Murday Murday Reason Balance Wheel Clock Information

HatfieldChris

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Mar 18, 2011
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We have recently obtained a clock made by the Reason Manufacturing Company, Brighton, UK and patented by them and Thomas john Murday (UK patent 1326 in 1910). The patent can be downloaded by visiting the old patents page of the British library site and following the instructions given there.
We are trying to obtain more information about these clocks. For example, were there any user instuctions provided to cover topics like battery life and replacement? What should the resistance through the coil windings be? What kind of battery was used when they were made in 1912-ish? Ours has thick brown paper stuck to the back of the dial, and I have seen one other that looks similar. Was this the norm?
I wonder if there are other Murday Balance wheel clock owners in NAWCC and, if so, whether knowledge can be pooled.
 

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John Hubby

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Chris, welcome to the NAWCC Message Board! I see you have been registered for some time but these are your first posts so it befits a welcome.

I own an original one of these as well as a model that was made back in the 1980's. I've also serviced two others and have photos and information for another three. Yours will be the seventh Murday in my data.

I've not seen and don't know of any user instructions for the Murday. It is possible that some sort of pamphlet was provided with each clock when new, but up to now none have surfaced that I am aware of. Perhaps some other user reading this may know of a source.

The coils on my clock measure exactly 20 ohms total resistance. I use two "D" cells in series for 3 volts and the clock runs well with that. 1-1/2 volts gives a relatively weak impulse so the balance rotation was correspondingly low. I've not seen any of these with an "original" battery. Unlike the Eureka clocks of the same period, the cavity under the base isn't large enough to accommodate a 1-1/2 volt flag cell let alone two of them to obtain 3 volts. My guess is they used a battery made up of two square cross-section 1-1/2 volt cells wired in series and placed side by side into a single cardboard container having negative and positive screw-on terminals.

I have no idea how many of the dials I've seen were original. Here is a listing of the six I have documented:

1) Two clocks (including mine) have a clear glass "donut" forming a chapter ring dial with Arabic numbers and minute markers stenciled in black on the back side and then overpainted with a white lacquer. There are inner and outer brass rims, formed so that each one "clasps" the glass basically like circular tubes having slots to fit over the glass.

2) One clock has the same glass ring and brass inner and outer rims as the two already mentioned, but the Arabic numbers are printed on thin white card stock and evidently laminated to the glass at the back.

3) One clock has the same glass ring but with no brass inner and outer rims. The Roman numbers with a minute ring are printed on thin white (faded slightly brown) card stock and evidently laminated to the glass at the back.

4) One clock has a clear glass ring with polished inner and outer edges (no brass rims), with Roman numbers and minute markers etched into the back of the glass.

5) One clock has a silvered metal ring dial with Roman numbers engraved into the front and filled with black wax or lacquer. No brass rims were present on this one.

Your clock looks to have the same dial configuration as item 3 in the list, and you mention you have seen one other like yours. I think that the clocks with dials like items 1, 2, and 3 are likely original, but I have doubts that the clocks described in 4) and 5) are original.

I'm sure there are others in NAWCC who own a Murday, actually the two I have restored for others belong to NAWCC members. Hopefully some of those will see this thread and let us see what they have as well as to comment on what they think may be "original equipment" for the dials.
 

John Hubby

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Has anyone managed to get these clocks to run without them gaining about 15 minutes a day?
Chris, what voltage are you using for your clock? My clock isn't what I would call a great timekeeper, but it regulates to within a few minutes per week using 3 volts. Higher voltage could cause excessive balance rotation which in turn might cause the clock to run fast.
 

HatfieldChris

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Mar 18, 2011
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Thanks for the reply.  We've tried 3 volts, but it keeps stopping, so are using 4.5 volts, which its previous owner used.  Were they designed to run on 3 volt dry cells?  We have now noticed that the outer coils of the spring looks as though they are touching, so think the next step is to take the spring out to have a look at it.
Chris
 

HatfieldChris

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Mar 18, 2011
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Thanks - we have to decide what to do about the dial as some of the numerals are damaged. If the brown paper is original it could be a badly applied transfer perhaps. I have been collecting pictures where I could find them, but most are rather small and not detailed enough to be of much help. I have seen the other Murday threads on this site, and there are very useful images there.
I note that there is a comment in one of the threads to the effect that the hip toggle arrangement should be insulated from the spring contact. As far as we can see ours is not. It also might be missing a spacer and nut, but we are not certain of that.
The switching does not work at all with ours if we use a 3volt supply.
Chris
 
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HatfieldChris

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Mar 18, 2011
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That is an useful list of dial types. I've seen them in photographs on the Web, but having only seen one in the 'flesh' had no idea which might be original. The 1910 patent drawing shows a transparent dial.

This is the clock that has a dial that looks very much like ours:
http://www.clockdoc.org/?moid=22146
Ours has thick brown paper stuck on the back of it. The paper is very coarse with a lot of bits of wood visible in it. We don't know what colour the front of the paper is supposed to be.

We'll measure the resistance in our coils, probably after Christmas now, as there is now more to do than time to do it in!

Thank you for the welcome, John. Sorry did not say that before - I am afraid I was in a bit too much of a hurry as I had to go out.
Chris
 
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HatfieldChris

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Mar 18, 2011
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I've just found a picture of the Murday Clock at the Science Museum in London on this site: http://zegarkiclub.pl/forum/topic/90577-british-muzeum/
The people talking about it seem to find it difficult to tell the difference between a Eureka clock and a Murday Reason clock, but there is a useful picture there. I note that the contact spring is shaped, as shown in the patent. Ours is basically straight, although a bit kinked at the left hand side, so goodness knows what it looked like when it was new.
 
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