Twiss clock

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by CJo, Apr 15, 2011.

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  1. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Got this clock a few years ago. Been setting on a shelf in the den, kind of forgotton and neglected. Although the clock is missing a few thing, I really like it, it's different than anything I have. I've never set it up to see if it will run, afraid of tearing it up, I guess. It has 3 winding holes, does anyone know more about this clock?:confused: It looks like it has 2 hammers, one under the movement and one on top, which I tried to photograph. Just would like any info that anyone has, or comments. Thank!:D
     

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  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Hi, CJo. This thread will give you a bit of Twiss history:
    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=31453
    Your movement looks like my Chauncey Boardman groaner, except for the alarm feature (your third wind arbor).
     
  3. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Harold, what is the definition of a groaner?
     
  4. iowaclock

    iowaclock Registered User

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    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=49623

    Here is a link to a thread from 2009 in regards to a Twiss Clock that is in my family. Normally you see more long cases for Twiss clocks so the shelf wood works are somewhat unusual. Great Dial you have there.
     
  5. secondarylead

    secondarylead Registered User

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    CJo,

    Twiss brothers shelf clocks are not very common. Most of their clockmaking centered around wooden tall case (grandfather) clocks. The shelf clocks were likely made while they had their business in Meridan, Connecticut.

    I also have a Groaner case like yours, but without a movement or dial. My case has just two panes in the door, versus your case having the third at the bottom.

    I was interested in seeing the alarm movement in the clock. I have the exact same movement in an Austin Chittenden Groaner wooden clock with alarm.

    Groaner movements are generally attributed to the clockmaker Chauncey Boardman of Bristol, Connecticut. The name comes from the fact that when it runs and strikes, it can tend to make a "chattering sound" in addition to the bell being struck. This sound is usually due to the combined movement of the wooden strike wheels and dropping of the weight.

    The Groaner movement was designed to circumvent the Eli Terry 5 arbor wood movement patent to compete in the highly competitive wood clock market between 1824 -1837.

    Most frequent sellers (and their labels) of the Groaner clocks I have seen are Jerome's & Darrow (CT), Chauncey Boardman (CT), Austin Chittenden (Mass), Daniel Pratt (Mass) and Pratt & Frost (Mass). The movements were usually supplied by the manufacturer, and the cases by the seller. Sometimes, the seller bought the complete clock from the manufacturer and applied their own over-pasted label, selling the clock under their name.

    I also have a Twiss shelf clock, a smaller stenciled column and splat with carved feet. It has a movement like the Terry 5 arbor 30 hour movement with some slight variation.

    All in all, you have a uncommon clock by the Twiss brothers.
     
  6. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

    Apr 11, 2002
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    Nice clock.I have only seen tall case clocks made by Twiss and did not know they made other types.Thanks for sharing this.
     
  7. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Secondarylead covered it better than I could in his description. You have a very collectable clock. Many Twiss clocks I have seen had Riley Whiting movements, and they did make some of their own.
     
  8. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Thanks all for the info. Secondarylead, I took some pictures as requested, just focused on the alarm part of the movement. I noted that there are a couple of repairs made to this movement, but don't look to bad. Hung a weight on the time side, it wants to run. Not really sure about the strike and alarm side. Clock only came with 2 weights. Should there be a 3rd weight? Has 3 cords. Seems like that is the only way the alarm would have worked. One fly at the top for the strike and one fly at the bottom for the alarm.
     

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  9. secondarylead

    secondarylead Registered User

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    CJo,

    There is a great article in the NAWCC Bulletins on Groaner alarm movements authored by Ward Francillon. It is in the December 1973 issue, Whole Number 167,Vol XVI. If you have access to the bulletins, that can be your source for much more detailed information about the movement in your clock.

    Yes, there should be a separate weight for the alarm. The above article states that likely the weight for the alarm would weigh 2.1lbs. The driving weight for the time and strike sides is 4.1lbs each. Groaner weights original to the clock are usually square. But, any weight, as long as around 4 lbs will run the clock.

    If you don't have access to bulletins from the NAWCC, "google" the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol Connecticut. Look under the Museum store or call them and ask if they have this back issue. Old copies of bulletins are for sale for a nominal cost.

    Thanks for the pictures on the alarm portion of the clock. I had never suspected that the case I have may need the alarmed Groaner movement versus the standard Groaner movement.

    Thanks for sharing your information with the board.
     
  10. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Secondarylead, you have been a lot of help and info and I do have back issues of the the bulletin, going to go dig it up right now. Thank!!:D
     
  11. Troy Livingston

    Troy Livingston Registered User
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    Yes, you need three weights. Attached is a photo of the weights for my David Dutton clock with the groaner alarm movement.

    IMG_6584.jpg
     
  12. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I'm gonna start by asking secondarylead to post his Twiss clock. I'd love to see it.

    Don't have much to add to his very nice precise about the Twiss'. The brothers were Austin, Benjamin, Joseph, Ira and Russell with papa Hiram. They apparently made clocks in Meridan, CT with branches in Montreal and Nashville.

