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American Ansonia Mystery electrified Ansonia movement - info requested

Stainless

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Dec 2, 2022
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Hello

I have recently started to refurbish old clocks as a retirement hobby, starting with old junk mechanisms to gain some experience then gradually moving on to better quality movements.

I recently purchased an old Ansonia movement in a junk sale because it had an unusual feature. The mechanism was just attached to the back and top of what I assume had once been a wall clock but this was entirely riddled with worm and so was discarded immediately.

The thing that attracted my attention was a wooden bar mounted in front of the mechanism that had some thick copper wires attached to an insulated switch mechanism which was apparently activated by a lug fitted to the hour spindle of the clock. The two free ends of the wires were attached to two terminals on the top of the clock.

I am convinced that this mechanism was original to the clock as it was built into the structure but after extensive searching of internet I cannot find anything similar.

There is no internal connection for a battery so I assume that the mechanism switched on some externally powered device twice every day. I also assume that the contact would have been made at least a couple of minutes before the top centre position and for a few minutes after.

Has anyone seen such a device before, or can they offer some idea of its function – I would be most grateful for any information at all.

Many thanks

20221202_171725.jpg 20221202_171730.jpg 20221202_171738.jpg 20221202_171738.jpg 20221202_171730.jpg 20221202_171819.jpg
 
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Robert Gift

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Nov 12, 2012
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... I assume that the mechanism switched on some externally powered device twice every day. I also assume that the contact would have been made at least a couple of minutes before the top centre position and for a few minutes after. ...
Neat! Can you discern whatimes of the day the contacts closed?
 

Stainless

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Dec 2, 2022
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As the lug can be adjusted to any position on the shaft it could be set at any time. This requires the use of a screw driver and I assume removal of the dial so it is not a simple alarm clock time arrangement.
 
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Mike Mall

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Oct 27, 2021
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There is no internal connection for a battery so I assume that the mechanism switched on some externally powered device twice every day. I also assume that the contact would have been made at least a couple of minutes before the top centre position and for a few minutes after.
That's a very interesting old antique.
The period of time the contacts are closed may be a clue
The lug appears to be on the hour pipe, is that the case?
If so, I would think the contacts remain closed for a much longer period of time. I guess you'll see when you have it running. Or just by installing hands and observing them while turning.
 

Stainless

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Dec 2, 2022
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The lug is on the hour pipe. I suspect the duration could be varied by altering the position of the switch a little bit. If it is closer to the lug the duration of contact will be extended, perhaps 10 minutes before and after the central position. If the switch is only in contact when the lug is absolutely vertical it may only be on for a couple of minutes..
 
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TQ60

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Sep 15, 2016
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It does not look factory but the parts on the tube do not look home made.

Since it is on hour shaft it may be for an announcement device.

May small towns still blast the air raid horn at noon indicating lunch time.

Could be a shift bell.
 

Stainless

Registered User
Dec 2, 2022
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3
74
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It does not look factory but the parts on the tube do not look home made.

Since it is on hour shaft it may be for an announcement device.

May small towns still blast the air raid horn at noon indicating lunch time.

Could be a shift bell.
Thanks for the ideas -not sure about the noon alert as it would also go off at midnight!

The suggestion about the shift bell is great - it could mark the begining and end of two twelve hour shifts.
Best idea so far!!
 

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