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Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Mike306p/Ansoniaman, Jul 5, 2006.
A Gustav Becker I am repairing for a friend. From the serial number I guess about 1922?
GEG, it's actually a good bit earlier, being mid-1908 or perhaps a bit earlier. This case design combines arts and crafts influence with the hands having art nouveau style. To date the earliest documented Westminster chime GB was made in early 1908. Don't know why they didn't make them earlier but so far there is no supporting data for being made sooner.
The movement design on this clock is the first design used for their Westminster movements. It is quite unusual with the offset time and quarter strike barrels, like it was modified from a two train movement. Later models starting about the end of 1912 had the barrels centered with all of them having the separate gear drive to permit the winding arbors to be close together on the dial. This design continued at least to 1933, with only minor variations mainly in how the strike hammers were actuated. The dual chime Westminster/Whittington appears to have been introduced only in 1926 after the Junghans takeover of GB, however we still need more data in the WWI to 1926 period to be sure of that.
I note also as you probably did, that the clickwheels on time and chime do not have teeth shaped for a clickwheel at all but are shaped as a common tooth. That, I suppose, because they must be driven by an aux wheel.
Thanks for the additional info on this clock.
I also just noticed the dial was also printed with the following info:
72 Regent St.
You can only see it with a magnifying glass. The paint is long gone, only the outline is still visible. The dial is an bad shape.
I looked up the address and found it is now a "Cheers" bar near Piccadilly Circus. A copy of the Boston Cheers.
I bought this a few month ago.
I thank it is in the Gustav Becker Story book By Karl Kochmann copyright 2005, PG 41 #1554
It's a BEAUT, allright, TC:
Reckon what, TC; About 1900?
TC, will appreciate if you could post a clear photo of the back of the movement showing the serial number and logos, or at a minimum provide the serial number and description of the logos, specifically whether the GB anchor logo in a circle has "Braunau i Boehm" or just "Freiburg i. Schl."
Sorry it took so long.
I didnt know the movement was so dirty.
The # 2052892
Teaclocks, thanks for the photo and detail. Your clock was made at the GB Freiburg, Silesia factory about October 1908. Very nice example.
Is it possible to find a picture of a clock by the s/n? I have a Gustav Becker vienna wall clock (8 day spring) with s/n 167397 and it has the RA pendulum. This clock belonged to my Great Grandfather and I promised my family that if I got this clock I would have it restored.
Hi, Nelson, welcome to the message board.
I don't think you could find what type of clock goes with what serial number. But your clock definately is worth having properly restored. If you could post a picture of the trademarks on the movement, we could give you a manufacture date for it.
Nelson, if you can post two photos, one of the full front of the clock and one of the back of the movement, we can provide quite a bit of info about when your clock was made, which GB factory, etc. The serial number on your clock, if from the Freiburg factory, would be c. 1878, but if from the Braunau factory would be c. 1896. Which factory made the clock can be determined by the logos.
We will look forward to seeing some pics.
I tried taking pictures of the back of the clock but they did not turn out. The markings on the back of it is the same as on the picture from teaclock. It has the Freiburg in Schl. on it. But I will try to post the front pics.
I got this in early March, The pendulum bob is not correct, The ser # 930701----------NICE
Wow, that's a big one, TC. Great looking clock
Have you ever seen a GB like this? Everyone I have seen online has a case that is a lot more elaborate then this one. Like I said it belonged to my Great Grandfather and I would like to know all that I can about it. The story goes that my it was given to my Great Grandfather. A friend of his was going to throw it away because on of the spindles was broke and it had some water damage. My GG was a excellent wood worker so he was able to repair the spindle, then I was told that he painted it black to cover the water damage. When I took this in to have it restored the guy told me that it could have been the original finish. I would like to know either way so I can tell my children the story of the clock.
Nelson, the black doesn't look to me to be original. I can see the original color peeking through at the bottom of your clock. John Hubby is our resident Becker expert, and I'm sure he will give us his opinion on the color of your clock. I have never seen one in black. Whether or not to refinish it is up to you. I might be tempted to leave it just because it was your grandfather who finished it the way it is.
I have refinished similar vintage clocks that had been painted, and it can be a lot of work.
Nelson, it appears to me your clock is an early Freiburg Spring driven design, but would still like to confirm the logos that are on your clock. I'm posting below the latest update I have put together for both Freiburg and Braunau logos. If your clock is Freiburg, please let me know if the "Medaille d'Or" is on the left side or right side of the GB logo.
