Over the past several months I’ve been so busy repairing clocks and designing my Westclox history database, that I haven’t written in my blog! Here is a post about a New Haven walnut kitchen clock, and I shall post some more clocks this week.
This New Haven walnut cased “kitchen” or shelf clock from the 1880s has a fanciful case top and a multicolor stenciled glass in the door. The dial is missing some paint, but what is present is original.
The movement is 8 day time and strike. A characteristic of this movement is that the time mainspring is 3/4 inches wide, but the strike mainspring is only 5/8 inches wide. This movement, like many New Havens, has a zinc spacer between the mainspring and the mainwheel.
The time mainspring was stronger than necessary, 0.0177 inches thick. I replaced it with a mainspring 3/4 x 0.016 x 120 inches long, Timesavers #15959.
The original strike mainspring of 5/8 x 0.018 inches was retained in the clock.
The pivots and holes had a lot of wear. I polished the pivots and installed 16 bushings.
This walnut cased “kitchen” or shelf clock was made by the Waterbury Clock Co., Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. The movement has patent date September 22, 1874. It strikes the hours on a coil gong. The case is 17 inches tall and , and 10 inches wide at the widest part of the base. The paper dial has a 4 inch minute track diameter, has a nice (larger than usual) Waterbury logo, and says “Waterbury Clock Co.” at the bottom. The pendulum has the patent date December 11, 1883.
Waterbury took the effort to add decorative touches by nickel plating the keyhole grommets, dial pan rim and trim ring, hand washer, pendulum, and gong base cover. The nickel goes well with the bluish-white pattern printed on the glass. This is a great looking all-original clock. The dial shows staining around the winding holes, but it is in excellent condition for its age. Note: don’t polish the nickel plated parts – the nickel is easily polished off – just clean for a short time in your regular clock cleaning solution to remove dirt. (Carefully use Formula 409 cleaner on a Q-tip for the rim of the dial pan if it is dirty. Then rinse off the 409 using water on Q-tips.)
The original mainsprings measure as follows:
Time: 5/16 inch wide x 0.171 inch thick
Strike: 5/16 inch wide x 0.0167 inch thick.
The mainsprings didn’t open out very far when unwound (see photo), but they are plenty powerful enough to operate this one-day clock. The time mainspring had a crack, and was replaced with a new spring 5/16 inch wide x 0.015 inch thick x 42 inches long. The replacement spring is thinner than the original (which should almost always be the case with American antique clocks) and provides plenty of power to operate the clock. It runs at least 2 days on one winding.
This is a great little clock! One-day clocks are overlooked by many collectors. I like this clock for its lively American coil gong sound (see first video below), attractive walnut case, nice original dial (and everything else). The movement is well-made, beautiful (but hidden behind the dial) and has a nice loud tick tock!
I recently repaired this Ansonia walnut cased shelf clock. Case height 22 9/16 inches, width at base 14 1/4 inches. It was shipped from overseas, and so the door with glass was removed and not sent, to avoid damage. The main problem with the clock was that the strike mainspring was broken, and the click on the strike mainwheel needed a better rivet (it had a previous replacement rivet, that did not fully cover the hole in the click – see photo below). The click is also a replacement, but it functions well.
Ansonia clocks such as this have mainsprings that are thinner than used on many other clocks, and a thin replacement mainspring should be used (of course, original mainsprings should be retained unless there is a good reason for replacement).
The original mainspring measurements are:
Time Mainspring: 3/4 inch by 0.0155 inch.
Strike Mainspring: 3/4 inch by 0.0158 inch.
The time mainspring was in good condition so it was retained in the clock. The replacement strike mainspring is Empire Clock 280-19-009, measuring 3/4 inch wide, 0.0146 inch thick, and 120 inches long. It is a quite thin spring, but it is powerful enough to run the striking for 14 1/2 days.