Ithaca Grandfather Clock with Gilbert Movement

I recently repaired an Ithaca grandfather clock. Ithaca is famous for its double dial perpetual calendar clocks, and they made grandfather clocks from ca. 1898 until 1917 (when Ithaca closed).

This clock has an 8 day time and strike movement made by Gilbert Clock Co. in Winsted, Connecticut. It is spring driven, and is a modified version of their shelf clock movement, changed to use a long pendulum. The escapement is a “strip” semi-deadbeat type. It is very nearly deadbeat, there is only a very slight recoil on the entrance pallet. The movie below shows the action of the escapement.

I made the following repairs to the movement (in addition to other small things not mentioned):

  • Polished the pivots;
  • Broached out previous bushing that were too tight;
  • Replaced 4 worn bushings;
  • Replaced the strike click and spring (it had a previous replacement that had solder globs and was a sloppy fit on its rivet. I used a steel click spring (instead of the brass one that came with the replacement click) and made a custom steel rivet to secure the click;
  • The cannon pinion was split, which removed the hand set tension. First, I pressed the pinion onto a tapered piece of steel rod to open the crack slightly, and squeezed the end of the split tooth closed. Then I secured the pinion to the arbor with a machinist’s clamp (put the center arbor and the hour wheel between the movement plates and screw them together so that the correct end shake can be obtained), held the arbor in a vice, drilled a cross hole through the pinion and center arbor, then installed a steel pin to secure it.

Train count:

  • Center wheel: 26 teeth
  • Third wheel: 39 teeth, 8 pins
  • Fourth wheel: 44 teeth, 10 pins
  • Escape wheel: 34 teeth, 10 pins

This works out to 3792.35 beats per hour; 63.21 beats per minute or 1.05 beats per second.

Job 4795

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  1. I have an Ithaca Grandfather clock That needs repair. Do you know off any where I can hae it repaired?

  2. You certainly do a good on your movements Bill.You also are doing that extra bit to promote horology – good on you.We would happily receive articles for our quarterly magazine from you – keep up the good work.
    Mr Vivian C. Kenney President Australian Antiquarian Horological Society nawcc chap 122

  3. Hi,

    Can you please let us know how to join this discussion group? We have grandfather clock with a movement made by E.N. Welch of Forestville, Ct for the Ithaca California Clock Company and we’d like to learn more about it and what it’s value is.

    Thank You,
    Camilla & Bill

  4. I am an Certified and Licensed Horologist of over 50 years and have read the posts on this site.

    This person surely has a loving and working knowledge of timepieces.

    I am the same, but I don’t write my thoughts -maybe we should co-author a book-“Thoughts In Time” or “Lost In Time”… “When are you” ?

    Horology is a ‘labor of love’ and nearly dead…

    I’d love to have he & his experience working with me…

    Greg Day


  5. Thanks for the information. When transporting the clocks do you need to do anything special, other than removing the pendulum?

  6. I have an Ithaca GFC that currently has a German replacement movement. I’m looking for a Gilbert, spring wound, original type movement to put in the case. Have the original dial and pendulum rod, but no pendulum or gong.

  7. Please leave an email address that I can contact you at. I have the exact gilbert mechanism that you rebuilt for the ithaca clock and want you to repair the one I have…Thanks very much

  8. Every clock shop has their own pricing schedule. For an average American time and strike antique clock, my charges for a general service and repair are around $350 – $425, assuming no gear damage. This includes cleaning, polishing pivots, installing needed bushings and other customary repair work.

  9. My husband and I just bought an eight day Ithaca Grandfather clock at a garage/estate sale for $125, we were so excited to get it at this price. It’s oak and had been refinished about 25 years ago. We have the key and everything. We got it working for about a day or so when we brought it into the house and it was keeping good time. It is level because we used a leveler to make sure. We can’t get it to stay on now and wound it up, but the owner told us when we picked it up that it might be overwound. I guess it wasn’t working for her either. We’ve heard it chime on the hour, about four minutes after with two extra chimes each hour and seems to chime once on the half hour, albeit a few minutes slow. It definitely needs work. About how much will it cost for a full clock repair/cleaning, etc? We’re anxious to get it done right. We found a website of someone that has done clock repair for 35 years – he lives three miles from us. His website states that he comes out to pick up the clock works and then works on it on his bench – will take about two weeks before we get it back. He moved from Mississippi in 2004 to our Dallas area after Katrina. And he continues to repair clocks from Mississippi damaged from the hurricane! I will call him to get an estimate, but wondered what to expect in cost. Thanks!

  10. I’d very much like to know if this clock struck – or rather strikes – on the half-hour as well as the hour. Thanks….

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