Regarding the finish on your clock I have seen a number of GB and other maker's clocks from this period with an ebonized finish, and that is what it looks like is on your clock. Whether this finish was applied by your Great Grandfather or was original might be difficult to determine, since it was normally done with stains and not paint, but from my observations this appears to be an original finish. Harold, what you see as possibly a lighter color finish on the bottom of the clock appears to me to be the reflection of the light brown wood that the clock is laying on. As far as why they made black cases at that time, remember that in the period right after Prince Albert's death in 1861 (Queen Victoria's consort) literally everything made for the British market after that point was finished in black. Even very elegant articles made before 1861 were refinished black, and the practice carried on well into the 1880's.
Teaclocks, could you post a photo of the back plate of your movement? Would be much appreciated.
John, thanks for the great information. The logo's match with the years
1877 - 1926. The GB anchor "Freiburg IN Schl." on the left of the
"Medaille d'Or" logo which would match up with the s/n 167397. I should have the clock back in about 3 weeks and I will post new pictures. I didn't like having it hidden but at least I knew it was safe. Now that I am having it restored I plan on hanging it (scares the @#$@ out of me) but is this something that I should have insured and if so how can I find out what to insure it for? I am not asking anyone to give me an appraisal I just do not have the knowledge on this subject. I am in the Phoenix AZ area if anyone knows were I can take it I would appreciate it.
What was the significance of the logos? I see that the years overlapped when the GB was on the right or left of the Medaille. I also have the original keys but was thinking that it would good to retire them. Is it easy to get replacement keys?
Scott, I really need to update that table of logos to provide more detail than it shows right now, because there is quite a bit of intermingling of different logos in the period from late 1877 through 1901. The main significance between the two layouts is that in 1875 GB was awarded the "Medaille d'Or" at a major exposition, and from that point introduced BOTH of the two logos at the same time. Neither the Medaille d'Or (Md'O) or the round GB Freiburg i. Schl (GBF) logo existed prior to about August 1875. The first use of these logos is with the Medaille d'Or to the left, and the GBF logo to the right. The previous logo, a GB anchor with crown and the words "Gustav Becker Freiburg i/S" continued in use until the first half of 1877, intermingled with clocks having the Md'O/GBF logos.
Starting near the end of 1877, the first spring drive wall vienna was documented, and it had only a GB anchor similar to the one I show as 1933-1940. This logo was used sparsely until about 1901, then it disappeared and came back in 1933.
In late 1877, the order of the Md'O and GBF logos began to be reversed on some clocks. There does not appear to be a correlation as to what type of clock. This continued until 1896 with the first position (Md'O to the left) appearing on a fair majority of clocks. From 1896 on the GBF is stamped to the left when it was used.
To add some more confusion, a number of spring driven clocks made between 1887 and 1898 have been documented with only the GBF logo, but not the Md'O logo. These clocks "appear" to be a lower grade than those with the Md'O, it may be there was some such distinction. Once again, like the simple GB anchor, these clocks were a minority of production.
I'll post more later after I've sorted through the permutations so I can provide a more accurate time frame for the use of each logo.
Teaclocks, thanks for the photo, one more reversed logo clock for the database! Thanks for the correction to the serial number. I don't recall if I mentioned before but your clock was made late 1891.
I finally got my wall clock back and it looks great. The only problem is that the chime was working fine but it stopped working overnight. I was able to get it to work but now the chime strike is off. At the top of the hour it strikes one time and at the half hour mark it does the full top of the hour strike. This is probably a simple question, but I am not sure how to synchronize the clock. I know that I am not suppose to move the minute hand backwards so if someone could help me I would appreciate it.
Nelson, since we haven't seen a photo of the back of the movement in your clock I'm only guessing, but I suspect the chiming of your clock is regulated by a count wheel. If that is so, then what has happened is the chiming is out of sequence.
First move the minute hand until you have caused the clock to strike at the top of the hour. Now look on the right side of the dial at the front of the movement, there should be a lever there near the top. Pressing the lever down with your finger will release the strike and let it operate. Count the number of strikes, then repeat the process until the clock strikes the correct number for the hour at which the hour hand is pointing. After that, reset the clock to time, waiting for the strike after you pass each hour and half-hour
If you can't find a lever (look on the left side also, some countwheel clocks have it there), then do the following. Move the minute hand until the clock strikes at the top of the hour. On the back side of the movement, there is a locking lever that fits into the notches on the countwheel. You can reach behind the clock movement and lift and drop the lever, which will release the strike train and cause the clock to strike. Repeat this until the clock strikes the correct number of times for the hour indicated by the hour hand. Now reset the time as described above.
