Wooden Works Clockmaker

Steven Thornberry

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Harold: Being not too familiar with wooden works movements, I am wondering what is the purpose of the block beneath the count wheel?
 

harold bain

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Harold, there is nothing on this maker in Spittler's and Bailey's American Clockmakers and Watchmakers. Clock may have been made by others, with a label put on by the seller.
Steven, that block has the bushing for the gear that drives the countwheel.
 

Richard T.

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Hi Harold,

This is a case as Harold Bain said where the clock was made by others and the label overpasted with a "Southern" location and/or "maker" name. At the time (18--'s) there were approximately 164 listed men advertising that they were providing various goods and services. Very few of the 164 listed men could make a clock much less a watch. These artisans very frequently and by necessity combined elements of many crafts or services, occasionally including dentistry and optometry. Their advertisements beclouded the original basic skill and the degree of skill. To add to the confusion, there were those who would advertise as one thing in one town and as another if they moved elsewhere, suggesting that they were influenced by local needs and competition.

There was such antipathy toward Yankee clocks and clock peddlers that the following petition was laid before the legislature in 1829.

"We your humble petitioners have no ordinary feeling of regret, viewed the injury that has accured and is now daily accruing to the people of this State by the vending of wooden clocks. Speculators from the North are sweeping the country of what little money remains, and we feel ourselves supported by truth and reason in asserting that $100,000 is carried out of our State annually. Trusting the wisdom of your honorable body, we say no more, believing that something will be done in order to check the rapidly growing evil, by laying certain duties on said vendors or by any other plan more compatible with the will of your honorable body , and we your humble petitioners as in duty bound, will ever pray."

The legislature responded by passing an act on Jan 5, 1830 requiring clock peddlers to obtain a license for twenty-five dollars from the county court clerk in each county in which they wished to sell.

To shorten this story a bit....the result were numerous "overpasted" labels from many of the Southern states. These labels are relatively scarce today. I have one that is from Georgia.

I can't quite read the town in Tennessee on your label but think it is Rock Spring, Tennessee. This would have been "Couch, Stowe & Co." Couch Stowe and Co., operated a general merchandise store. Besides having to use a local name to circumvent the tax, the clock peddlers were shrewd enough to realize that a faraway Connecticut name would have no appeal but that the name of some local firm, store, or individual would engender confidence in the minds of local buyers.

My Reference for most of this is Dixie Clockmakers by James W. Gibbs, 1979.

The photo below shows a Dyer,Wadsworth & Co. clock with an Augusta Georgia label.

Regards,

Richard T.


 

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RJSoftware

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Man, they all look the same to me.

Sooth might know.

I got works looks real close to that. It's an Elisha Manross. (One of these days I gotta work on it again, seems the gears keep breaking another tooth).

Don't get me wrong. Love the clock. But they do damage easy.

RJ
 

RJSoftware

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Amazing story Richard T; Do you think that this particular clock peddling company used Elisha works?

I would imagine the pasted label also gives the clock greater value too.

RJ
 

clockpoor

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I am certainly no expert on Wooden Works clocks, but to my eye your clock works are identical to the works in my Seth Thomas. See attached photo.

CP
 

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zepernick

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Good stuff indeed, Richard T! Thanks for the most interesting information.
 

Richard T.

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Greetings all,

I certainly am not an expert on wooden works movements and probably never will be. I quite often refer to the excellent book, "Eli Terry and The Connecticut Shelf Clock by Roberts and Taylor, 2nd edition. " There are many differences that are not obvious upon initial inspection. The front plates of many of these clocks look very similar. A true expert on wooden works clocks could examine several movements and be able to point out differences between them or even identify the maker. I am not that individual. Hopefully one of these experts will read the MB and offer insights into some of the differences concerning these movements.

Greetings Zep, thanks.

Best regards,

Richard T.
 

lofty

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RJ, I was not aware that Elisha Manross either made or used wooden movements in his clocks, I have checked the supplements for both 30 hour and 8 day wood movements and have been unable to find him listed in either, as a maker or a user. What type of clock do you have ?



Lofty
 

Richard T.

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Eli Terry and the Connecticut Shelf Clock, Roberts and Taylor does say that
Quote: Manross & Wilcox may have made wood clock parts and that Wilcox sold his half back to Manross in 1833. Manross & Norton was formed in 1837 perhaps continuing to make wood clock parts. No Manross labels have yet been noted in wood movement clocks. End Quote.

Regards,

Richard T.
 

RJSoftware

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Ooops..! My bad. I meant Elisha Hotchkiss.
:%
RJ
 

Sooth

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The closest names I've found in Palmer's book is Solomon Stow, or one of several Stowell.

The movement seems to come up with an ID for Boardman & Wells movement (type 9.223 or 11.223 - both Boardman & Wells) used by many other makers (over 20).

The movement does appear identical to clockpoor's with the single exception of the size of the round brass button where the verge sits. It's also impossible to see if the columns match on either movement. However, the ID guide does not make a distinction between the size of the round button, only it's shape, so clockpoor's movement (sorry to say) is likely an incorrect Boardman & Wells in a Seth Thomas case.

Harold, your movement is very likely original, and in a case made (or sold by) a rare/barely known maker.

 

Kevin W.

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Harold i emailed you about this clock.There is one for sale, you know the place.It may or may not help you. :thumb:
 

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