Nagoya Shoji - Info?

MuseChaser

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While dumpster-diving with my beer-budget on online auctions, I won the auction on this clock in my quest for advance my meager experience and skills. It just arrived today. After getting it in beat (it was SO far off it wouldn't run at all unless the case was tilted almost 45 degrees), it's ticking away merrily and evenly, plumb and level. It's been through some ham-handed treatment, with a bajillion excess screw and nail holes behind the face, some solder in places I can't imagine it being a good idea, but it's survivor.. the case really isn't bad condition and it looks great on the wall in my shop. I know NOTHING about this clock... so far, all except maybe two of my non-torsion clocks are from American makers. It seems similar to the clock discussed in this thread...

Another Nagoya Shoji thread

.. except that one has engraving on the movement while mine appears to have none. If I understand that thread correctly, that would place mine sometime after 1923.

OH... it only strikes the hour.. no strike at all on the half hour. Is that normal for this clock? The center/hands arbor is REALLY wobbly, and the front face pivot hole is a decided oval, but the clock doesn't seem to care.. it's running without complaint. It would take a HUGE bushing to fix it, but I'm about to get some practice doing my first hand bushings on two other clocks so maybe I'll pick up a bigger reamer and bushing pack and give this one some love too eventually.

Can anyone give me any information as to approximate date of manufacture, maybe translate the Japanese characters written on the back of the face, etc? Very grateful for any history behind this clock. Pretty excited about this one, actually. Not sure why.

Full clock..


NagoyaClock.jpg

Label ...

Label.jpg

Gong base ...

Gong.jpg

Movement ...

Movement.jpg

Back of face ...

FaceBack.jpg

Close up of writing ..

Japanesewriting.jpg
 
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Toughtool

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I did a Google search on the image; it returned this:


Image size:
349 × 152
No other sizes of this image found.
Possible related search: language
Search Results


So you are probably right, looks like Google tagged it as a language, maybe Japanese. Someone could jump in that speaks Japanese and help you out.
 

Betzel

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Nice find. I think they're part of the western-influenced rapid industrialization of Japan, nicely-enough made, and (IMHO) worth keeping.

I have a Meiji (scroll) from the same city and era I found at a garage sale as well ($30). Looks like Kenny form South Park. I'll bet these guys all knew each other. If these were influenced by and made for the American market, I understand why so many share traits with American clocks, but you kind of wonder where the unique Japanese mojo is. Maybe I'm wrong and someone will point out what I've missed. Though Meiji became Seiko, I also wonder why so many went out of business in Japan at the time? (1910-ish) Costs to ship? Competition in the USA for our own wall clock market?

Does your gong sound kind of "tinny" or is it resonant? Maybe depends on rust or how well the backs survived over the years, but mine does not sound so good though not rusty and the wood is OK. Curious...
 

MuseChaser

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Nice find. I think they're part of the western-influenced rapid industrialization of Japan, nicely-enough made, and (IMHO) worth keeping.

I have a Meiji (scroll) from the same city and era I found at a garage sale as well ($30). Looks like Kenny form South Park. I'll bet these guys all knew each other. If these were influenced by and made for the American market, I understand why so many share traits with American clocks, but you kind of wonder where the unique Japanese mojo is. Maybe I'm wrong and someone will point out what I've missed. Though Meiji became Seiko, I also wonder why so many went out of business in Japan at the time? (1910-ish) Costs to ship? Competition in the USA for our own wall clock market?

Does your gong sound kind of "tinny" or is it resonant? Maybe depends on rust or how well the backs survived over the years, but mine does not sound so good though not rusty and the wood is OK. Curious...
Thanks! I had no idea what to expect when I bid on it, but no one else seemed interested enough in it to drive the price out of my "take a chance" comfort zone so I did. I really like the clock a lot. As far as the gong sound goes, the wire used to form the gong seems to be of thinner gauge than what I'm used to seeing in most of my other clocks that have them, but with more coils to add to the length. The result is a sound with a lot of upper harmonics, especially when compared to the much purer sound of a tone rod, but it's a pretty full strong sound. I wouldn't characterize it as tinny. I have an Ingraham strike clock, with the soundboard and rest of the case in less-than-good as-yet-unrestored condition that DOES have sort of a "gong-of-doom" trashy, thin sound to it. Talking about sound is tough... hope some of that makes sense.

Would still love to know more about the clock.. can't find much online. If anyone else can help elucidate, I'd appreciate it. You can't hurt my feelings... if the truth is, "It's a trash clock.. you can't even give'em away because ...etc..." that's fine. I'd rather know! Just very curious about it. On the other hand, if it isn't a "trash" clock and has some intrinsic value, it may change the approaches I take towards caring for the case, addressing a few issues with the face, etc. It'd be good to know, one way or the other.
 
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Kevin W.

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Many Japanese clocks are well made that i have come across. Its a attractive wall clock. Needing some tlc.
 

Betzel

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"Trash" clock? I think that one's in the eye of the beholder. I only collect what I like and will enjoy restoring; it's not an investment and I don't have a museum, yet. My wife disagrees, so I don't wind the strikes in our small house.

