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Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Nahil, Mar 24, 2019.
I want to know what got you interested in learning about clocks...
My father gave me a non running 30 day dual spring time only Waterbury store regulator with so many coats of white paint the embossing of the door frame was completely filled and appeared smooth. I cleaned off all the paint, cleaned up the movement, and had it running in short order. It was several years before I figured out the clock was missing its top molding. That was 50 years ago and it has been all downhill ever since. Indeed, a slippery sloap. Proceed with caution. It can be a great ride!
I brought this Sessions clock as a pile of parts in a box at auction when I was 14. When I'm asked where I learnt to repair clocks, I point to this lowly black Sessions clock. I would not part with it for all the tea in China!
My first clock was a New Haven "Melrose" Westminster tambour, which I simply found at an antique store and decided that I liked the look and sound of it. I didn't know squat about clocks at the time, and much less how to deal with the infamous round plater movement
I was around 13 when I acquired it, and I joined this forum originally to ask about how to set the beat so it could run reliably.
I was around 7 or 8 and would go to the bank with my mother. The branches she went to had a huge, beautiful grandfather clock. While she transacted her business, I'd kneel on the floor in front of the clock and watch the pendulum and movement move. I was fascinated. Years later, wife said, "get a hobby", so I chose clocks. Still fascinated by their movements to this day.
My first clock wasn't a clock, but an ornate Waltham hunter pocket watch that I found in a second hand store next to my place of employment. It was later stolen and the search for one like it led to the eventual building of a decent collection of American hunters and the tools and skills to repair them. I later branched into clocks as a direct result of a 1977 Linden (Cuckoo Clock Manufacturing Company) mantle clock that was gifted to me in 2005. The joy of its chimes and the nefarious influence of these forums led me down this road to perdition.
I started collecting when we decided to buy a clock for our first anniversary. I bought it from a guy who's shop I used to hang out in, later when I got number two, it didn't run, he taught how to dunk and swish and use the "MAGIC" oil WD-40. Needles to say later on I learned the proper way to really service a clock. Well now we have been married for over fifty years, so at that rate it should be fifty clocks, well fortunately or unfortunately it's five hundred. Good luck in the hobby be careful about getting bit, and learn how to repair right.
My mother gave me her mothers clock she received as a wedding present in 1910. It was a Victorian Waterbury mantel clock, with a green swirled finish instead of black. Took it to a local clock repair shop. Met a couple guys in the NAWCC and joined the local chapter. After attending a few meetings and seeing a couple local collectors collections, I was hooked for life.
My parents collected antiques before collecting antiques was cool. Dad always had a lot of clocks. He had two banjos, many OG, column and splat shelf clocks, little shelf clocks, a Westminster chime clock and an old cuckoo clock. And his prize clock was his Thomas Lister tall case clock. I loved the constant ticking and tocking and the gonging, chiming, and cuckooing going on in our house. When my cousins spent the night they said it was too noisy to sleep.
My parents gave each of us four kids a shelf clock. Here is mine a Barnes and Bartholomew wooden works clock.
After my mother died my Dad had a public sale of his antiques and household stuff. I bought his Thomas Lister tall case clock shown here and in my avatar.
Then on eBay I found a Sessions "Revere" banjo just like the one we had in our kitchen, only this one has a bim bam chime while my parents' banjo had no chime. Through research I found that this sessions clock was made in 1928 while our house was built in 1929.
And in my basement workshop is a Sessions black mantel clock that belonged to my wife's Grandfather.
So with all my clocks I have a personal connection to.
I get a kick out of making them tic! There a few "hobbies" that require the extent of knowledge and skills to restore an old clock. Machinist, carpenter, artist, detective, you name it that's what it takes if you are really into it. For every thing I think I have done well, I find there is someone else out there doing something that knocks my socks off. And there is always something new to learn it never gets old. What got me started? I like to fix things. Joe
Year 1979 girlfriend and i were at a outdoor antique market and saw this oak case waterbury mantel clock for 99.00 ran it for 40 years giving it oil now and then. This year had movement rebuilt and happy with it.
Never saw the model name on the bay or on some web sites .
The clock has label underneath it "Elton" .
