Of course the most intimidating aspect is removing and re-installing the escapement platform.

    ~B
     
  4. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Make sure to let down the mainspring before you remove the platform.

    Uhralt
     
  5. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Mar 16, 2019
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    Yes, thanks, definitely let down the main spring...what is the safest cleaner/solvent for cleaning that dirty platform escapement? I have Zep 505

    IMG_3282.jpeg
     
  6. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Jun 1, 2007
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    the platform has a cylinder escapement,different from the modern anchor.If You handle a cylinder the first time,read first so that You know what You´re doing.If broken they are hard to replace.Good luck with this nice clock!
    Burkhard
     
  7. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    So it's not just a question of removing the screws, lifting the platform out and when cleaned, re-installing with the screws, etc....:???:? Could you steer me to an article, etc as a reference? Thank you.

    ~B
     
  8. Burkhard Rasch

    Burkhard Rasch Registered User
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    Jun 1, 2007
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    servicing a platform correctly is more watch work than clock work , especially with a cylinder escapement. It needs to be taken appart,cleaned and oiled. I´d give it to a professional watchmaker to do the job.
    For reading look for a watchmaker´s book on escapements or search "cylinder escapement" on this forum.
    Burkhard
     
  9. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Mar 16, 2019
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    Understand....the operation, as you suggest, is clearly beyond my skillset. I will do my research.

    Even in its current condition, the clock has been running for several hours....we shall see.

    ~B
     
  10. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Your clock was made by Couaillet in Saint-Nicolas-d'Aliermont, one of the largest producers of French carriage clocks who also made semi-finished movements for others. It looks to be an Obis case which was the most modest, cheapest and most commonly seen style.
     
  11. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Thank you for this information....what were the clues? There is a small component number 79 on certain parts. I have disassembled and cleaned the movement ...except the platform, for obvious reasons....and it has been running fine for over 24 hours. Now cleaning the case. It is plain as you noted....but I get my brass addiction soothed nonetheless. I'll post pics when done.

    ~B
     
  12. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    If you remove the glass panels for polishing the case make notes which panel goes where and what is the upside. Often these panels fit only well in their original places.

    Uhralt
     
  13. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Excellent advice...you have correctly percieved my rookie status.

    ~Bob
     
  14. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    This clock was totally immersive....and thanks for the help and information. Seems to be keeping good time...curious to see how long it will run before the next wind.

    IMG_3288.jpeg IMG_3294.jpeg IMG_3295.jpeg IMG_3296.jpeg
     
  15. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    If the movement is in good condition it will run for at least 8 days, maybe 10.

    Uhralt
     
  16. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    I'll report back.....as I said I stayed away from the platform escapement.....but all seems fine at the moment. I have had two other carriage clock failures. One in particular ran fine but gained about a half hour or more in 12 hours. There was a missing tooth on the escape wheel...go figure.

    Escape Wheel.jpg
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Yes, this will speed up things considerably. You should also hear an uneven ticking.

    Uhralt
     
  18. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Yes, I didn't notice it at first....now I am sorting out what to do. And I am learning about the lack of interchangeable parts of carriage clocks....another rookie lesson. Not that an expensive education ...but an education in any event. Which is why I left this platform untouched.
     
  19. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    It looks a lot better, nice untarnished brass. The style of the winding arrow indicates the maker. The movement is also called an Obis, they have the dial fitted directly onto the front plate so the motion works are on the inside of the front plate. Unfortunately cylinder platforms are no longer made so hopefully you can find someone who can service it and sort out the missing tooth. If not you could look to find a spare cylinder or a replacement lever platform is an option but nice to keep it original.
     
  20. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    Thanks for your observations. I have purchased a couple of cylinder platforms off of eBay with mixed results....again learning about the lack of interchangeable parts.....but I may have some components if I can successfully replace the wheel with the broken tooth.....but that's down the road a bit. Enjoying the pleasure of the current working clock.
     
  21. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Thanks for sharing your clocks and experiences. Who was the maker on the one with the broken tooth?
     
  22. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    I do not know...here are some photos of the clock in question. I will attempt to repair it myself.....professional estimates far exceed its value. The case a glass are in fine shape.

    IMG_3297.jpeg IMG_3300.jpeg IMG_3299.jpeg
     
  23. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Robert,

    It's important with cylinder escapements that the dimensions of the escape wheel are an exact match with the cylinder; as well as the wheel being the correct diameter, the impulse plane of each tooth has to fit inside the cylinder and the cylinder has to fit in the gap between adjacent teeth, both with only just enough clearance.

    I have seen a tooth broken off this way, because the teeth are quite vulnerable to rough handling, being perched on those thin stalks; if the balance wheel is pulled out carelessly with a tooth still positioned inside it, this is the result.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  24. Robert Ryan

    Robert Ryan Registered User
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    I think most likely it will not work....otherwise the clock is in great shape.....so in my way of thinking ...it's worth a try. Our professionals in this part of the world are booking two years out.

    Thanks for the response.

    ~Bob
     

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