Seth Thomas Electric Chiming Mantel Clock – Simsbury-1 E

This Seth Thomas electric mantel clock plays Westminster chimes each quarter-hour, and strikes the hour. It has 4 chime rods mounted to a case iron base. This clock uses the General Time M4 motor, which was made from 1948 through the early 1960s.

The date code 11 49 is on the motor and 4913 is on the label (13th lunar month of 1949?).

The case is 24 inches wide and 8 5/8 inches tall. The minute hand is 2 3/8 inches long.

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Repair job 5690. This clock had run so long without service that almost half of the first chime gear arbor was worn away by the rear pivot hole. Otherwise, it needed lots of pivot polishing, and 10 bushings. In this movement, the motor winds the mainsprings that drive the chime and strike.

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  1. James, the motor, through a series of reduction gears, turns the center gear. The center gear winds the chime and strike mainsprings through gears mounted on the chime mainwheel and on the strike mainwheel. Inside the chime and strike mainspring barrels, the mainsprings have a “brace” end (no hook) that slides around the inside of the barrel to prevent overwinding. The tension on the brace should let the mainsprings wind up about 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 turns before slipping.

    I’ve never found any repair documentation on these clock. The strike and chime portion is just like that in a Seth Thomas No. 124 movement, once you get past the mainsprings.

  2. I have a ST Simsbury – I am a retired clock repairman, but have never seen one of these. Mine chimes only after key winding. The motor and time function properly, but the motor does not seem to be winding the chime mainspring. The chime train needs some bushing work. Is there a connection?

    Also, are there any good books for repair on these? The Conover series doesn’t have it, and Timesavers doesn’t have any.

    Thanks for any help you can give to this new hobbyist

  3. Hi Bill,
    I have a Seth Thomas Electric Chiming Mantel Clock – Simsbury-1 E which is in perfect condition and chimes beautifully. However, there are times when I need to silence the chimes (and hour strike, if possible). I can move the little lever over to “Silence” but then when it’s time for the clock to chime, the lever moves back to the “Chime” position and the clock sounds. Will keeping the lever in the “Silent’ position with a rubber band hurt the mechanism?

  4. The mainsprings have a bridle end (like a self winding wrist watch). The barrels can be opened, the springs cleaned, and the tension of the bridle adjusted so the springs slip after about 6 1/2 to 71/2 turns of winding.

  5. Hi Bill. I’ve got a slightly newer seth thomas with a very similar movement. I don’t remember the model off the top of my head. It appears to be the same mechanism with a few bakelite gears thrown here and there and the governers are flat copper disks spinning in a couple horseshoe magnets. It’s all gummed up and doesn’t want to run properly. Nothing looks too wallered out so I think a clean in some solvent and a thuro lube job will get her going. But what I’m worried about is the springs feel broken. They tighten up to an extent and then you can feel a slip and they are loose again. They have some sort of protective can over them so I can’t get a good look at what’s going on. I plan to take it apart in the future and try to fix it but I’m not sure what’s under that can. Is the end of the spring spot welded somewhere? Is it wrapped around a pin or something of that nature? Any pointers or words of advice? Thanks!

  6. Hello Mr. Stoddard. I have a Seth thomas simsbury Ie, #4809 in beautiful working condition that i have aquired from a second hand store, for seven dollars and fifty cent. I research this item and it comes up missing. Could you possibly give me an idea of the clocks value, and how i would go about registering this item? Thanks much

  7. The key is needed only when starting the clock for the first time and the chimes are run down. Normally the clock winds the chimes as it runs and you don’t need to wind it.

  8. I have this clock! It was my father’s and has been sitting unplugged for about 20+ years. He told me it didn’t work and his clock repairman couldn’t fix it. I plugged it in 7 days ago; and it works and chimes perfectly! However, I do not know what the key is for? Do I need to wind it? Its electric. Thanks for any info you can offer.

  9. Is the Simsbury-1E (1949) clock for sale? I took my Gpa’s to repair and the man took all the innards, put in new digital stuff, and charged me $80 to boot. I was so furious, I couldn’t speak.
    I’m looking for one to buy for my cousin who has cherished memories of Gpa and hearing this clock in his house.
    I don’t have much money but I could make, say $100 payments, till it is paid for and sent.

  10. Hello

    I have a clock that looks like the one you have pictured except it is not electric can you tell me anything about it? Like where I can get a key, the year it was made, how to get it repaired if needed.


    Seth Thomas Simsbury ..1 Westminster Chime Clock

  11. i have seth thomas electric clock it doesnt work inside of the door it has legacy-2e b-1700 series chime movements with back chime control and also a number dw76oa n/m i would love to get it working again could you tell me anything about it,with all the numbers i gave you ? thank telephone number is 661-619-6382

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