American Not a clock but pretty close

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Jim DuBois, Jul 2, 2019.

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  1. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    We have often seen examples of "bronze looking glass clocks", usually wood works. So, here we have bronze looking glasses less the clock bits. These are in my thinking pretty good condition and not all that common as mirrors. Please note the upper mirror is not square but they are retangular, so there were never intended as clocks.

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  2. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Beautiful stenciling. Are there any records of clock case makers during this period that might lend clues to a source?
     
  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I don't have any specific records but these are very much like the early bronze looking glass clocks as originally introduced by Chauncey Jerome at this time. Jerome was just in the transition from a case maker to a maker of clock movements and entire clocks. I suspect the same parties made both the cases and other same parties did the stenciling. They are too similar to suggest separate origins. I can't substantiate Jerome did them himself but I think it likely the same people who made Jeromes early cases made these mirrors.
     
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  4. shutterbug

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    Are they mirrors then? How thick are they? Sure look like clocks.
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    These are mirrors and have always been mirrors from all that can be seen in their construction. Quite thin, no sign of ever having hinges and the like, and the upper glass is rectangular, not square. If these were intended for clocks the upper opening would be square in my experience.

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  6. shutterbug

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    Very interesting! Thanks!
     
  7. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Wonderful.

    No surprises here.

    Gives credence to one of my pet theories. Even before clock factories became vertically (horizontally?) organized and they included their own case shops, the cases were made by shops that also employed the same basic materials, equipment, workers to turn out frames, mirror frames, moldings, furniture, etc. In fact, there are clock labels which advertise this very fact! This has been discussed especially in the setting of NYC assemblers but was also true elsewhere. I once owned a clock by Plummer from Nova Scotia that advertised AND illustrated his range of products.

    And how many ogee mirrors were there? An even shorter step to a clock case.

    RM
     
  8. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    A Jerome of about the same period as these mirrors. And ogee mirrors, who woulda' thought?

    Jerome Bronze Looking Glass Clocks.jpg 20190703_173019.jpg
     
  9. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    My thought would be the mirrors, were earlier, and someone, Jerome built a clock with it as an example.
     
  10. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Our contemporaneous.

    The styles of clocks reflected popular fashion.

    RM
     
  11. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Certainly a good possibility. Jerome claimed to have " invented the Bronze Looking Glass Clock (1825], which soon revolutionized the whole business ... it could be made for one dollar less and sold for two dollars more than the Patent Case; they were very showy". "When the Bronze Looking Glass Clock was produced late in 1827, or early in 1828, by Jeromes & Darrow, it was offered with a new thirty-hour movement designed by Noble Jerome." This name was derived from the stenciled top splat and the split, or half-round, side columns, which were painted black and decorated with stenciled designs by application of bronze powder. No details or traces of this claimed patent by Jerome has been found.

    Now, as to which came first, the chicken or the egg? There is some possibility the mirrors and the clocks arrived in the market pretty much at the same time. We have some specific dates for the clocks, not so for the mirrors I think.

    If we look at ogee clocks and ogee mirrors we discover the machine to make the moldings was invented in 1828. The first ogee clock is thought to have been made as early as 1830 or as late as 1833. Experts disagree on the most likely date. But, what were these machines made for and what were they making before the ogee clocks? Some of the very early ogee clocks are known as suitcase ogees and they are no more than a full ogee mirror fitted to a clock movement and surrounding extra structure. So, between the timing of the making of the machine and the intro of the ogee clocks, and the apparent and likely ogee mirrors offered in between, the possibility exists that something similar happened with these mirrors and the advent of the Bronze looking glass clocks? Stenciled mirrors became clocks?
     
  12. Jerome collector

    Jerome collector Registered User
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    Jim,

    Although Jerome did claim to have "invented" the bronzed looking glass clock, he doesn't ever refer to a patent. Given that others immediately (or within a very short time) started copying his "invention", I suspect there never was a patent. I think Jerome was using the word "invent" as a synonym for "create", without implying formal ownership of the idea (through a patent).

    Mike
     
  13. Jim DuBois

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    Mike thank you for the correction. I should have said there is no copy of the details of the claimed invention, not using "patent." I was confusing the Ives patent claim on "looking glass clocks" of which we have no copies IIRC, with the claim of the invention by Jerome "bronze looking glass clocks"
     
  14. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I'll throw in, just to be the trouble maker, "tabernacle" mirrors which in addition to split baluster and ogee mirrors also made their appearance on clocks, most notably and consistently, those by Asa Munger. Again, an adaptation of a popular prevalent style of household furnishing to use as a clock case.

    img_4807-jpg.jpg

    RM.
     

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