Known PERIOD Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by George Nelson, Apr 15, 2017.

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  1. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    #1 George Nelson, Apr 15, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
    Hi, All,

    A request for help from all of you woodworks experts out there, please. Recently, Jim DuBois and I were discussing original winding cranks, and it made me curious as to the different ORIGINAL varieties out there. I'm quite interested in amassing a photographic collection of known original (or, in other words, PERIOD) woodworks cranks. Once complete, I plan on posting here for all to reference.

    It is my hope to make it easy for everyone to identify a true, period crank from an old reproduction or mass-produced replacement. While I believe it will be impossible to truly guarantee that one particular crank style is original to any one wood works clock, unless we get several identical cranks, all from, for example, Riley Whiting or Eli Terry clocks, I still believe this image collection might be useful and interesting!

    I strongly suspect that the different makers bought their cranks from whomever they could get them the most inexpensively from, so consistency might not be evident. But, if we get a large enough database, further research might be able to identify a specific supplier.

    Anyway, I'm thinking that this would be a fun and helpful project. So, clock collecting friends, please consider posting pictures within this thread of your original, period winding cranks. Along with your good, close-up picture on a white background, please provide the following information:

    Clock maker's name/style of clock?
    Eight Day or 30 Hour wood movement?
    Any pertinent facts as to why you believe it is original?

    Once we get a good number of pictures, I'll condense and format the information into an easy-to-read presentation for all to reference. Please understand that by providing a picture, you are also giving me permission to use your picture, strictly for non-commercial use within the N.A.W.C.C environment.

    I've attached a picture to get us started:

    Clock Maker's name: Eli Terry & Sons
    30 Hour Wood Movement
    Pertinent Facts: Claimed to be one family owned clock throughout lifetime before my acquisition. Clock is seemingly all original: weights, glass, pendulum bob, etc.

    The more pictures we get, the more useful this project may turn out to be.

    Thanks in advance for everyone's help. I sincerely hope we get a multitude of pictures. Let the photography begin! :excited:
    [​IMG]

    Warmest regards,

    George Nelson
     
  2. phinegan

    phinegan Registered User

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Seth Thomas 30-hour wood movement Pillar and Scroll.
    Supposedly the clock was in my mother's family dating from the 19th century.
    I frankly have no idea if it's the original winder, maybe other forums members could confirm or debunk.

    Regards -

    Dan


    [​IMG]
     
  3. George Nelson

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    #3 George Nelson, Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Dan,

    Many, many thanks for posting your picture!

    It is my belief that your crank is a more modern reproduction. This is due to a couple of features: The end of the barrel of the crank (the end where the handle is mounted into the barrel) is rounded or somewhat cone shaped, a feature typical of modern, reproduction cranks. Secondly, the overall piece is a bit too "sharp" to be original, and lacks the wear, ornamentation and tarnish one would expect to see in an original crank.

    This is one reason I'm trying to establish some sort of "picture dictionary", so as to help everyone be able to access a useful reference of early, original winding cranks. We are off to a bit of a slow start as you are the first contributor, but hopefully others like you will eventually contribute as well. At least now we have two pictures- one hopefully original, and one of an older reproduction. Both useful, in my opinion.

    I'm quite grateful that you took the time to be the first to bravely contribute to my project. Your help is VERY much appreciated! Your picture is perfect- just like what I asked for! And remember, the lack of an original winding key does not affect the fact that your clock is quite collectible! In fact, if you would be so kind as to start another thread within this category (Wood Movement Clocks) picturing your early 19th century clock, I and others would love to see your entire clock and its movement!


    As always, opinions, both in disagreement or agreement and any and all comments welcome! This is how we all learn!

    With sincerest gratitude,

    George Nelson

    PS: Dan, just found the link to your previous posting: http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?70714-Terry-type-Pillar-and-Scroll-help-with-ID&p=529993#post529993 George
     
  4. Sooth

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    I have very few old original crank keys, but the ones I do have are unquestionably old. I will see if I can photograph them in the next few days (maybe over the weekend).
     
  5. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks so much, Sooth!!! I was beginning to think this thread had gone the way of the DoDo Bird... Your help and expertise is ALWAYS appreciated!

    George
     
  6. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    I have two keys that are potentially wooden works cranks. I have two other keys that are slightly different (one may be a banjo or vienna key, and the other is cast and I can't be sure if it was meant for a clock or not). I'll photograph the 4 and you can decide what's what.
     
  7. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks, Sooth. I posted under the wooden works category, but am interested in ANY original crank-type keys! You're the best!

    George
     
  8. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Any crank keys? Including grandfather and comtoise ones?
     
  9. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Sure! As long as they are identified, and old crank is fine!

