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Discussion in 'Tower, Monumental & Street Clocks' started by kirxklox, Jul 28, 2007.
Gog and MaGog
In Greenfield Village, of course. While it is was not open to the public when I was there. The shop inside is reputed to be Henry Ford's watchmaking shop. At least I think I am remebering that correctly.
Gog and Magog have recently undergone a refurbishing. The original building came from England and was five stories high. It was shortened to two stories when it was relocated at the Village.
The statues of Gog and Magog and two angels strike bells to play the Westminster Chimes on each quarter hour, and to strike the hour.
The pictures below show the Sir John Bennett Jewelry shop as it sat in the Village before the restoration and then during and after restoration was completed. The whole building underwent a good cleaning. The stonework surrounding the clock was cleaned, as was the clock dial and the spire.
Henry Ford enjoyed repairing watches. I believe the jewelry shop closest to his watch repairing experiences was the Grimm Jewelry Shop, just around the corner from the Bennett shop. It was there that Henry would go in and talk to the jeweler. The shop served the Detroit area. The Ford farm was not far from the Dearborn - Detroit border. I had the great opportunity to take a course in clock repair in the second floor of the Grimm shop from Bob Cheyne, curator of clock for Greenfield Village.
HMMM. I still need to get the knack of posting the pictures. They did not come out in the order I had imagined they would. I put them in the reverse order of how I wanted them to appear, but they are scrambled.
The first picture shows before restoration. You can see that the colors of the statues are quite faded and the white stone around the clock is not very white.
The second picture shows one of the gilded angels being hoisted into place. It is wrapped in a white cloth cover.
The third one shows the final - restored installation.
The fourth picture shows Gog and Magog in their crates waiting to be reinstalled on the building.
The fifth picture is the restored spire.
The sixth picture shows the building. You can see the difference in the white stone around the dial, and the more vibrant numbers on the dial itself.
The seventh picture should have been toward the beginning. It was the sight I first saw one day when walking through the Village. The man standing there was definitely not Gog or Magog, and it was my first clue that restoration was underway.
The last picture shows a mirror that is inside the shop today, and was part of the original shop when it was in England. Today the shop is used for snacks and lemonade sales.
Who did the restoration ?
I have written to them requesting that information. I will let you know if they reply.
I received the following information from the Village staff. The link provided at the bottom is very interesting and has a good deal of information and some additional pictures. I wish to thank the Greenfield Village staff for their helpful response to my inquiry.
When Gog and Magog were restored, the building work was done by various outside contractors. The figures and bells were restored by McKay Lodge in Oberlin, Ohio. The clock mechanism was restored by Henry Ford Museum conservation staff.
I found this picture of how it looked in the late 1800s.
I took this picture yesterday, September 29, 2019 after it had struck the noon hour! Fascinating to observe.
Brad Maisto, KY Floral #44 Secretary
Comments on Sir Bennett's Shop, Gog and Magog;
A lot of incorrect information was posted regarding these issues...
Figures went through significant restoration in 2015. See my article in January/February 2019 Watch and Clock Bulletin in which I described the tower clock movement driving the figures.
In early 1990's Great Lakes Chapter members helped The Henry Ford replace the winding system with "monkey on rope" electrical winding mechanism,
The Conservation staff does not do any clock repair as it does not have any in-house expertise in clock repair - this is not faulting Conservation Group as it has enormous tasks handling the other 24 million plus other artifacts. They rely on outside expertise for certain objects. There has been no major work since then except some minor cleaning and oiling done by local Detroit area clock repair. Movement does need some work, but it is not scheduled.
If I'm not mistaken, Phil Wright, of the Tower Clock Company, has been involved with some restoration work on this clock and some of the others around the Henry Ford Museum. I believe it is on-going. I'm not sure what all is being done, but I believe it is general maintenance. One of the Seth Thomas tower clocks at the museum has had some work by him very recently, as well. Beautiful clocks in and around all the Henry Ford museums.
Going off topic
According to Wikipedia Sir John Bennet was a bit of a character
John Bennett (watchmaker) - Wikipedia
Last year, Phil Wright completely disassembled and cleaned all the parts and reassembled the museum's Seth Thomas No. 16 tower clock.
Conservation group showed Phil the tower clock driving Gog and Magog, but no work was planned for it.
I volunteer at The Henry Ford and interact regularly with the Conservation group.
The best HF Museum clocks are in storage.
Interesting and thanks for your volunteer hours at the museum. Do you have any idea if the HF clock collection has been catalogued and or if the NAWCC has any of this information?
Thanks Again, Brad Maisto, KY Floral #44 Secretary
Both the HF Museum's Clock and watch collections were cataloged many years ago. Anyone can come to Benson Research Center and search the collections catalog; it can be a bit challenging.
I can not answer your question about NAWCC, because I don't what you mean by NAWCC?