Hope this helps.
Below are pictures of a Gustav Becker two weight wall clock that I am presently working on. It is made in the Braunau factory and the serial number is 551985.
The clock has an excellent porcelain dial but the case is not in great shape.
What I thought was somewhat unusual was the strike. The movement has four hammers and the gong four rods. The hammers strike the rods all together and it is a very pleasing sound. It's the first time I have seen this.
I have forwarded these photos to John Hubby for his database.
Here's one additional photo of the mounting bracket and the gong. The case is dirty and has not been cleaned.
Here are a few more pictures of the GB 2wt Serial No. 551985 which John Hubby has dated to mid 1910.
Richard, thanks for posting the additional photos. As I mentioned to you by separate email, this is the first Braunau clock I've seen with this particular striking and gong arrangement. I recall perhaps having seen it on a Frieburg clock but so far can't find any entry in my database for that configuration.
I also note that this "Harfen-Gong" is with the four rods parallel to the back of the case, where all the other Harfen-Gong designs I've seen have them at right angles to the case, both for German patents (DRP) and Austrian patents (Oest). I don't know if this is a variant on the other patents or whether it has its own patent, so far I've not been able to locate the actual ones for the other designs, don't know for sure what year they were first used.
Very interesting clock!
The German DRP patent is shown on page 654 of the 1912 Gustav Becker main catalogue on CD.
The Austrian patent is listed in the Gustav Becker “Werke Katalog #250” as shown here. There is no official date on this document but the previous owner has scribbled 1910 on the cover of the catalogue.
Vic, thanks very much for the info. I had missed that one in the 1912 catalog, but what it says there is very significant.
In the German text on page 654 (this is also on page 277) it states that a German patent exists (D.R.P.) but that the Austrian Patent was pending (Oest. Patent Angemeldet, Austrian Patent Pending). In the other reference you posted, it says both patents existed (D.R.P.) (Oest. Patent). I would have to conclude that the second reference (Werke Katalog #250) was thus published after the GB 1912 catalog . . how long after is not known but definitely later. I think a reasonable guess would be within the next year (say 1913) since the Austrian patent office usually processed filings within 12 months based on the patents I have investigated so far.
Having that in view, I did a complete search of all clock-related German DRP listings from 1899 to 1914, and voilá!! I found the smoking gun. German Patent No. 238223 by VFU vorm. Gustav Becker, was granted on 26 September 1911, with protection back to the filing date of 31 January 1911. This patent (PDF attached) is the exact design of the one in Richard's clock.
As a spinoff of my search, I also found the patents for the Dom Gong shown on page 655 and the Harfen Gong shown on pages 656 and 657 (These are also shown on other pages in the Gong section of the catalog. The Dom Gong is DRP 161269 granted 9 June 1905 with protection back to the filing date of 12 July 1903; the Harfen Gong is DRP 192981 granted 12 December 1907 with protection back to the filing date of 16 April 1907. This same design of the Harfen Gong was also patented in Austria but so far I have no details about the number or when it was patented.
So, what does this mean? Firstly, Richard's clock would very likely not have been made prior to October 1911 instead of mid-1910. Now I'll have to shift my Braunau data by a little over 12 months at that point and adjust the correlation accordingly. It also means that the info in the GB 1912 catalog about the German DRP patent being issued and the Austrian patent still pending was accurate, being that the catalog was likely assembled in late 1911. Further, the Werke Katalog #250 was most likely published in late 1912, allowing for the Austrian patent to have been granted in the interim.
The VERY interesting thing about this is that we have a clock made in Braunau in perhaps late 1911, that uses the Harfen Gong patented in Germany.
Since this adds completely new info to my database, I searched the GB 1912 catalog thoroughly and looked for any evidence that showed they were advertising Braunau clocks in addition to Freiburg clocks. This Harfen Gong assembly is the ONLY item that we know for sure was made in Braunau; however there are several clocks in the Weight Regulator and Hall Clock sections that could have come from Braunau. We know for example that all 400-Day clocks were made in Freiburg, as well as all documented table clocks, Westminster chime clocks, alarm clocks, etc. This adds another page to the info developed to date that Braunau only made wall clocks and hall clocks, all being weight driven and using gut or cable to suspend the weights.