    I will mention there are sources of information about them.

    As sort of a statement of principal, I start by doing my own research, then share it with others with the hope someone will add to what I have already found. Appeals to my idependent nature.

    First, I'm sure the Bulletin has information. If you're a member and are willing to do some reading, I would suggest performing an on-line search through the NAWCC website home page. It's the best benefit of membership. No longer need to plow through piles of old Bulletins! Honestly, whenever I encounter something horological I'm curious about, it's the first place I go for info.

    There are some good books about Canadian clocks and clockmakers, too.

    Canadian Clocks and Clock Makers by Burrows has information on pages 135-7 about the Twiss family. On page 137, figures 198-9, there's a B&H Twiss shelf clock with a 30 hour time and strike groaner movement. The case is similar with stencilled turned 1/2 columns applied to the front divided door with a stencilled splat. The label looks the same.

    Another highly recommended book is Early Canadian Timekeepers by Varkaris and Connell. On pages 125-35 there is a history of the Twiss family of clock makers with various examples illustrated.

    These are probably available throught the NAWCC library? I bought copies 2nd hand on line.

    Regarding the groaner movement, it's a wood time and strike 30 hour movement with the motion works on the front plate, a between the plates escapement, and overhead hourly strike. The name comes from the sound the movement makes when it strikes, or something like that. Having a between the plates alarm is a nice touch, indeed.

    Overall a really nice old crusty clock. Sweet dial, the 3 part door is a nice touch, looks like it has an original lower glass. Though it has suffered some losses, it's a very nice one with a stencilled boarder. There may be some stencilling surviving under the old finish on the columns and splat which may be revealed by the most gentle and careful cleaning.

    Enjoy the clock, and maybe in the future, enjoy doing some research and making you own discoveries.

    RM
     
  13. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    RM, Robert Booth has been doing some research of the Twiss family, and found that Joseph was the father's (and grandfather's) name. See April 2009 bulletin, page 222. Also see this thread:
    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=51135
     
  14. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks! That's a good one.

    Here's a link to the Bulletin reference you mention:

    http://www.nawcc.org/images/stories/2000/articles/2009/379/379_211.pdf

    My links haven't been working lately, hope this one does.

    Interesting, we both cite the same reference indicating that Hiram was the father...apparently not?

    RM
     
  15. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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  16. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    I tried the link Harold and it brought me to a sign on page.
     
  17. secondarylead

    secondarylead Registered User

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    As requested, here are some photos of the Twiss short column and splat clock with claw feet.
     

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  18. CJo

    CJo Registered User
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    Secondarylead, that's a really nice clock!:D and thanks to everone for all the info provided.
     
  19. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    I sure do love transition clocks.

    Nit picky question. The movement shown in the first pic clearly strikes a gong. The other pictures of the clock clearly show a bell. Is the movement pictured in this clock?

    Talking about the movement again regardless...is it ivory/bone bushed with a vertical ivory/bone bridge for the gear which meshes with the count wheel? Also looks like the hour pipe is square tipped rather than round. Finally, the plate for the verge pin is rectangular. Overall adds up to an interesting movement.

    Can you shed anymore light?

    RM
     
  20. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    Different strike hammers, too. Good eyes, RM. Maybe confusion amongst the movements.:confused:
     
  21. secondarylead

    secondarylead Registered User

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    RM,

    Good catch. I sent the wrong picture. The one I included is from a Silas Hoadley clock that I had taken pictures of previously for the message board.

    Please see px of the correct clock movement.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     

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  22. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks for the pics. Can now see the nice stencilling better, too.

    That cross banding in what looks like rosewood on the "chimney's" is interesting! Original?

    What a clean, crisp label, too.

    I'm liking your clock even more.

    That makes sense. The first movement you posted looks like a subtype 3 (correct me if I'm wrong as I always seem to mess up these classifications) that would be by Hoadley.

    This is also an interesting movement. Subtype 5 by Olcott Cheney:???:?

    RM
     
  23. secondarylead

    secondarylead Registered User

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    Yes, the crossbanding on the chimneys is original the clock and is rosewood.

    The movement is a 9.21 Olcott Cheney movement per Taylor's WW ID work. Per Snowden's later research, Cheney movements were found in and presumed used by Twiss for some of their shelf clocks.

    Original pin holes in movement holder side boards match up with the movement itself. All signs point to movement being original to clock.

    Yes, the Hoadley movement is a subtype 3.111 based on Taylor works.
     
  24. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks for the information.

    Re: the classification of the movement, I'm still using his 1980 publication where subtype 9's have the count wheel retainer @ 7 oclock. The one on your movement is at 4:30. The one pictured on pag 491 also has the rectangular verge pin mounting with the adjustment screw as well. I realize he has updated this information periodically, so things have changed.

    Once again, nice clock and thanks for sharing.

    RM
     

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