My second E. Howard “00” Street/Tower Clock Movement!

Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by Warren Brook, Aug 28, 2019.

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  1. Warren Brook

    Warren Brook Registered User
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    May 27, 2005
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    I’m very excited to share my latest acquisition, but first want to provide a little background history. Four years ago, I acquired an E. Howard “00” street/tower clock movement via a trade with a fellow Chapter 24 member. I installed the movement onto a stand I had fabricated and displayed it in my home as a piece of kinetic art. It quickly became one of the favorite clocks in my collection. That was until 18 months ago, when another Chapter 24 member made an offer I couldn’t refuse for the movement. He wanted to add it to his street clock movement collection. It didn’t take very long for me to begin missing my old “00” and dream of finding another one that I could afford.


    Fast forward to a Wednesday evening three weeks ago. I was online looking at clock listings for an Atlanta auction scheduled for that weekend. Suddenly one of those “You Might Be Interested in This” pop-up ad appeared with the title “Rube Goldberg Style Mechanical Clock” and a very small thumbnail photo of what looked like a bar stool. I originally thought it was going to be some kind of steampunk clock parts, but took the bait anyway and clicked onto the thumbnail. I was shocked to find better photos that displayed an E. Howard “00” with pilot dial mounted onto a heavy cast iron stand, one Howard large dial motion works, Howard pendulum rod assembly and bob, a crank, three Howard pulleys, three hooks, a four foot long connecting rod, and what appears to be its original wooden shipping crate that was used as a weight when filled with sand!!! This clock was one lot of about 1,000 lots in a two day auction of mid century modern furniture and decorative items. There was only one other clock in this auction, an Atmos. Nowhere in the listing “Rube Goldberg Style Mechanical Clock” were the words E. Howard, Street Clock, Tower Clock, or Antique mentioned! So no clock collector doing a specific search for those words could have found this listing. And no antique clock collector would be interested in a furniture and décor auction, or so I hoped. More good news, the auction for this listing was going to be the very next afternoon!


    I registered for the auction and left a maximum bid that was significantly higher than the $200 already bid, or the $300-$400 auction house estimate. On Thursday afternoon when the lot came up, I was the still high bidder at $225. Another online bidder put in their maximum bid of $950, which triggered my automatic counter bid of $1,000 and then there was no response until the gavel fell. Even with a 25% buyer’s commission and shipping charges, I paid far below my maximum bid and was ecstatic to have another “00”.


    The Auction House recommended a blanket pad shipper who picked up my lot in Philly on Friday afternoon and delivered it to my house in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon!! He was already picking up items from this auction and driving through Atlanta to deliver those items and gave me a more than fair shipping price.


    When I received the movement and parts, they were extremely grimy and nasty. All the old lubrication had hardened to a concrete like consistency. I disassembled everything and cleaned them with Goop and 0000 steel wool. Then I put all the parts into an ultrasonic clock cleanser bath, then reassembled and oiled it, and now have it working in my basement shop with only a 16 pound weight.


    The clock is in overall great shape, with the exception of a chewed up (but usable) escape wheel and two worn out winding arbor bushings which a local machinist is reproducing for me. Also, the two motion works gears for the pilot dial are missing. Please let me know if you know of a source where I might be able to find these or have them reproduced.


    Unfortunately, this movement is not serialized (except for a “5” stamped into the top spreader plate), so identifying its original owner or installation site will be almost impossible. The auction house contacted the previous owner on my behalf and he related that “he bought it from a basement in the Hamptons on Long Island.” Based on what I have, the installation would have had a single outside dial about 4’ in diameter, with the movement installed about 4 feet directly behind the dial. The movement would have been powered by a single compounded weight that consisted of a wooden crate filled with sand, suspended from above by three pulleys hanging on 3 hooks (see diagram that was found in clock crate).


    Enjoy the attached photos and let me know if you have any ideas of where I can source the pilot dial motion works gears or further search for the location of the original installation.

    Warren Brook
    NAWCC #159000
    Chapter 24 Past Director

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  2. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    Congratulations! A good buy too!
     
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  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Here are two 00's I did up for purposes of display a couple of years ago. The one with the cabriolet legs only runs about 3 days on an 80 pound compounded weight. The taller version on the rectangular tube frame runs just a bit over 7 days, also weight of 80 pounds running compounded.

    P5150003c (2).jpg 20160628_145807 (2).jpg P5140044 (2).JPG P5140042.JPG 20160628_145814.jpg
     
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  4. Warren Brook

    Warren Brook Registered User
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    Nice work Jim. Did you display one of these at the Louisville National?
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    No, I did not display at the Louisville National. I think the fellow I sold it to had it there.
     

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