    Thanks,

    George
     
  10. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    George, I think it's fairly impossible to ID any old crank to a particular clock or clockmaker. Keys get lost all the time, swapped, and old keys get paired with clocks they don't belong to. I have bought a number of clocks over the years with keys that I'm 99% sure are original to their clocks, but they tend to be Art Deco or other mass produced clocks, or clocks where there is a door clip that holds the key, a logo or stamp, etc. With clocks from the 1820s-1840s it's really going to be a guessing game.

    That said, the only 2 crank keys that I have paired with a period clock are one that is with a Daniel Pratt wooden works with triangular columns (seen here: http://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2013/12/daniel-pratt-jr-clock-restoration-part_4238.html). That particular key would be the second one in the first photo, with 3 rings, then 1 ring, then 2 rings near the tip. I can't even remember if this crank key came with the clock or if it was me who had an old crank that fit perfectly for it (from my spares). The second crank key that I believe might be original to one of my clocks is the large Comtoise key, which came with my Radet Père à Luzy Comtoise clock (which you can see here: http://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2015/03/comtoise-clock-restoration-part-3.html)

    These are the 5 old cranks that I have. The crank in the third photo may not be terribly old. It seems to be made from cast iron or cast steel. It has a fairly small winding hole, and it's a bit smaller than the other cranks. The largest one (photo 9 and 10) has a flared end. I'm not sure if it was meant for a banjo clock or for a Vienna, but it seems to be of a similar vintage as the other crank keys.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I will have to add the comtoise key photos separately as there is a 10 photo limit, apparently.
     
  11. Sooth

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    I don't understand this message board sometimes. It seems to have added the two extra photos, but not with the text, and now I can't add them in a separate comment because it wants to merge them with the previous post I just made. Why is it being so temperamental? I don't want to merge the posts. Do I need to wait ten minutes or something? Or do I have to wait for a different comment? Very annoying. This is why I normally post my own photos with links "off site". It avoids this problem completely.
     
  12. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Hi, Sooth! Your pictures are indeed most helpful! We are now off to a very good start in amassing a "picture data base " of good, original winding cranks- just what I was after! Thanks so much for being so very helpful.

    As to the posting problem, I'm not sure. I do know that the powers that be are working on a total revision of the message boards- perhaps this is a new development in testing phase, to prevent duplicate postings and thus save storage space. Not sure. I'd wait 24 hours and try again, if you have the time. Posting pictures off the boards on another site sometimes causes trouble as well. In keeping the pictures hosted on this board, everything will be saved in perpetuity and on a single site. So many pictures have been lost over the years as various hosting sites have gone out of business.

    Thanks so very much for your help!:clap:

    My very best,

    George Nelson
     
  13. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Let's try this again.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. PatH

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Sooth, I have experienced the same issue with posting pictures. I have been submitting the reply and immediately editing to delete the large images. The thumbnails remain and will still enlarge as they always have. Hope this helps.
     
  15. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Hi, All,

    Here is my simple solution to the large picture problem- it might be the same as Pat's but I'm not sure. After composing my text and uploading pictures, I simply hit the "Go Advanced" button and delete the large pictures from within the text on the edit screen. Once hitting "Submit" after doing so, the thumbnails remain and the huge pictures are gone. Worked for me every time. Simple and effective. BTW, I have a Windows 10 system, if that makes any difference. Don't know how Apple or tablet users would fare...

    Best to all,

    George
     
  16. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks for these pictures as well, Sooth. Now we're really making progress!
    George
     
  17. PatH

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    I'm working from a Mac laptop and will try the Advanced solution next time. Thanks!
     
  18. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    You are most welcome, Pat. Hope it works!

    George
     
  19. FDelGreco

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    I have some original tower clock winding cranks. Are those suitable for this thread?

    Frank
     
  20. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Hi, Frank

    Absolutely! The more information we can present, the better. I'm guessing that VERY few people have ever seen a tower clock winding crank, me included. Looking forward to the pictures.

    Gratefully,

    George
     
  21. Dave T

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Can't tell you what this was for originally, but I use it for my Comtoise.
     
  22. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks, Dave! A truly old crank for sure! Soon, we'll have enough pictures of good, old cranks to have a good reference. Your contribution is very much appreciated. By the way, is the crank brass, steel or something else?

    Gratefully yours,

    George
     
  23. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Just an update. It's POSSIBLE that the Daniel Pratt key is indeed original to the clock. I browsed through old photos, and the key did come with the clock. See attached photos.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  24. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    It well could have, Sooth. the key certainly appears to be the proper vintage. Thanks for the update! Interesting clock, by the way, especially the columns. Have you restored it yet?

    George
     
  25. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    #25 rmarkowitz1_cee4a1, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Speaking of clock winding cranks (not of keys for clocks or watches for the moment).

