I bought this Forestville 8 day ogee shelf clock at a clock show last week. I love these old American weight-driven shelf clocks, and hope to have time to fix this one up someday. What attracted me to the clock is the William B. Fenn reverse painted tablet in the door. It has the saying “By Industry We Thrive” and a beehive with flowers around it. Reference 3 shows the stencil used to paint the saying, and also shows a stencil with the behive, flowers, and the borders.
The case has curved veneer on the outside front edge and the door, and is sometimes referred to as an OOG case. The case is 30 inches tall and 16 3/4 inches wide. The dial is painted wood, and the minute hand is 3 1/2 inches long (center to tip).
The bottom of the label says J. C. brown, S. B. Smith and C. Goodrich at bottom, dating it to 1846 – 1847. At the very bottom is . . . Press of Elihu Geer, State Street, Hartford. It doesn’t give a street address (such as 26 or 1) which might have narrowed the date down further.
The movement looks rough, but should clean up well. It is Forestville’s lyre 8-day movement, type 2.12 from the chart on pp. 72 – 73 of reference 1.
It looks like a mouse lived in the clock for a while! The right pulley hole has been enlarged, the pulley is gone, the top of the right movement mounting rail has been chewed away, and the door has been chewed away inside below the lower glass.
For historical information on Forestville clocks, see reference 1. For an updated chart of the chronology of J. C. Brown’s clock companies, see reference 2, page 64. The chart gives the names of the principals of the various companies, allowing the date of the clock to be narrowed down based on the names at the bottom of the label. An earlier version of the chart appears in reference 1, as well as in the June 1987 NAWCC Bulletin. It was complied by H. Bryan Rogers.
1) Jonathan Clark Brown and the Forestville Manufacturing Company, Kenneth D. Roberts and Snowden Taylor, Ph. D., Ken Roberts publishing Co., Fitzwilliam, NH 03447, 1988, ISBN 0-913602-64-7.
2) Forestville Clockmakers, Kenneth D. Roberts and Snowden Taylor, Ph. D., Ken Roberts publishing Co., Fitzwilliam, NH 03447, 1992, ISBN 0-913602-67-1, page 64.
3) Clock Decorating Stencils of Mid-19th Century Connecticut, American Clock and Watch Museum, Bristol, Connecticut, 1984, ISBN 0-930446-17-4.
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