Seth Thomas Colton 2W Mantel Clock, 1940

Here is a Seth Thomas Colton 2W mantel clock I repaired. It has an 8-day key wind movement and strikes the hour and half-hour. The 1940 Seth Thomas catalog shows this clock and gives the following description:

COLTON — 2E (Illus. left) $13.95
With self-starting electric movement. Strikes hours and half-hours on coiled gong of bell-metal.

COLTON — 2W $13.95
Same case fitted with 8-day pendulum movement. Announces hours and half-hours by rich chords on double rods.

“Graceful design plus careful blending of colors make the Colton a clock of unusual richness and charm. Cabinet is medium brown mahogany with contrasting front panels outlined in holly wood-color. 5 inch dial is in light ivory enamel with numerals and hands in deep brown. Fully polished sash. Height 8 inches. Width 17 1/2 inches. Depth 4 3/8 inches. Packed singly. Approximate shipping weight 8 pounds.”

The movement has the date code 4 40 (April 1940). The movement model number is 4505.

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Repair job 7722. These clocks usually have a lot of wear because the mainsprings are too strong. Thinner mainsprings will run the clock well and cause less wear. See 1940s Seth Thomas 8 Day Time and Strike Clock Movement for more information. This clock had bad wear in the front time mainwheel pivot hole. The original mainsprings were as follows:

Time: 11/16 wide by 0.0185 inch thick
Strike: 11/16 wide by 0.0181 inch thick

I installed new mainsprings, and left them 96 inches long. In the future, it will be better to shorten the strike mainspring to 80 inches long to make it easier to install and remove the clamp when disassembling and assembling the movement. I used the following mainsprings:

Time: Timesavers 20506, 11/15 by 0.0158 by 96 inches
Strike: Mile Hi Clock Supplies 11/16 by 0.0165 by 96 inches.

I polished the pivots, installed 22 bushings, and adjusted the escapement depth. After the clock was completed, the time mainwheel became hard to wind. I disassembled the movement, reduced the tension of the spring holding the arbor to the gear, and lubricated the arbor where it meets the gear.


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2 comments

  1. It’s too bad Seth Thomas quit making their wonderful No. 89 movement and started using this one 🙁

    But if they had used thinner mainsprings in this movement, it wouldn’t have worn nearly so much, and would still run well (provided that the chops are firm around the suspension spring!).

    Yeah, those steel plate Ingrahams can have terrible wear!

  2. The “Plymouth” version of this clock came in via a disguised antique dealer. (He was disguised because it’s apparently known that I don’t do ‘trade work.’ So local antique dealers like to buy up boxes of non-working clocks at flea markets and then bring one in with a story that it belonged to a beloved grandparent. Then they’ll pull the same stunt again.)

    So, this one had lots of wear, which I fixed (I like the pin-pallet escapement, and I suspect that this was Seth Thomas’ final American movement) but pendulum motion was poor. It took more time than it should have to realize that loose suspension-spring “chops” really kill the motion, and this particular movement doesn’t have such a great regulator system.

    I just finished installing however many bushings an Ingraham kitchen clock will hold, because the wretched thing was made with steel plates. All of the pivots were gouged out.

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