• Upcoming updates
    Over the next couple of weeks we will be performing software updates on the forum. These will be completed in small steps as we upgrade individual software addons. You might occasionally see a maintenance message that will last a few minutes at most.

    If we anticipate an update will take more than a few minutes, we'll put up a notice with estimated time.

    Thank you!

Joseph L Smith

itspcb

NAWCC Member
Aug 6, 2006
550
4
18
UK
Country
Region
This clock was photographed by my neighboor in a relation's house. He was intrigued by the wooden movement.

I can't find any mention of Smith in my books or the internet.

I note that 90 John St is still existance.

Can anyone shed any light on Smith and what age the clock would be?

Thanks,

Peter

uk
 

Attachments

zepernick

Deceased
Aug 8, 2004
2,602
20
0
Country
Region
Greetings Peter (and hope that the flooding has not touched you and yours in the UK!):

As a start, there's an entry in a standard reference, Spittler, Spittler and Bailey's (2000) _American Clockmakers & Watchmakers_. The complete entry (with original abbreviations):

SMITH, JOSEPH L. : New York, N.Y. Ca. 1841-1845. 75 Fulton St. in 1841. 90 John St. in 1845. Doubt as to whether he actually made clocks; possibly bought them in Conn. Pillar Shelf clock with label of Wm. S. Sperry, 75 Barclay St., N.Y.C., has name "J.L. Smith" stamped on front of movement. Also 30 hr. OG label printed by John Black, 75 Fulton St., N.Y.C., and reads "Improved Clocks - 90 John St., corner Gold." One label mentions "Clock Factory."

Trust this helps. Perhaps others who know more about these clocks will add, uh, more <g>.

Best regards
Zep
 

itspcb

NAWCC Member
Aug 6, 2006
550
4
18
UK
Country
Region
Thanks Zep

And for kind query re the extensive flooding in the UK, fortunately not affecting me, but the extent of it has shaken us all.

My initial thought was that Smith might have bought the clocks in but the label says 'made by....' Would this deception be challenged in those times?

If Smith only operated for 1 year out of NY it must be a fairly rare clock.
The limited response from the forum, I presume, indicates that he is not well known, and no other Smiths are amongst us..

Peter
UK
 

zepernick

Deceased
Aug 8, 2004
2,602
20
0
Country
Region
Greetings Peter --

Have just checked with a friend who knows (considerably!) more about these matters. He was careful to use phrases such as "It was often the case that..." and "we can sometimes see...." So there are these "ifs" and all.

It seems that quite a few of those who were in NYC were merchants. And it was not uncommon to have some buying in movements and putting them into their own cases. That might qualify as a "Made by...". Yet that another (brass?) movement was found stamped J.L. Smith does imply that they made movements -- at least of that type.

Recommendation is that you send some photos along to Snowden Taylor at the Research Activities and News section of the _Bulletin_ and see what all might be known. You might mention that you have seen the Spittler, Spittler and Bailey entry (above) but are curious if....etc.

Of course we're also now curious if....etc.

It is strange about all those Smiths not being 'round, isn't it? But then again, wasn't there some 19th century saying, "Go Wesson Young Man?"

Couldn't help it. Sorry.

Best regards,
Zep




 

itspcb

NAWCC Member
Aug 6, 2006
550
4
18
UK
Country
Region
Zep.
I have done what you have suggested and forwarded a query to Research.

I have only the two scans above and I'm in the UK and the clock is in the us of a!

I have a channel to the owner however,

Peter
UK
 

zepernick

Deceased
Aug 8, 2004
2,602
20
0
Country
Region
Good stuff, Peter.

Am curious what the answer will be. Now if the fellow in the US would just send the clock to me I'd be happy to care for it AND I'd provide us with all the scans we need :)

Best,
Zep
 

kacaproni

New User
Jan 17, 2012
1
0
0
I know this is a very old thread. I have a clock like this in rather broken up condition. It looks the same. It was passed down from my Grandfather born in 1880. His father may have had it but I am not sure of that.
 

Jim Burghart

NAWCC Member
Jan 27, 2004
133
13
18
Upstate NY
Country
Region
I to know this is an old thread, but I just came across a brass 30 movement with JL Smith NYC stamped on the front plate. Unfortunately it is just the movement, no case or dial. Would Smith been able to order movements with his name stamped on them? I have seen that over pasted labels are common, but haven't seen many movements.
 

Arthur Cagle

Registered User
May 22, 2003
553
64
28
Greater Baton Rouge Area, Louisiana
Country
Region
QUOTE:
I to know this is an old thread, but I just came across a brass 30 movement with JL Smith NYC stamped on the front plate. Unfortunately it is just the movement, no case or dial. Would Smith been able to order movements with his name stamped on them? I have seen that over pasted labels are common, but haven't seen many movements.


Well, Franz Kroeber had movements made with his name on them from a couple of well known clockmakers, so I don't see why Smith couldn't have.
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
179,916
Messages
1,569,499
Members
54,317
Latest member
Eclectic Oddities
Encyclopedia Pages
911
Total wiki contributions
3,090
Last edit
How To Open A Pocket Watch Case by Kent