Love The New Section

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by BLACK FOREST CLOCKS, Mar 30, 2011.

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  1. BLACK FOREST CLOCKS

    BLACK FOREST CLOCKS Registered User

    Dec 4, 2004
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    What a great idea for this dedicated section for wood movement clocks!

    Other than American clocks, I suspect there will also be some interesting Black Forest related posts pass through this section as well.

    I thought I would take the opportunity to upload a few additional photos of a wood-wheel cuckoo clock here to get things going in that direction. :)

    The clock was shared previously, a few months back in another section...
    but these new photos show the movement with the shield removed. The back of the movement also removed giving a good view of the count wheel.

    The only gear in the movement which is brass is the escape wheel, the escapement is located above the top plate of the movement.

    This is a representation of a first generation BF cuckoo clock, known as a wood wheel paper shield cuckoo.
     

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  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Nice movement, Justin. Do you have a rough idea of the date this was made? Does it predate American wood movements?
     
  3. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Thanks. There was some thought that we should limit this to American wood movement clocks, but the German clock industry was also heavily involved with wood, and so we thought it should be included. Your post depicts a good example of why- what a great clock.

    The German and American clock markets were closely intertwined, with thousands of Black Forest movements being imported and installed in beautiful cases in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, and that too is an important part of the story. Such clocks are still not entirely appreciated. Just in the past two years or so I have contacted three sellers on our favorite internet auction site, who were parting out spectacular Pennsylvania tall case clocks, as they assumed the German movements weren't correct. In two cases I was able to talk the owners into keeping the clocks together, while in the third case I was told where to go and to please mind my own business. Perhaps this wood movement forum will prevent a clock or two from being dismembered.
     
  4. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Peter, note the paper on wood dial on Justin's clock. This was the one I had in mind when I replied to your recent thread on the Morse ogee.

    Just to expand a bit, also some PA shelf clocks and P&S's with either imported BF movements or, I suspect, movements made in that style as that is what the maker knew?

    Anyhow, hope some worthwhile stuff will surface here.

    RM
     
  5. BLACK FOREST CLOCKS

    BLACK FOREST CLOCKS Registered User

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    Harold,

    This Cuckoo dates C. 1780. I am not sure where this would fall in relation to the American made wood wheel movements...some one else I am sure will know what was being done during that period in America.

    The cuckoo complication in a movement this early is what makes this one so special. Today the cuckoo clock and the Black Forest clock go very much hand in hand... but this defiantly was not the case in the 18th century.

    Peter,

    Glad the decision was made to include the BF clocks. Its nice to see a dedicated section for these wood plate/wheel movements. Your comment about the tall case clocks is absolutely correct. Knowledge is power...and as you said hopefully this form can create a better awareness. Such a shame to hear good clocks being parted out because of ignorance.

    I have a tall case clock here that fits the BF/American model you mentioned (and since it has a wood plate movement I will upload it in the next few days). The movement is a lovely BF organ clock... with automated musicians and dancers. It plays 8 tunes on 44 (or 42 I forget) pipes. The tunes are all American, Yankee Doodle...written Yankees doodles on the tune sheet ;),Washington's March and others.

    We can tell the organ was imported into Philadelphia new, and cased here on arrival. The case back of the shield and clock movement all bear the Philadelphia retailers label.

    The case is magnificent, island mahogany, with gold twisted columns and finials.

    A Black Forest clock made specifically to be imported and cased in America.
     
  6. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    American wood tall case movements were being produced by around 1750, maybe even earlier, but these very early examples are quite rare. I have a couple of these very early movements, and they are quite crude, appearing to have been made with axes and sharpened rocks (well, not that crude...) By 1780, quite a few were being produced, but they were still more or less made one at a time, or in very small batches, with no real effort made to have interchangeable parts. Tall case clocks and movements from that era are scarce too, but do show up from time to time.
     
  7. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    According to a reliable source (Philip Morris), there is an unsubstantiated record of a wood movement tall case clock made by Ebenezer Parmalee as early as 1712. Parmalee, born in 1690, was a clockmaker of Guilford, Connecticut.

    By 1742, Benjamin Cheney was producing wood tall case clocks in some numbers, and by 1750 the industry was well established, although it remained a low-production enterprise for many years.
     
  8. gilbert

    gilbert Registered User
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    Amazing what one can find with a little information. A google search on Ebenezer reveals (among other things) his steeple clock (1726 or 1730) that can be seen at the Henry Whitfield museum in Guildford, the first wooden works tower clock built in the colonies (according to what is written).
     
  9. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Yes, I've been to the Whitfield House, in Guilford. The Parmelee family produced quite a body of work, and not just in the clock realm.
     

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