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SWCC Self-Winding Clock Co. example with manual sync circuit

eskmill

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A recently acquired Self-Winding Clock Co. round cased wall clock incorporates manual synchronization control in addition to the Western Union network sync movement attachment.


The round wood case with wood bezel hinged at the top has a turned profile resembling a "bean pot." The movement is the ordinary 140 beat "F" type with the sync attachment nestled inside the close quarters of the wood shaped case. Pendulum suspension is adjustable by a knob extending above the case. There is no identifying numbers stamped into the wood to identify the style. I would estimate the year offering as circa 1920.


The odd feature is the placement of a two-pole momentary contact leaf switch located in the lower left accessable only when the wood bezel is lifted. The left switch is used to force or initailly wind the movement the same as on many Self-Winding Clock Co. examples. The right switch uses the battery circuit to actuate the synchronizing magnets manually. Wiring to the leaf switch is original and neatly done.


I do not recall seeing or reading about any Self-Winding Clock Co. example with the "manual sync" control circuit although many collectors have added similar circuitry. Was this odd feature noted in any catalogs?
 

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Alan

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Les,
The manual synchronizing switch is something that I have not seen before and appears to be beautifully done at the factory. It also appears that the paper instruction forms are original to the clock and could help date the clock. Some forms have a form number followed by a month and year. The clock would have been assembled at that date or after. Very cool to see something that close to factory original. Alan
 

eskmill

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Thank you Alan for the suggestion to look at the printed cards inside the case for form numbers and date.


The case has a flexible cord color legend card "Form 53 10M 2/30" printed in the top margin of the card. Another card explaining the ownership is "Form 10 10M 7/30." I would guess that they ordered 10,000 of each card. I've observed these cards in other Self-Winding Clock Co. cases but never studied the printed legend in the margin of the cards; important data


Obvious from the date on the cards is that the clock dates from the "depression era." The movement serial and property tag numbers are 185013 but there is no assurance that both are original to the case.


In a week or so, I will post a photo of the clock showing its massive "bean kettle" shape turned on a huge lathe from blocks of oak. It is the shape of the case that caught my winning bid for the item although needing bezel repair, glass, and dial.

Unique is the leaf-switch manual control for the synchronizer. I'm puzzled that the feature is not noted in any company literature.
 

eskmill

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Additional photos of the "Bean Kettle" shape Self-Winding Clock Co. are attached below.

The clock was produced during the 1930-1942 period as evidenced by the date on two printed cards dated 2/30 and 7/30. The period, circa 1930-1940 agrees with the serial number (185013) on the movement and ownership tag.

The "manual sync" circuit is unique and unseen on other factory produced SWCC Co. clocks. Its use provides for manual synchronization manually perhaps to a local standard and not US Observatory time as distributed daily by Western Union. This raises questions about the clock's intended use and technical issues regarding the possibility of the clock's dry cells connection to the Western Union wire network circuit of unknown DC voltage.

The oak clock case is massive and requires a strong bolted wall attachment. I admire the sculped curve of the nicely lathe-turned case; the reason for my winning eBay bid on the clock which has the interesting manual sync circuit.
 

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