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My First Tower Clock

Jeff Stotlar

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May 9, 2012
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I have purchased my first tower clock project. Looks like a Seth Thomas #6, but it has been reworked by Fred Philippe of St. Louis. I have traced the clock to St, Boniface Parish in St. Louis. Chuck Roeser has been a great help and he is going to assist me in the restoration.

Here is a link to the clock:

http://philippetowerclock.blogspot.com/

Jeff
 

gvasale

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Mar 30, 2005
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Good for you. The only issue a quick peek shows is the escape wheel. It would likely still run provided there are no bent teeth.

Have fun.
 

eskmill

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A real treasure with provenance. The "nipping" of the escape wheel teeth must have been a frightening experience for the attendant who was likely poorly instructed on setting the hands ahead.

It is a common practice to loosen the verge on its arbor and while holding the escape wheel arbor, slide the verge out of engagement with the escape wheel. This allows the weight to "fast-forward" the clock while controlling the rate by allowing the escape wheel arbor to spin according to the "firmness" of one's grip on the shaft. Never let go !

The pattern of the frame castings and the manner of the arbor bushings is so much like the Seth Thomas clocks made by Hotchkiss that my first glance at your photos I browsed for the nameplate. I understand that Seth Thomas discontinued the nameplates about 1890.

Excellent blog photos....wish for more pictures of your treasure.
 

gvasale

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Seth Thomas did not discontinue nameplates. They were pretty much a standard feature. I do know of one where the nameplate was omitted and a "dedication" placque was installed in its place. Also produced without a serial number. This fact was provided by the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol CT.

Overall, virtually all ST tower clocks were produced patterened after Hotchkiss.

Early ST Hotchkiss clocks were likely to have a pinwheel escapement from what I've seen and a differently styled crutch.

But who cares... A tower clock in the livingroom is always a plus....


I do some work on a clock produced in the 1940s and the label is there.
 

Jeff Stotlar

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May 9, 2012
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Although we will never know exactly what happened to the clock, Chuck feels Mr. Philippe took a Seth Thomas #6 and made it his own. He made have made the stand also.
 

Chris Petersen

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Mar 24, 2012
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The church was turned into a theater a few years back. I eat breakfast across from that old church once a week. In fact the parish my children attend school at, took over St. Boniface when it was closed.
 

Jeff Stotlar

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May 9, 2012
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A lot of people have looked at my clock and told me it is a Seth Thomas #6 with the wrong stand. This sounded reasonable because I have been told that back in the day it was not uncommon for people to re brand Seth Thomas clocks so they could get the maintenance contract. As good fortune would have it a friend of mine had a stand for a Seth Thomas #6. I picked up the stand and brought it home and low and behold, my clock is smaller than a Seth Thomas #6. Not by a lot, but the bolt holes do not line up. I like the stand so I will use it, but this means the clock was actually made by Fred Philippe and not Seth Thomas. Any thoughts?

www.philippetowerclock.blogspot.com
 

gvasale

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Mar 30, 2005
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A lot of visual clues still say Seth Thomas. One is the spoking of the gears where the spokes can bee seen, the chops on the pendulum spring & the mount for the spring itself, & the pilot dial. The frame & base, & the pendulum stick, weight & even the safety stops as I might describe them (loops throught which the taper pin attaches to the suspension spring) all appear to be SethThomas. Those are just a few.

When I was trying to determine the origin of another clock I found the name Blodget(?), who was apparently a sales agent.
 
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