• We are aware of the performance issues with the forum. These are due to problems with Comcast's shared lines in the Columbia, PA area. On December 15, we signed a contract to bring a dedicated fiber line to the forum servers. It should take somewhere between 30 and 90 days to install. Thank you for your patience.

Seth Thomas Sonora 5 bell # 14

Raymond Rice

NAWCC Member
Feb 14, 2011
357
48
28
NYS
Country
Region
A friend is downsizing and selling off some of his collection and I have picked up a few. This one is a Sonora 5 Bell #14 according to Tran's Seth Thomas Volume 1. It runs well; chimes are quiet pleasant, but the case is rather plain. With a price of $36 in 1911, it appears that this must have been the entry level for the Sonora feature.
With three other chime clocks competing for attention on the hour, the dainty Sonora bells are easily lost in the commotion, so I put it on top of my desk that I may enjoy its sound.
Ray Rice

PA160018.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: Russell Dickson

rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

NAWCC Member
Nov 26, 2009
6,147
1,401
113
Country
A friend is downsizing and selling off some of his collection and I have picked up a few. This one is a Sonora 5 Bell #14 according to Tran's Seth Thomas Volume 1. It runs well; chimes are quiet pleasant, but the case is rather plain. With a price of $36 in 1911, it appears that this must have been the entry level for the Sonora feature.
With three other chime clocks competing for attention on the hour, the dainty Sonora bells are easily lost in the commotion, so I put it on top of my desk that I may enjoy its sound.
Ray Rice

View attachment 617426
Actually, when one considers what the typical wage was for a laborer in 1911, that was hardly an entry level price.

I'm not sure how accurate it is, but using one of the on-line calculators, in today's $'s it would be nearly $1,000!

RM
 

Russell Dickson

NAWCC Member
Dec 1, 2011
1,021
99
48
New York
newsblaze.com
Country
Region
A friend is downsizing and selling off some of his collection and I have picked up a few. This one is a Sonora 5 Bell #14 according to Tran's Seth Thomas Volume 1. It runs well; chimes are quiet pleasant, but the case is rather plain. With a price of $36 in 1911, it appears that this must have been the entry level for the Sonora feature.
With three other chime clocks competing for attention on the hour, the dainty Sonora bells are easily lost in the commotion, so I put it on top of my desk that I may enjoy its sound.
Ray Rice

View attachment 617426
I always loved sonora chimes i have two of them in my collection and they make great daily runners. I usually rest one while i run the other that way each one gets their time to shine. Enjoy it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Raymond Rice

Raymond Rice

NAWCC Member
Feb 14, 2011
357
48
28
NYS
Country
Region
RM, when I stated that the $36 must have been the entry level for the Sonora feature, I meant that by comparing this to other Seth Thomas Sonoras of the same period in Trans book. Seems to have been the cheapest Sonora, back in the day. I find it interesting that the same "Chime Clock #14" from 1921, was $60.00 --and that one was striking on "perfectly tuned rods" , not bells. Go figure?
Ray Rice
 

JB

NAWCC Member
Dec 27, 2006
910
13
18
Country
Region
Similarly I just picked up my first Seth Thomas 5 bell yesterday ..been a year or two since purchasing a clock but this was one on my list...a Kijiji find ...i'm loving the bells ..once I fixed the dislodged click spring on the chimes main spring. IMG_6612 (1).jpg
 
Last edited:

Old Rivers

NAWCC Member
Oct 4, 2016
145
21
18
North Texas
Country
Region
A friend is downsizing and selling off some of his collection and I have picked up a few. This one is a Sonora 5 Bell #14 according to Tran's Seth Thomas Volume 1. It runs well; chimes are quiet pleasant, but the case is rather plain. With a price of $36 in 1911, it appears that this must have been the entry level for the Sonora feature.
With three other chime clocks competing for attention on the hour, the dainty Sonora bells are easily lost in the commotion, so I put it on top of my desk that I may enjoy its sound.
Ray Rice

View attachment 617426
Raymond,

Congratulations on your acquisition. I have a ST Sonora very similar to yours. With regard to the bells getting "lost", mine ring out loud and clear from the next room, cutting through the clamor of other chime clocks. My wife sometimes complains that it's "too loud". You might consider refitting your bell hammers with harder strike tips.

Bill
 

Bruce Alexander

Sponsor
NAWCC Brass Member
Feb 22, 2010
7,627
885
113
Hanover, PA
www.testoftimeclocks.com
Country
Region
You might consider refitting your bell hammers with harder strike tips
I'll sometimes find hardened leather inserts and even wood installed in the Hour Strike Hammer. As per Bill's suggestion I like to install Delrin tips. The material is nicely machined for precise size and threads. It provides a crisp, sharp strike that is someone along the lines of wood, perhaps a little softer and it should outlast leather although anything new will probably outlast us all.

For me, Five Bells is an upgrade to any case model equipped with just Four Bells. In the case of Four Bells, the hour strike is on the lowest toned of the Chime Bell, or more often it seems that the Hour Strike is accomplished with a Three Bell Chord. The separate, large hour bell is more pleasing to my ear.

These are nice clocks. Congrats.

Bruce
 

Raymond Rice

NAWCC Member
Feb 14, 2011
357
48
28
NYS
Country
Region
Old Rivers, I'm quite content with the soft chime sound. Our other chime clocks came be heard anywhere in the house. (The J. J. Elliot grandfather can probably be heard by the neighbors -- the next door neighbors live in a remodeled church and they occasionally ring the church bell at odd hours -- so I doubt that they will complain about my chime clocks.)
Ray Rice
 

Isaac

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
1,201
309
83
Country
Region
It is a decent sum of money for the Sonora feature - one must remember that there are other furnishings in the house that needed to be bought as well. I believe the cheapest was the No. #5, in an adamantine case with the triangular top.

In regards to the seemingly large increase in list price for the rod chimer compared to the bell chimer, I would consider the primary reason for the increase is from inflation.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
170,880
Messages
1,491,838
Members
49,961
Latest member
MatthewFeldwick
Encyclopedia Pages
1,060
Total wiki contributions
2,967
Last edit
E. Howard & Co. by Clint Geller