    Most of the "cranks" so far posted were used to wind many different types of weight driven clocks ranging from the humble ogee to ww to banjos and mirror clocks.

    These clocks are rather peripatetic. Typically over the years they have passed through the hands of multiple caretakers by means of various venues of acquisition (private sales, estate sales, auctions, shops, Marts, etc).

    These cranks are quite common and ubiquitous. Obviously they were made in great numbers.

    Given all this, I believe it is unlikely that a small common easily replaceable thing like a crank would follow the majority of these wandering clocks. I think in the absence of ironclad information, the claim of an original key or crank for most of these clocks is generally unsupportable.

    Furthermore, with these types of clocks, it doesn't make much difference. I feel the same is true of most pendulum bobs. It's nice when either or both are a nice "period" or correct one, but unlike with some other categories of clocks, it probably doesn't make much difference here.

    I also wonder if when the mass produced clocks like ww were originally purchased, can we even say for sure that a crank was provided at that time? If so, was it from a supply of generic cranks that happened to fit that clock and not specific to it? So in that context, what does "original" mean?

    Yes, I have seen some wonderful cranks that were reportedly with a particular clock for as long as anyone can remember. Sometimes these were works of art in themselves with beautiful handles of wood or bone (can't say ivory) and where the metal parts were shaped or decorated. I would also suppose that the winding crank that accompanies a tower clock would have a greater likelihood of being original. But, unlike the peripatetic mass produced clocks like ww, the tower clocks have pretty much been in 1 place for most of their existence so they probably have a better chance of retaining their cranks.

    Just the thoughts of an old crank.

    RM
     
  26. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Dear Old Crank,

    Your thoughts and information are much appreciated! By using the term "original", I really intended "period", and should have used that word instead. I know that it is completely impossible (in almost every case) to guarantee that a particular crank goes with a particular clock, unless actually branded in some way. I'll ask a moderator to change the title of the thread to: "Known Period Woodworks..." to clarify my request.

    By the way, I started the thread because I had TWO sellers at different times tell me that their obviously newly produced cranks were original to their 1820s era clocks. One seller claimed the key was an extra, packed away for almost 200 years. The second seller claimed he was an "accomplished metal worker", and had refinished the crank to be as new. Both had the size number stamped on them, and the one from the "accomplished metal worker" also had "India" stamped on the barrel. Sheesh!

    Anyway, I'll PM a moderator to see if the title change can be made to avoid further comfusion.

    Thanks, as always, RM, for your insightful and knowledgeable thoughts! I really have a hard time thinking of you as an "old crank"! :chuckling:

    Warmest regards,

    George
     
  27. novicetimekeeper

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Given the rather wide ranging remit now given to this thread perhaps I could play?

    Most of my clocks are not wound with keys or cranks as they use the Huygens system, however here are cranks for three that do.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  28. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Hi, Nick,

    Thanks for "playing"! Those are attractive cranks, and with obvious age to them. Thanks for taking the time to photograph them for us. Are they from longcase clocks?

    Also, forgive my ignorance, as my collecting activities are mostly limited to clocks of American manufacture. Can you tell me please what a Huygens system is? I'm guessing we would call it an "endless chain" over on this side of the pond. Anywhere near correct?

    Thanks,

    George
     
  29. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks.

    No need to change the name of the thread.

    A good example of the BS that some sellers will use to try to make a sale!

    People may not like what I have to say, but I will never yank their crank.

    RM
     
  30. novicetimekeeper

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Yes,to both,endless drive system not limited to chain. Some of mine are rope. The cranks are for longcase, currently used on clocks from 1705-1730 but they aren't that old.
     
  31. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    RM,

    I LOVE your sense of humor! :chuckling:

    George
     
  32. Sooth

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    George, it seems you missed the link I posted to the restored Daniel Pratt wooden works. Yes it's nice and unusual, but it is hardly unique. I have seen the same "cost effective" triangular columns on several clocks, sometimes in Bird's eye as well. One of the other makers to use this style was David Dutton. I'm sure there's a third but the name escapes me at the moment.

    Daniel Pratt Before/During/After:
    http://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2013/12/daniel-pratt-jr-clock-restoration-part_31.html
    http://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2013/12/daniel-pratt-jr-clock-restoration-part_6675.html
    http://jcclocks.blogspot.ca/2013/12/daniel-pratt-jr-clock-restoration-part_4238.html

    [​IMG]
     
  33. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks, Sooth. I did indeed somehow miss that post. Great clock! Thanks, too, for the near step-by-step pictorial of your restoration process. Outstanding!

