Not a clock, but clockwork (Wilkie aneroid barometer)

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by Stu Riegel, Jul 19, 2019.

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  1. Stu Riegel

    Stu Riegel Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
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    First, apologies for parking this here. If there's a more appropriate section I was unable to find it. Mods feel free to put it where it belongs.

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    Not sure where this came from. Inside there's a vacuum chamber and a lever that pulls a tiny chain that turns the hand. Nicely made inside (I should have taken a pic but was more concerned with getting the thing to work). Turns out the mounting screw on the back was putting pressure on the chamber. The housing is brass, the dial aluminum with embossed numerals. The guts are either gold-plated or highly polished. Leaning towards plated as the adjustment screw shows some corrosion which would have made its way inside, as corrosion does. The crystal is glass, not plastic. I have a feeling it's about 50 years old.

    Wilkie barometers are unknown to Google. It is possibly English. Anyone here have a clue?
     
  2. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Good evening, Stu!

    Are you certain the screw that was putting pressure on the vacuum chamber was a mounting screw? I only ask because aneroid barometers often have a screw that does just that for calibrating the barometer to ambient altitude.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
  3. Stu Riegel

    Stu Riegel Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
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    Well, it was used as a mounting screw. The back panel is buckled outward around it so somebody really horsed that sucker down. There is another screw that actually adjusts the movement, but it adjusts the bridge rather than pressurizing the chamber.. And now that the mounting screw is gone, it works.

    It came with an aluminum plate with felt stuck to it, hole in the center, on the back. I assume this was used to mount it into whatever it was originally mounted to. When I got it it was stuck into a tire ashtray (one of my other sicknesses, got maybe a hundred of the stupid things). I knew it didn't come as original equipment there 1) because the tire should have had an ashtray not a barometer and 2) it didn't fit worth a damn.

    I'll knock it back apart and take some more pics later. It's kind of an interesting piece.
     
  4. Stu Riegel

    Stu Riegel Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
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    No time like the present:

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    Back panel with dimple from gorilla mounting. Adjusting screw at 7:00

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    The guts. Adjusting screw contacts the teardrop on the left.

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    More guts. From this you can see how it works. The links on the chain are incredibly small. It's not a cable. (Chain is only the very end, most of it is a rod) Wish I could get closer, but the camera will only go so close. My old Mavica was amazing at close-ups.

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    You can see the swirl finish on the face in this pic. I'm curious about the manufacturing process here. The numerals are embossed and gilt-finished, as is the back. Obviously mass produced, but not without some care. Mill the face, stamp the numbers, apply gilt and silk-screen, I suppose.

    Given how little swing there is on the dial between normal atmospheric highs and lows (and how little travel it takes to make that swing), I'm amazed that there is such a thing as an atmospheric clock. Maybe they work better in hurricane country.
     

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