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Want to take a stab at maker and age? Weight driven wall clock.

Tinker Tim

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Just picked this up from a CL seller. Unfortunately, it only runs for a few minutes. About 52" tall. There is a maker's stamp - not sure of the first character, maybe an H - joined by F.B. in a triangle, the triangle is inside a circle with the words Freiburg i Schul. Serial number 13945.
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John Hubby

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Just picked this up from a CL seller. Unfortunately, it only runs for a few minutes. About 52" tall. There is a maker's stamp - not sure of the first character, maybe an H - joined by F.B. in a triangle, the triangle is inside a circle with the words Freiburg i Schul. Serial number 13945.
Tim, thanks for your inquiry and the photos of your clock. Actually, the first letter in the logo is "U" and U. F. B. is for Uhrenfabrik Borussia of Freiburg, Silesia. According to info on the Mikrolisk trademark site (www.mikrolisk.de) this company was founded in 1888 and merged with Gustav Becker and five others in 1899 to form the Vereinigten Freiburger Uhrenfabriken, vormals Gustav Becker (VFU). Here is the info from Mikrolisk:

Uhrenfabrik Borussia.jpg I have documented very few of these clocks as they seem to be quite scarce, so can't give you an idea of exactly when it was made other than during their period of operation. The small serial number could indicate it was in the earlier part of their business, perhaps early 1890s. The scarcity of these clocks is likely due to their being in operation only about 11 years, thus their total production would be relatively small. On most Freiburg clocks the serial number can be used to indicate the age but I don't know of any data showing that for Borussia. Perhaps one of our colleagues from Poland who are studying all the Freiburg (now Sweibodzice, Poland) clockmakers can offer some idea.

Your clock appears to be complete and possibly all original, it should not be difficult to get it back in operating condition. Most likely the main reason it only runs for a few minutes could be that it is not in beat. You should hear a steady and even "tick-tock" when the clock is running. If it is not even, you can test by tilting the bottom end of the case on the wall toward the shortest tick or tock, and you should be able to hear it even out. Actually there is an adjusting screw on the pendulum crutch that you can turn one way or the other to bring the movement into beat, you can see it in the photo of the back of the movement you posted.

One favor, could you post a photo of the movement support bracket and gong in the back of the clock case? That will help with documentation of other UFB clocks.
 
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Tinker Tim

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John, thanks so much for the great information - and so quick! Fascinating to hear the history. I'll definitely try the adjusting screw. The beat was sounding pretty good to me, but I'll keep working on it.
 

Tinker Tim

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Here are more pictures: The support bracket and gong with and without the pendulum in place, a shot of the mounting thumbscrews and the movement with and without the thumbscrews in place. And one of the bottom of the movement for good measure.
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chronologiker

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John you wrote:

"According to info on the Mikrolisk trademark site (www.mikrolisk.de) this company was founded in 1888 and merged with Gustav Becker and five others in 1899 to form the Vereinigten Freiburger Uhrenfabriken, vormals Gustav Becker (VFU)."

John, there is no clear evidence that Borussia was involved in the merger of the Freiburg clock factories in 1899:

- In the official communications on the VFU- merger, Borussia is not listed.
- And in the German clockmaker journals, we also read nothing about a participation of Borussia.

So I think Microlisk´s info is not reliable.

According to my impression, around the year 1896 Borussia stopped production and closed down.

Best regards!

Chronologiker
 

Dave T

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Nice clock. One thing I would do is straighten out the cable on the drum to avoid overlap. And too, the cable appears to be too heavy for this clock to me. Just my thoughts.
 

bruce linde

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the best way to make sure a clock is happy and healthy is to go through it when you first get it... or have someone go through it for you. these guys want to be serviced every 5-ish years... oil dries out, parts wear, etc. some of these vienna regulators run with very little pendulum arc... clean and freshly oiled insure better running and longer life.

those weight cords look a little fat to me, as well... if it were mine, i'd replace with slightly thinner and darker (your mileage may vary!).
 

Tinker Tim

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Thanks all, for your input. I did get this clock running and keeping time, but it was far from plumb when in beat. A closer look showed a broken suspension spring, I should have seen it last night. Anyway, I'll have to hunt down the correct replacement. I don't know how to determine the right cord size for the weights. Any insight?

Tom, I was wondering about those screws myself.
 

John Hubby

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John you wrote:

"According to info on the Mikrolisk trademark site (www.mikrolisk.de) this company was founded in 1888 and merged with Gustav Becker and five others in 1899 to form the Vereinigten Freiburger Uhrenfabriken, vormals Gustav Becker (VFU)."

John, there is no clear evidence that Borussia was involved in the merger of the Freiburg clock factories in 1899:

- In the official communications on the VFU- merger, Borussia is not listed.
- And in the German clockmaker journals, we also read nothing about a participation of Borussia.

So I think Microlisk´s info is not reliable.

According to my impression, around the year 1896 Borussia stopped production and closed down.

Best regards!
Chronologiker
Chronologiker, thanks for your comments. I did a search of the Message Board and found some threads where this same question was discussed in 2007 while Doug Stevenson was still with us, and his cryptic comments about the merger and the information available (supported by H-H Schmid in that discussion) was that there was as much mis-information as there was accurate information; among the topics discussed was the frequent early name changes for example. I know that Borussia was not mentioned in any of the official announcements made in DUZ and AGU at the time of the merger, however what actually happened to Borussia seems to be a mystery if they weren't involved and perhaps had closed down before the merger as you surmise. Do you know of any reliable report that mentions what actually happened to Borussia? If there is anything it would be very useful if you could post it here.

For info, in the search I did, only two other Borussia clocks have ever been identified on this Message Board, both by our Polish colleagues. One of them has the same logo stamp as this clock, the other very early one (serial number 784) has the following, all stamped in straight lines:

Uhren-Fabrik
....Borussia
Freiburg i. Schl.

I will discuss the Borussia question with Andreas (Mikrolisk) to see where he obtained the information he posted.
 

Yahagi

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Hello
I read this thread ... and since Borussia Freiburg is a producer to whom I devoted a lot of time - I thought that I would share my observations with my colleagues from NAWCC. Of course, the results of my research are not complete and I cannot answer all the questions. These are not only my thoughts, because my colleagues from Poland and Russia played a key role here, with whom I have been exchanging insights and sharing the acquired knowledge for a long time.

For starters - I believe that basically 99% of Borussia was not VFU at the negotiating table. For a simple reason. It ended its activity around 1895. It produced no more than +/- 41,000 movements. The latest I've seen is number 40090.
The company is continued by Kappel Co. This can be easily checked, because there _no_exist_ Kappel mechanisms with numbering less than 41000 (Tatyana - compliments).
The first Kappel I have in the archive is number 41152 and it already has a signature. The construction of the Borussia and Kappel mechanisms is basically identical. They differ in minimal changes under the shield. In general, the design remains the same, the tips are the same, the escapement foot is the same.

Based on the collected materials, I believe that:

1878 (?) - 1888 - an unknown manufacturer operated in Freiburg. Its name is not documented, but I believe it is most likely Fortuna Freiburg. Due to the lack of one-specific evidence as to who the manufacturer was - we temporarily call it PraBorussia. He produced about 45,500 movements.

1888-1894 (+/- 1) - Borussia Freiburg. The activity of this company, in my opinion, can be linked to the previous producer (PraBorussia / Fortuna?) On the basis of the design. About 41,000 mechanisms.

1895 (+/- 1) -1899 - Kappel Co. He continued the numbering of Borussia. From about 41,000 to 63,474, which already has some GBecker characteristics.

PraBorussia:
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Borussii:

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Kappel

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