There are exceptions, but to me, a "trash" clock means recent, as in post-WWII, especially "disposable" clocks or those assembled cheap in a way that does not permit repair, typically with riveted plates, plastic anywhere, exposed plywood or brass-plated components, etc. Most "novelty" cuckoo's and alarms fit in this category for me. But if it's cool, I bend my rules and buy something stupid anyway!

If you were to use monetary value, it gets more difficult. A lot of inexpensive clocks (under $150?) that don't fit the above criteria will still not sell for much more than what we paid, especially after we add in the cost of parts and labor for repair. The market is permanently soft due to lack of appreciation. So, at the lower end most of our clock acquisitions are not profitable, but they are not trash. And, some modern clocks that sell for 3000 or more are totally trashy to me.

Still, this place is full of "serious" collectors who would consider this (and everything many of us own) to be trash. Okay. But, Nagoya Shoji went out of business more than a century ago. At least it's an honest antique. That said, I suspect you will not make any money with it. How many people have an original Nagoya Shoji complete and unbutchered with the original glass (I think)? Not many. Is it ugly? No, but you need to fix that EW bridge :)
 
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MuseChaser

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Thanks, Betzel. Nice to read your thoughts...they very much mirror mine. I'll get to that escape wheel bridge, I promise! I've got a few other clocks in mid-rebuild right now, but once those are up and running, little Shoji will get some extra love. Much appreciated!
 
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Betzel

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Sure. Maybe you agree, there's just a vibe I get from Japanese tool/metal/craft that I don't generally get from the rest of Asia: the Katana? the 240-Z? the RX-7, etc. OK, these clocks were made for income, but they still command respect for their craftsmanship, I think.

Good luck with all your projects!
 

MuseChaser

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Thanks. Forgot to ask you...does yours sound the half hours, or only strike the hours?
 

Betzel

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It's in storage, so I'm going on memory thinking the Meiji scroll only struck at the hour.

We all had more time back then, so you didn't need to know you just wasted 30 minutes fooling around with old clocks ;-)
 

MuseChaser

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Quick follow up.... while working on another clock and winding this one today, I noticed again that the face was kind of "wavy," like it was just paper. Turns out, it was! Underneath the reproduction antique paper dial was the original dial... in surprisingly good shape. It had a lot of raised pimples on it, but otherwise clean and fits the clock's appearance MUCH better to my eye. PLUS... it has a trademark on it. Couldn't find any information on the trade mark "H" in a square in a diamond. Does this narrow things down at all?

Pics...

4a3122f6-d862-486f-b144-b491e5a22682.jpg 2209f8da-8ef4-46ad-9fa7-edf12c29acf7.jpg
 

Ralph

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They were importing them by the container full in the 70's-80-s... You could buy 20 of them for $700. A guy in Rockford, Illinois used to offer them, and probably others.

Ralph
 

MuseChaser

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They were importing them by the container full in the 70's-80-s... You could buy 20 of them for $700. A guy in Rockford, Illinois used to offer them, and probably others.

Ralph
Do you mean containers of old clocks, or containers of clocks manufactured in the 70s/80s? I'm admittedly new to this world, but I find it pretty much impossible to believe this clock sustained the amount of wear it exhibits in a mere fifty years. Personally, I'm in a LOT better shape and I'm 60! ;)
 

new2clocks

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Quick follow up.... while working on another clock and winding this one today, I noticed again that the face was kind of "wavy," like it was just paper. Turns out, it was! Underneath the reproduction antique paper dial was the original dial... in surprisingly good shape. It had a lot of raised pimples on it, but otherwise clean and fits the clock's appearance MUCH better to my eye. PLUS... it has a trademark on it. Couldn't find any information on the trade mark "H" in a square in a diamond. Does this narrow things down at all?

Pics...

View attachment 644003 View attachment 644004
Hibino.

Regards.
 
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MuseChaser

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Charles Davis ascribed that logo to the company Hibino, though there are similar logos listed as Unknown. He provides no information about Hibino.

Alpha Logos (archive.org)
Thank you, Steven. Great link.. I LOVE the "wayback" machine. I tried clicking on a link to Charlie's logo page on one of his earlier posts, but it didn't work and didn't think to explore the wayback option.

The logo on this clock says "Tokyo Mark," rather than "Trade Mark".... I missed that, too, since I EXPECTED to see the words "Trade Mark." ... so I guess it's "H01- unknown" on Charlie's page. Oh well... the mystery continues!
 

Betzel

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Nice reveal on the dial. Isn't it fun to peel back history? Perhaps Hibino is the answer to the H question.

Somebody cared enough about their small clock line to make a logo for it, though maybe the dial guy did not know what Trade Mark meant to English speakers like the guy who printed the paper on the inside; also a copy of an American trend in clockmaking at the time. Meiji printed stuff on paper with incorrect English on the back of their clocks as well, describing how great they were.

Meiji was bought out around 1915 or so by K. Hattori & Co., Ltd. -> Seikosha -> Seiko who dominated, all in Tokyo. But I have no clue what happened to the factories that produced these Nagoya Shoji pieces. Maybe Hattori gobbled them up? Just a wild guess...

I still think they all knew each other ;-)
 

Ralph

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I meant shipping containers. The clocks themselves are from the early 1900’s.

Ralph
 
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