Self Winding Surprises

Discussion in 'Electric Horology' started by Tim Orr, Sep 20, 2014.

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  1. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good evening!

    I thought I'd never see one of these in the flesh, much less own one. It's a Self Winding Clock Company "Ogden," that was intended for offices and apartment buildings. Even has a synchronizing circuit and solenoid. So, it was quite a surprise to actually find one, and even more of a surprise when I opened the case and found what looks kinda like a small SWCC pendulum movement with a platform balance driven by what would have been the seconds bit shaft.

    An even bigger surprise was who made that platform balance. "11 Jewels," it says. Can't see how that could be, so I'm wondering if these balances weren't part of some other clock. As you can see, it's a Hamilton. It has a rather crude tin cover over the platform (which I haven't shown), presumably to keep dust out.

    Needs some cleaning, but winds, sets and runs (at least intermittently). Love the sketches from the catalogs and the instructions on how to turn the knob to open the back door.

    Anybody else know much about OgdenPlatform.jpg OgdenWorks.jpg these?

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr OgdenFront.jpg OgdenBack.jpg OgdenKnob.jpg OgdenInstr2.jpg Conference.jpg CoupleMtg.jpg OgdenSW.jpg
     
  2. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Interesting Tim. You wrote:""11 Jewels,".....?

    Balance wheel roller 1 jewel
    Balance pivot hole jewels 2 jewels
    Balance pivot caps 2 jewels
    Lever fork pallets 2 jewels
    Lever fork pivot 2 hole jewels
    Escape wheel 2 hole jewels

    That's eleven jewels by my count.

    Was the modified movement shown in your photos used in other Self-Winding Clock Company desk or mantel clocks?


     
  3. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good afternoon, Les!

    I'm sure you're right about the jewels. I just didn't think that one through.

    I wish I knew whether that modified movement had been used elsewhere. Fact is, before acquiring this clock, I didn't know that any of these shelf/office/apartment clocks had been survived.

    I have heard of one other: At the NAWCC National in Dayton in 2013, I saw a guy carrying what looked a bit like a crystal regulator. I can't remember much of our conversation, but he said, as I recall, that the clock was one of just six made for top executives at Western Union and had been in their offices. Don't remember any details of the movement.

    Best regards!

    Tim
     
  4. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    #4 eskmill, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
    Some other Self-Winding Clock Company small desk or mantel clocks have a much different movement as shown in first two of the attached photos below from a Western Electrics Chapter 133 member. Note that the platform escapement is well between the plates of the movement and not "grafted onto" the front plate of Tim's small movement.

    Additionally, I found a snapshot (third or last snapshot attached below) from an unknown source. An identical movement as in Tim's photos of the Ogden clock. Similar but with a different serial number (R10107).
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good evening, Les!

    The serial number on mine, 50211, is a match for the serial number on the plate on the back door, though the serial number on the movement begins with the letter "R," as does the one you show. The serial number on the platform is 71441. The 3rd photo in your series shows the little tin platform cover in the upper right. Mine looks crude, as though it was almost handmade.

    Interestingly, the instructions tacked inside the back door counsel service people not to try to effect field repairs, but to send the whole clock back to Brooklyn, even though the serial number plate contains the usual direction to change the tag if the movement is changed. I'm guessing there weren't a lot of movements available in the field for swapping.

    In fact, the fit of the platform to my movement is off-center with respect to the driving gear on the seconds shaft. I wonder if so few of these might have been made that they were little more than prototypes.

    Best regards!

    Tim
     
  6. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
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    Tim replied in part: ".....the fit of the platform to my movement is off-center with respect to the driving gear on the seconds shaft. I wonder if so few of these might have been made that they were little more than prototypes."

    For what it is worth, the fit or depth of engagement between the platform and the pinion or wheel on the escape wheel seconds hand extension is typically adjustable in the same manner and need to minimize gear-tooth friction on carriage clocks.

    I believe your example of the Ogden is a "wake-up" call to clock collectors and especially Electric Clock collectors. A welcome diversion from so many metal cased ex-Western Union metal cased examples. Really something to keep eyes open.


     
  7. Alan

    Alan Registered User
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    Hi Tim and Les,

    There are enough of these great little desk clocks around so they must be production rather that prototype clocks. The catalog illustrations indicate that they were available for rent to WU customers. I don't know of any other SWCC clocks that used this movement. A few other SWCC clocks did use platform escapements on the "F" movement. Not Hamilton but Swiss made platforms.


    According to Hamilton-Sangamo expert Les McAlister the Hamilton 11 jewel escapements that are always seen on these Desk clocks were made some time after 1930 which seems correct for these clocks.


    The Dale model desk clock pictured has movement & plate number R50240 and escapement number 71742. I keep a list of serial numbers and have seen movement numbers ranging from R50082 to R50287 and R10177 to R10209. Hamilton escapements from 70079 to 71742. Not sure what that means but I would guess that the SWCC movement serial numbers were sequential. Possibly a couple hundred made?
    I have also attached a picture showing the size of the desk top movement compared to the other major SWCC movements. The synchronizers have been removed. Also a catalog picture of three type of Desk clocks.


    Tim - after reading your mention of the platform being off center I checked and it appears that the platform is centered and the escape wheel is off center. That even seems stranger?? But they do run nicely!


    Les - I agree that these are sleepers for electrics people.


    Alan
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    By golly, you're right, Alan!

    It's not the platform that's off-center. It IS the escape wheel. It was this odd relationship that made me wonder how many were made. Now I'm wondering about that escape wheel!

    It's an interesting little clock. Looks very ordinary to just about everyone EXCEPT an SWCC aficionado.

    Does the "Dale" have a synchronizing button on it someplace? The "Ogden" has it on top center toward the back.

    Best regards!

    Tim
     
  9. Alan

    Alan Registered User
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    I did not notice a synchronizing button on your "Ogden". Does it show in your pictures? My clock does not have a synchronizing button. I do have it powered and synchronizing hourly with a unit from Ken's Clocks.

    If anyone out there has one of these clocks I would like to add the serial numbers to my list. Please post the numbers here or send me a Private Message. Thanks

    Alan
     
  10. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Good evening, Alan!

    I'm attaching a couple of photos. The button, as I said, is on the top middle near the back. The other photo is of the leaf switch it actuates to sync the clock. It does work. There's a hole in the bottom left inside where the synchronizing wires came through.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Alan

    Alan Registered User
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    Hi Tim,

    That extra brass piece with the leaf switch on the back mounting plate of the clock mechanism looked familiar but I didn't look close enough. Now I see that it is the synchronizing switch from a "F" movement. I don't think this was a factory addition but clearly done by someone that knows SWCC clocks. I have attached a photo of a typical "F" movement for anyone that may not be familiar with the synchronizing switch. I will never cease to be amazed at the variations one sees with these SWCC clocks. Alan

    SWCC Synchronizer.jpg
     
  12. FrankGIII

    FrankGIII New Member

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    I have one with movement # R50139 and escapement # 71468
     
  13. Alan

    Alan Registered User
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    Self Winding Surprises is the perfect Title. First, thank you Frank for the serial numbers. I will add them to the list. Could you please post a photo of your clock?
    And Second, a real coincidence. Today I posted a short YouTube video about "Desk Clocks made by the Self Winding Clock Co. for Western Union".


    View attachment 587191

    SWCC Western Union Desk clocks .jpg
     
    Steve Murphy and David Reed like this.

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