Forgot the PDF for the Harfen Gong patent DRP 238223. It's attached here.
Trying again, that was only the first page. Here's the whole patent, look at the drawings to see that this is exactly what is found on Richard's clock.
Oops -- falling behind here, sorry.
DRP 238223 wasn't granted on 26 September 1911. That's the date the specifications were issued. It was granted sometime between the "protected from" date and that "ausgegeben" date. John, am not sure how important this difference is in your research, but there is a diffference there.
The same would be true of course with the other Ausgegeben (for the specs) dates. They were issued sometime after the patents were granted.
In case it's also of interest, what could be the same "invention" was registed as DRGM 453523 in November 1910. It was possible and indeed not uncommon to have a DRGM and a DRP for the same whatever.
The differences between these various dates were later spelled out, as it were, on the patent specifications. An example I had at hand, the "head" for a Junghans patent -- DRP 490343 -- is below.
The Anmeldung (application) date was 20.VI.1929, the date that it was officially granted was 9.I.1930 and the specifications were issued 27.I.1930. The patent protection was then effective back to 20.VI.
These dates are fairly close together. Sometimes not just months but years came between the application (later effective from) dates and the actual Erteilung date, with the specs dates always following.
Will add the "head" copy in the next post, sorry
Here it is (I hope!)
This is the only Gustav Becker I own. As for the information it must have been made in late 1920s to early 30s. No serial numbers. But Freiburg emblem and pendulum length p 26 placed on the back plate. It is a striking wall clock, recently been serviced and working well. Another intersting/weird feature is on the dial the emblem of G . Becker was altered , the anchor has been adorned with crescent and star instead of crown and cross on top. It is evident that this clock was exported to the turkish republic in the late 20s and the maker used country's symbols in its flag most likely to make its sales higher.
Hello - looking to have this clock identified:
Zep, thanks for the reminder and clarification. Actually it "can" make a difference when trying to tie down the date of introduction of a particular design or feature. When there is a small separation it doesn't pose much of a problem since the data ordinarily is only accurate to +/- a few months anyway. However, if there is a couple years between the "protected from" date and the "ausgegeben" date then it really would help to know the "erthielungen" or grant date. The problem comes when trying to find those dates.
The patents state only the "protected from" date and the "ausgegeben" date. The listings in the DUZ show that a patent was granted in their "Patent-Erthielungen" lists, but these don't show the actual date the patent was granted and for the most part seem to be posted some months later at best. This particular example was posted on their list about end-October 1911, at least a month after the ausgegeben date, so that doesn't help at all. All we do know for sure is the patent specifications were issued on 26 September 1911 and the patent was protected from 31 January 1911. The fact that it was illustrated in the GB 1912 catalog (probably printed in late 1911?) would only prove that it "was" patented at the time and shown as a DRP.
Your finding the DRGM of 21 November 1910 that appears to be the exact same thing as the later DRP actually helps a lot, in that it would not require the data for Braunau clocks to be shifted nearly as much as if the DRP dates are applied. FWIW, I notice that neither the 1912 catalog nor the actual example has "DRP" stamped on it, also the words "Harfen-Gong" had already been used as early as 1906. This would enable a conclusion that the one example we now have that showed up on a Braunau clock was made shortly after the DRGM was granted, which is a much better fit with the other data already found for that factory.
Fulle47020, thanks for the detailed photos. Based on these and the logo stamps on the back of the movement, I believe your clock was one of the earliest made of the "SILESIA" types, probably late 1908 or in 1909.
The exact clock is not illustrated in the 1912 GB catalog, but the dial is shown on a two-weight model.
These clocks were made using the "American" style movement design with open plates to compete with Junghans, Kienzle, Hamburg American, and others who had made the move earlier to produce clocks that could compete with American-made clocks that were being exported to Europe from the late 1880's. Basically all these companies copied the designs used by American companies to minimize use of brass and to keep costs to a minimum.