    George
     
  34. FDelGreco

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Here are original tower clock cranks:

    Top one is from a small Scottish tower clock by Ross & Son of Glasgow, 1894. The square hole in the crank was made the traditional way: a small hole drilled in each corner, followed by a large hole in the center; then the excess was filed out. You can still see the remnants of the curves of the small and large holes on the flats. Length of flats: 0.45”.

    The second crank is German from a “#12” quarter-striking tower clock by C. F. Rochlitz of Berlin, late 1800s. Original paint. Flats are 0.425”.

    The third crank is from an English time-only tower clock by J. Smith & Sons, Clerkenwell, ca. 1880s. Flats are 0.495”.

    The bottom crank is from a time-only flatbed English tower clock, ca. 1880s. Maker unknown. Flats are 0.55”. Note that it has lost its original wood handle.

    Frank
     
  35. Dave T

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Thanks George, I'd say it's steel, definitely not brass. The picture appears more blue than it actually is. A friend of mine has a whole box of old cranks. I just picked out the one that best suited this clock.
     
  36. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Frank,

    Perfect! Thanks so much! Those cranks really have some age, and I appreciate the "mini training course" on how they were made. a superior addition to this thread, and much appreciated.

    George

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi, Dave,

    Thanks for the additional info- much appreciated. Slowly, this thread is getting somewhere!

    George
     
  37. Jim DuBois

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Here is a likely to be period and most likely original to this mirror clock.....of course the question becomes which one of the two cranks is the original or period, if either is? And both appear to be quite old. I would suspect the crank with the turned handle to be correct and the wire handled crank to be a bit later. Why? We have seen a number of the wire handled cranks like the one in the photo, but the turned handle crank seems to be more like one might see in a period mirror clock. Educated guess? Nah, just a plain old guess....
     
  38. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Hi, Jim,

    Thanks for your contribution- I was beginning to think that this thread had died and gone to heaven. All parts are quite interesting, and the cranks definitely appear to be period. And Jim, your guesses are most certainly educated. A man with your experience cannot simply make a "plain old guess' in my book!

    Thanks again,

    George
     
  39. Jim DuBois

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Here are 4 older cranks. The bottom crank is most likely the oldest and may be period, as could be the 2nd one from the bottom. The other two have age, but they are much like those available for the last 75 years or so also.....
     
  40. George Nelson

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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Hi, Jim

    Thanks for the most helpful post! It is most advantageous to be able to compare 'old' cranks with truly period cranks. This has been very, very helpful.

    As a brief aside here, some have written to me about the use of steel or iron in the handles of the cranks, rather than them being all brass. I believe that brass would normally be far too soft to use in the handles, especially in the case of winding 8 day clocks. So, the use of different metals in the cranks is not an indicator of a late model or reproduction crank at all. As we can see in Jim's postings, alternate metal handles are the norm, and have been employed since 'birth'.

    Best to all,

    George
     
  41. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    all of mine have iron cranks with brass spigots to fit over the winding arbours riveted to the crank arm, and turned wooden swivel knobs to hold and turn.

    I'm guessing they are 200+ years old, but I don't know what a 17th century crank would look like, does anybody have an early one?
     
  42. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    Novicetimekeeper,

    Your cranks, (pictured on page two of this thread) are so attractive and a really good indicator of their time. It almost makes me want to collect several of examples like yours just to have! To me, they are almost stately in appearance.

    It would indeed be very nice to see an image or two of 17th century cranks. I'm guessing they will be a bit on the ornate side and quite impressive. Bring'em on!!!

    Best to everyone,

    George
     
  43. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    here is an example of an early style crank. It is in an early (1817-1820) wood works clock currently. May be the same period as the clock. No other photos available of the crank right now.
     
  44. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Re: Known ORIGINAL Woodworks Clocks Winding Cranks

    And here is another, from steamer471's new old banjo clock
     
  45. dlb1052

    dlb1052 Registered User
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    Over the weekend a new-to-me clock, followed me home, like I needed another clock! It was found at an estate sale of a 96 year old lady who received the clock from her father-in-law. It appears to be quite original and untouched. It has no broken teeth, no bushing wear, in nice condition but dirty. The reverse painted tablet maybe a replacement but is also very old. It is an Elisha Hotchkiss half column and splat. This is my first Hotchkiss clock and the winding crank is different from all my other "original" cranks. Therefore, with the time it has remained in the same family and clock condition I think it could possibly be "original".[​IMG]
     
  46. George Nelson

    George Nelson Registered User
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    dlb1052,

    Thanks for posting! Yours is an interesting crank indeed, and one I have never seen before. I sincerely appreciate that you shared it with us!

    Soon, we will have enough pictures and information to post a good summary. If anyone else has a picture or two to share for this thread, not is the time! :excited:

    Best to all,

    George
     
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