Mainsprings for a Gilbert 1880s Parlor Clock

I repaired this Gilbert “Parole” shelf or parlor clock that was made about 1880. The walnut case is 19 1/4 inches tall. I polished the pivots and installed bushings (a previous repairer had punched the pivot holes to try to close them).

The clock had its original mainsprings, both of which were marked “W. Barnes Patented Nov. 27, 1866”. The strike spring was quite thick (0.02 inch). Both springs were stiff and very hard to remove from the mainwheels. I installed new Merritt’s P-1956 mainsprings that are 3/4 by .0165 by 96 inches. They provide a good escapement action and striking speed. Gilbert clocks of this type take a large pendulum swing with a small amount of supplementary arc (overswing) due to the design of the recoil escapement. I slanted the back of the mainspring arbor hooks to make the mainsprings easier to remove for future cleaning.

The video below shows the escapement action with clock fully wound and then run down 8 1/2 days, then shows the movement and then the entire clock.

Repair job 4957.

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