In the instance of Becker, it seems they began producing these in late 1908, and they did NOT put serial numbers on them. Interestingly enough, production of their better serial numbered models at the Freiburg factory decreased substantially from that time forward but was not significantly affected at the Braunau factory. In Freiburg the reduction was in the order of 20-30,000 clocks per year, from a level of 60-65,000 in 1906/7 to only 30-35,000 by 1912. In Braunau, no reduction was noted until the beginning of WWI when production decreased from about 30,000 clocks per year to around 20,000 and then continuing to decrease slowly to just over 15,000 per year in the early 1920's. While the TOTAL number of clocks being made by Becker does not appear to have been reduced significantly until the beginning of WWI, it appears that at least half of the clocks being made in Freiburg were now the "American" type with no serial numbers. The 1912 catalog shows at least as many of these less expensive spring-driven movement clocks as all the others combined.
GB produced two grades of this type of clock. The "SILESIA" models all had cut pinions and Graham escapements and were marked with the GB Anchor logo having the word "SILESIA" stamped just below. Other markings include the pendulum length and letters that as yet have not been deciphered. On the very earliest clocks they also stamped the pendulum beat rate as shown on yours. The "118 Schw" means 118 beats per minute or 7080 BPH, just a tad slower than a 1/2 seconds pendulum. The less expensive models had lantern pinions and strap pallets, and were marked with just the GB Anchor logo. The SILESIA grade movements were made at least through 1926 but appear to have been discontinued shortly after that. The standard grade with lantern pinions were continued to about 1932 when they were replaced with a Junghans design.
Constantin, thanks for posting. Would it be possible for you to post a photo of the gong and bracket inside the clock case? That could help to date the clock. Also, a close-up of the plaque that is mounted on the door.
Thank you so much for the reply and help here are the images of the gong, bracket and the small plate attached to the lid. The plate is in turkish and there it reads: Fazli Ali Saip , clock maker, Izmir (3rd largest city in turkey) , fonts (characters) used in this text resemble early 30s. This guy must have been the retailer or repairer.
Constantin, thanks for the additional photos. With this information, my best judgement is that your clock was made about 1930 +/- a year or two, but not later than 1932 because Junghans (then operating the GB factory) stopped using this movement that year. I haven't found the case design in any catalog illustration yet, but there are some similarities to one in a 1926 catalog. Also, the movement is the same as others known to be made in the late 1920's. The GB anchor logo with the Turkish Star is a novelty, I've added that to my catalog of GB logos.
I am grateful to your explanation and happy to know the approximate date of manufacture. I saw some cases reminding the one that I have, but haven't seen the identical one yet. If you need a better photograph of the GB emblem I can send it to you for the catalog.
All the best,
P.S. I have just added a better image of the GB logo.
Here is one I acquired recently from Ruby Lane. A nice find at only $475. They claimed it was 1905 vintage however while fixing the strike (taped pin on the snail fell out), I noticed the serial number was 7xx,xxx (I should have written it down or taken a picture) and that equates to about 1889. So perhaps the movement is not the original. However it has a nice mellow 1 straight bar gong and keeps perfect time.
Harry from Fayetteville, PA
Member of NAWCC and Chapters 141 & 158
Harry, I believe the movement and case are original to each other. This clock has all characteristics of having been made in the GB Braunau, Bohemia factory which had its own set of serial numbers that were completely different from the Freiburg clocks.
With a serial number of 7xx,xxx, the clock would have been made during WWI, between 1915 and 1918. Since Braunau was actually in the Austria-Hungary empire under Emperor Franz Josef before and during the war they continued to make clocks and did not convert their production to artillery time fuses and the like as happened in the Freiburg factory. It is possible some war matériel was produced but we don't have any confirmation of that. Production did decrease from about 35,000 clocks per year in the 1911-1914 period to a level of less than 25,000 per year by the end of the war, and continued to decline to about 12,000 when GB clock production was stopped at that location in 1926 with the amalgamation of GB with Junghans, HAC, etc.
At the end of the war Austria Hungary was broken up as part of the Armistice conditions, and Bohemia became part of Tschechoslovakia, later Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic. That happened in November 1918, shortly after that most of the Braunau movements were stamped with the words "Made in Tschechoslovakia".
If you could post a photo of the back of the movement that would allow me to show conclusively in which factory and in which year the clock was made. Also, a photo of the mounting bracket and gong would be appreciated.
I just aquired this today at the Great Lakes Regional.John from your earlier post, I date this to be around 1909? The serial number is 581959. I have posted some pictures and hope for more info. I have it hanging, and a thought passed through my mind, I did not ask if this is a 30 hr or 8 day movement. Can some one tell me from the pictures, or I guess I can wait until tomorrow to find out. I am really excited about this clock as it is my first wall clock and being weight driven. Thanks for any help any one can give.