English grandfather clock mechanism. This is one of four very old grandfather clocks I purchased in one shot. The clock case for this clock was in the best condition of the four clocks so, I decided to repair this one first. As you can see in the before picture this mechanism was looking real ragged. I was told that these grandfather clocks had been storage for many years in a barn and near the ocean. I don't know if it's true but they sure weren't' stored well in any case. My best guess is that this clock is something like 150 years old. The clockmakers name is on the hand painted dial but enough has rubbed off that we can't seem to quite make out what the name was. It took about 20 hours to clean, straighten and adjust to get it to look like the after picture. One exterior lever (a trigger for the chime) was broken which caused me to design and machine a replacement. There are very few replacement parts for clocks like these. As it turns out I designed the replacement lever such that it can be adjusted. This turned out to be very useful for two reasons. One, because the clock bell is rather loud and flat in tone I was able to adjust the lever to not operate, thus the clock wouldn't chime (only keep time). The second benefit was that this clock mechanism works on a single weight. This single weight powers both the "time" and "strike" sides of the mechanism; by not operating the chime side the clock would run longer, much longer. So, the clock will run for 8 days instead of 1 day with chime.
This is a French / Canadian Clock. Manufactured around 1906. It was manufactured by a guy named Pquegnat. Apparently he made some nice clocks and this clock sure is nice. Designed in the Mission Style this clock is unusual from other Mission Style Grandfather clocks I have seen. The unique item is that the pendulum and weights are totally enclosed and that it has a leaded glass door. Other mission grandfather clocks had vertical slats which left the pendulum and weights exposed open to air. The weights, pendulum, and mechanism are in excellent shape because they have been enclosed all this time. To get this clock in running order I disassembled the mechanism, fully cleaned and oiled. Needed torsion spring replacement, pendulum stick end need repair and the case needed a few repairs (nothing noticeable).
This was a clock repair for a friend and this is one of the better documented repairs I have. The clock just needed a good tear-down and cleaning. The pictures and accompanying text tells the whole story.
This is a Seth Thomas clock, identified on the dial face and on the movement. This particular model is called "Adele". This clock was manufactured in 1909; so it is close to being classified as an antique. This clock is an 8-Day time and strike.
The majority of the case is made of wood with a polished black finish (also know as ebonised). To ebonise means to stain and polish wood back to resemble ebony. Note: real ebony is very rare and expensive. Real, pure black, ebony can only be obtained in India, Sri Lanka, Burma and South Africa. Seth Thomas referred to this class of clocks as "Mantel Wood Case Clock with Adamantine Finish". The word "Adamantine" means made of adamant or of extreme hardness" like a diamond or corundum. The columns are made of onyx and the feet and ornaments are gilt metal. Gilt refers to the process of coating a base metal with gold (plating in modern terms). The clock dial face is paper and shows some wear. The wear is from years of folks setting the time.
There is a fair amount of writing on the back panel. I find this very interesting. Clock repairers of the past would often sign and date their repairs. This clock shows the following: "Sold Dec 27 1914 (could be 1904, can't really tell), 9-22-23, April 10-47, May 30-50". Also, there are initials and such, which are hard to make out.
The above information is based on my current horological knowledge and the following references: Seth Thomas Clocks & Movements by Tran Duy Ly (published 1997), Watch & Clock Encyclopedia by De Carle's (third edition), Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (second edition) and Welch Clocks by Tran Duy Ly (published 1992).