Sidney Advertising Clock: Lower Movement Mainspring Specifications Needed.

MLSchlot

NAWCC Business
Sponsor
Feb 10, 2001
512
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Fairhope, Alabama
thesandsoftime.biz
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I'm working on a Sidney Advertising regulator and need specifications for the lower movement mainspring (drives the 3 rotating advertisement cans). The lower movement and cans are most likely from a reproduction kit that was available a number of years ago. When I disassembled the lower movement for maintenance, I discovered the mainspring was composed of two 0.018" x 0.750" x 96" springs, piggy-backed one on top of the other in an effort to double the strength of the two combined springs. This seems very kludgey to put it mildly. A single spring of the same width, but longer and thicker would work as well; I haven't done the math yet. However, before going down that path, I'd like to know how the lower movement was powered in the original lower movements as Strait designed and manufactured it. I attached a photo of the clock I'm working on.

The upper glass is new, probably from S. LaRose or another supplier from back in the day. The pendulum bob window is too low for the clock movement. I think I have a piece of old, 1900 vintage glass I can cut down, have it appropriately repainted, and install in its place. The dial is old, but was completely repainted. FYI, this Sidney uses a New Haven movement for timekeeping. Any information and assistance is most appreciated. Regards -- Mike

SidneyAdvertiser.jpg
 
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Willie X

Registered User
Feb 9, 2008
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It looks curiously new. A photo of the movement might tell th story. Willie X
 

MLSchlot

NAWCC Business
Sponsor
Feb 10, 2001
512
20
18
Fairhope, Alabama
thesandsoftime.biz
Country
Region
Can't post a movement photo until I put it back together. It's simply a loop-end mainspring great wheel mating to the #2 arbor cut pinion whose wheel drives the #3 arbor pinion sitting on top of the center can; a very simple arrangement. The bottom of each can has a simple, tin wheel that meshes with the tin wheel on its neighboring can. The clock movement has a lift wire that raises and releases a rocker arm every 5 minutes that rings a small cup bell, unlocks the center can, allowing it to rotate 90 degrees, which in turn, rotates the two adjacent cans 90 degrees. I posted an interior view of the case showing the lift wire extending from the New Haven movement, the rocker arm that releases and arrests the center can, and the center can pinion. The can movement installs to the left below the instruction sheet duplicated on my computer from photographs and printed years ago. The disassembled movement is in my cleaning tank.

Yes, this clock has had a lot of restoration. My Dad found this clock at auction many years ago. He didn't know what it was when he saw it, but knew it was something different and possibly unique. The only thing present when he found it was the main body of the case, dial and movement. It looked like it had sat in a barn for 50+ years. After purchasing what was there at the auction, the clock laid in Dad's shop for over 6 months until, as he put it, the lightbulb came on one night and he realized what the clock was. After examining and photographing working examples at Columbia, he called asking me to get on the Internet and locate parts for the advertising mechanism. After some searching, I found a mostly complete reproduction lower movement, with the cans, and between the two of us, with lots of photos and notes from Columbia, got it running.

The fretwork fence on top of the case is new. The oak can housing was completely gone and rebuilt from photographs taken at the NAWCC Museum in Columbia. The original case was refinished to match the new fretwork and advertising case. As I said, replacement advertising glass was purchased and installed at that point to hurry the project to completion. I don't think Rexall Drugstores even existed until after World War 1, and I suspect these advertising clocks were no longer a significant revenue generator for the company. Several years later when it was published in 2004, I gave Dad the book "An Empire in Time". However the section on Andrew Strait and The Sidney Advertising Clock Company didn't provide any information on how long these advertising clocks remained in service. The fact that the sight window for the pendulum bob didn't line up has bothered me for years, and is probably why Dad never changed it. :) He was the one who taught me to despise modern, flat glass installed in an antique clock.

Dad passed 12 years ago and I kept the clock in the family as it was one of his favorites. It has been running, ringing the bell every 5 minutes (which my wife hates) and changing ads until a few months ago. A couple of the solder joints holding the center can in its cylinder shape failed and jammed up the lower advertising works. This past weekend, I took the lower half apart, fixed the broken joints, and changed out the display content Dad had installed (pictures of clocks from Tran's books) for more period appropriate advertising from the Spanish-American War period. While in there, I decided to overhaul the advertising movement on general principle. When I saw the mainspring arrangement, I figured it was overdue for a change.

IMG_7075.jpg
 
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