Author Archive: Bill Stoddard

My name is Bill Stoddard, and I like to repair clocks, document the history of Westclox and their clocks and watches, design web sites, and program in PHP. Professionally, I operate Bill's Clockworks, where I repair American antique clocks and 400 day anniversary clocks; and sell new wall, mantle, chime, cuckoo and other types of clocks, and a few antique clocks.

My other joys include being with my family, bicycle riding, singing in church choir, and vintage hi-fi and LP records.

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Merritt’s Mainsprings P1496

June 19, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More
Merritt’s Mainsprings P1496

I received a new batch of P1496 mainsprings (3/4″ x .0165″ X 96″) from Merritt’s antiques. They are made by a different supplier than the ones I wrote about recently. The ones I really like come packaged as follows: Each spring is wrapped in oiled paper, then in a plastic bag, then in a red, […]

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Last updated November 28, 2009

400 Day Clock Setup

June 19, 2007 | By | Reply More
400 Day Clock Setup

400 day clocks have a very thin flat wire (about 2 – 4 thousands of an inch thick), called the suspension spring or suspension wire, that the pendulum hangs from. You must be gentle with these clocks to avoid damaging the suspension spring. This web page has some original 400 day clock instruction sheets: 400 […]

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Last updated December 22, 2013

Mainsprings for Seth Thomas Oak Kitchen Clock

June 15, 2007 | By | Reply More
Mainsprings for Seth Thomas Oak Kitchen Clock

I just overhauled a Seth Thomas called “The Giant, No. 2” shown in Tran Duy Ly’s Seth Thomas book as being made ca. 1904. The movement is 8 day time and strike with inside escapement and is labeled 8 1/4 (this movement model was later called no. 89 and was made in several pendulum lengths […]

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Last updated November 28, 2009

Correcting the Hour Strike on Modern Clocks

June 15, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More
Correcting the Hour Strike on Modern Clocks

On modern German clocks, such as Westminster chiming wall, mantel and grandfather clocks (by makers such as Hermle, Howard Miller, Bulova and Ridgeway), it is easy to correct the clock if it is striking the wrong hour after the hour chime. Suppose the clock strikes 6 times but the hour hand is pointing to 7 […]

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Last updated December 22, 2013

Historical Pricing of Windup Big Ben and Baby Ben Alarm Clocks

June 14, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More
Historical Pricing of Windup Big Ben and Baby Ben Alarm Clocks

Below are shown some original retail prices of Westclox Big Ben and Baby Ben alarm clocks. Shown in parenthesis are the equivalent prices in 2007 dollars, using the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota online calculator. 1930 Montgomery Ward and Co. Catalog: Big Ben and Baby Ben leg model plain: $3.25 ($39.99) Big Ben and Baby […]

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Last updated November 28, 2009

Mainsprings for American 8 Day Clocks

June 12, 2007 | By | 13 Replies More
Mainsprings for American 8 Day Clocks

Many American antique clocks with open (not in a barrel) mainsprings use a “standard” mainspring of 3/4″ wide and approximately 18 thousands of an inch thick. There is a lot of variation in these springs between manufacturers, and across clocks made by the same manufacturer. I will comment more on these variations later. In general, […]

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Last updated November 28, 2009

Query Caching Using query($sql) Breaks getNumRows()

March 16, 2007 | By | Reply More
Query Caching Using query($sql) Breaks getNumRows()

I am using Cakephp 1.1.11.4064 and a Postgresql database. I was having trouble in my application where the value returned from getNumRows() was incorrect in certain places. The problem turned out to be Cake’s query caching. Example code $sql_1 = “sql statement 1;”; $parent_result_1 = $this->query($sql_1); . . . Lots of code here . . […]

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Last updated December 22, 2013