Wooden Tall Clock Movement with Milled Teeth

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Tom Vaughn, May 21, 2018.

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  1. Tom Vaughn

    Tom Vaughn Registered User

    Feb 10, 2018
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    Here's a neat one! I just got this on ebay last night, It's a wreck and is missing some important parts, but I had to get it considering that it's got milled teeth instead of cut teeth!
    I'm nearly positive this is a product of Mark Leavenworth. When I first saw the parts I assumed it could have been a Harrison considering the milled teeth and threaded arbors, but when looking at Mark Leavenworth movements, they layout is identical.
    What do you think? an early Mark Leavenworth with milled teeth? or maybe another Waterbury area product? Does anyone have a Mark Leavenworth with milled teeth? The Early American Wooden Tallcase book only shows cut teeth as Leavenworth products.
    I should be getting the clock sometime this week and will share more photos once I get it all cleaned up.
    It looks to be missing the second pinion and wheel, the count wheel, the third wheel and fan on the strike side, and the other strike lever pieces. It sure would have been great to find other parts, or the dial, but I contacted the seller and they said it was part of a box lot, and unfortunately all context on this clock has been lost.
    (Also, there is another part pictured that is about an inch long, and has two wire pieces attached. I don't think this goes with this clock....)

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  2. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Tom, I think it is likely that this is a William Leavenworth movement. I'm not sure that Mark ever used milled teeth. I don't see a picture of the front plate- how many studs are used to join the dial to the upper dial stiffener? Typically Mark used two, William one, though I'm not sure there wasn't some overlap. Here are a few pictures of my Mark Leavenworth movement. markleavenworth.JPG markleavenworthtimeside.JPG markleavenworthstrikeside.JPG markleavenworthback.JPG
     
  3. Tom Vaughn

    Tom Vaughn Registered User

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    Here's the front plate. There are two dial fastener posts, but one snapped off. Note the staggered posts in between the plates too, similar to Mark Leavenworth. I have a William Leavenworth tall case clock that's complete, this clock is rather different...

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  4. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    It does look Mark-like.
     
  5. Tom Vaughn

    Tom Vaughn Registered User

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    Here's a picture of my William L. dial fastener, the fastener is part of the dial and pegs into the front plate...

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  6. Tom Vaughn

    Tom Vaughn Registered User

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    I got the clock in the mail the other day, cleaned it up a bit, and reassembled it. It's actually missing both the second, and third wheels with pinions on the time side, which is rather disappointing, but overall it cleaned up nice. I noticed that the hour wheel looks like it was made with a cutting machine instead of a single milling wheel, but the hour pipe is also threaded on which suggests its also original to this clock. The clock hasn't been tampered with either as far as I can tell, no replaced teeth, parts, etc. so I'm deciding to leave this clock in the condition it is in. There is almost little-to-no wear on the pinions or teeth, so it doesn't look like it was in operation for a very long time... It looks to me like it broke some time in the 1800's, was thrown in the barn, and the seller had a scavenger hunt finding all the pieces. I showed some other clock experts who also agree it follows the Mark Leavenworth style, but no-one has seen one with milled teeth. I looked at some of Chris Bailey's "Waterbury style" movements at the clock museum which are all unidentified makers, and there are no significant similarities to this clock. All of those at the museum that have milled teeth are either Harrison's or 8 day movements.
    One thing I found, is that when James Harrison closed his clock shop, the machinery went to William Leavenworth, and the leftover clock stock went to Anson Sperry around 1809. Anson Sperry later went into business with King William Lamson, who sold out one third to Mark Leavenworth in 1811. There is a three year gap here, but clearly Mark Leavenworth had an influence on this clock, or could have been influenced by this clock. Maybe this clock was affiliated with Sperry?

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  7. Tom Vaughn

    Tom Vaughn Registered User

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    I was at the clock museum today and managed to get an ID on this clock. I noticed in my last response that I forgot to mention the die stamp JC on the seatboard. Also, I noticed that the hour wheel is cut instead of milled, but is also threaded which suggests it is in fact original. So here we have an ID of someone who assembled this clock, and also a maker who is using composite milled and sawn teeth, which is rather odd. It also has plates which resemble the exact same as Mark Leavenworth, but all of the laurel turnings are different than Mark Leavenworth's, and we have milled teeth.
    I found a maker in our archives, James M. Cook, who was working in the Waterbury clock industry in 1812. James Cook, was recorded in Mark Leavenworths account books as a Waterbury Clock maker who was purchasing parts from Lamson, Sperry, & co. (The Co. being Mark Leavenworth), and assembling them on his own to market and trade himself. As I previously mentioned, Anson Sperry, received the leftover stock inventory of clock parts from James Harrison in 1809. So here we have a positive connection between this clock having the same layout as a Mark Leavenworth, and milled teeth as a Harrison.
    Tom Manning and I, found a strikingly similar clock in storage at the museum today which was part of Ward Francillon's collection that was nearly the exact same as my clock, with milled teeth, however it only had one dial post, (Assuming that the maker of the Francillon clock purchased plates from William Leavenworth for this clock).
    Basically, I can conclude that this clock is a product of James Cook, who purchased parts from other clockmakers and assembled them on his own.
    (There is a picture of a wooden rod with wires attached in my last post, It came with this clock but I could not find out where it came from... It's most likely off of a black forest wag on the wall clock to suspend a pendulum...)

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