Thinking made around 1912 or so.
Since then have acquired 3 more clocks one being a grandfather clock.
Post a picture of the Waterbury if you get a chance.
I was always the little kid that got the broken or worn out watches and was determined I could fix them, never did. At around 12 or so my aunt married a man who collected clocks and I was amazed by the ones in his house. I was given a very plain old German box clock for Christmas and loved to here it's gong. At about 14 he helped me buy a Gustav Becker grandfather clock that I still have. From there I was hopelessly hooked. I acquired an old Waterbury kitchen clock that needed work. He sent me to a "clock man". His idea of fixing it was to punch up the plates with a nail. I knew that could not be the best way. Started looking around and found some real clock people. At that time Southwest Clock Supply was in Dallas and I met Hugh and Ruth Overton who got me into the NAWCC and I met some genuine clock repair people. Been hooked and hopelessly enamored with the mechanical clock ever since.
I have kept the old box clock because it was my first and they will probably bury me in the Becker.
The novelty, the sound, and animation involved with the cuckoo clock. Has a very old world charm and appeal. Fascinated with the mechanics. These clock cases were designed as bahnhausles in the 1850's first. Then these clock cases got a little more elaborated and fancier in design even they kept the original roadhouse style. Then these clock cases became chalets in design.
Jonathan Lee Jones
For a challenge, as my job was very hundrum and boring. I got into watch repair. Did fairly well with that, and wanted to challenge my self more so took up clock repairing.
I don’t consider myself a collector. I just like fixing the clocks. However, there are so many clocks that need fixing, and sell for less than the price of a dinner, I now have a collection.
My aunt and uncle rented a house near Heathrow (he was a navigator) and it had a painted dial longcase on the stairs. I wanted one from that day on.
I never expected to have quite so many, and I don't like painted dial and I wouldn't dream of putting one on the stairs if I had stairs, but that's where it started 55 years ago.
In the months before my retirement my wife Jann had purchased three antique wall clocks, none of them worked. I asked her why she kept buying broken clocks, she said she loved the looks of them and hung them anyway. Shortly after I retired I was having my morning coffee, looked at these things and thought it would be fun to try and get them working. I purchased a couple of books and read them front to back at least 3 times each, I then read every single post in the repair forum here (took days) to see what problems I could expect to encounter. It took awhile before I was brave enough to disassemble a movement but it has grown exponentially since. I have become a collector but I really enjoying repairing them.
I found a beat up Herschede grandmother clock at the local Salvation Army store and paid $70 for it. Tried to fix it and ended up breaking it. I then spent the next year trying to fix it myself and finally got it running. While I don't have much interest in most clocks, I found I enjoy working on them. On the other hand I do have an interest in master clocks and precision regulators. I'd like to own one some day, but so far make due with my crappy basement made lookalikes.
Funny thing about the Herschede is that everyone in the house uses it to tell the time so much, that if ever stops for any reason I instantly get complaints.
My journey started about 10 years ago when I found a non working Seth Thomas mantel clock in a junk shop and liked the way it looked and bought it for $30. All it needed was a key and good cleaning. $160 later the clock became an important part of our living room. The clockmaker I used was very good as over the next several years I took him clocks belonging to family members and such. Then he one day up and moved to California. Then one day my wife and I were in an antique store and she spots a little broken painted Gilbert beehive clock. It was a mess. No glass, no key and lots of dirt and grime. We took it home and I quickly caught the clock bug. I have always been handy with tools working on mostly automobiles and power equipment. I thought how hard can it be? Then I found out about all the "special" tools needed but what the heck. I love tools and this was another excuse to buy some. It took me several months but I overhauled the Gilbert, found and replaced the glass and its been running ever since. Right along side the ST. My "collection" now is probably over 50 clocks of various sizes and designs. My tools have come along way too and my wife continues to buy broken clocks for me to repair. I even have "customers" now who pay to have their clocks fixed. That increase my tool inventory. I always have at least one clock on the bench and look forward each and every day to sitting down and diving into it even if its only for a few minutes. Life was simple when these time pieces were more important and I like that simplicity and keeping these treasure alive.
Thank you to this forum and everyone on it! Couldn't do it without you!