Ansonia Black Iron Mantel Clock with Visible Escapement

As a treat, I decided to overhaul one of my own clocks! This is an Ansonia mantel clock in a black enamel finished iron case. It has an 8-day movement that strikes the hours and half-hours on a “cathedral” coil gong. It has a “Brocot” escapement visible in the dial. I first saw this clock as a boy at my Great Aunt’s apartment in Washington., D.C., and was fascinated by it. Later, my aunt and uncle had it, and they gave it to me about 30 years ago. In the last couple years, the timekeeping became erratic (it would sometimes gain time, like 20 minutes in a week, then other times times lose time). After the overhaul, I expect it to be within about minute per week.

The clock is heavy and is 13 7/8 inches wide and 9 3/4 inches tall, with a 2 3/16 inch minute hand.

See more pictures.

The Brocot escapement has half-round steel pins as the pallets, and thin pointed escape wheel teeth. The tooth tips had curved slightly backward (because the locking was shallow), causing recoil, and I straightened them and increased the locking. I polished the pivots and installed 16 bushings. A previous repairer had installed a large, ugly “screw-in” bushing. I soldered that in place and installed a new bushing in the center.

The mainsprings are nice, original old thin springs:

Time mainspring: 5/8″ x 0.0135″
Strike mainspring: 3/4″ x 0.0148″

Typical American antique clock mainsprings are 3/4″ wide and 0.016 to 0.018″ thick. These Ansonia mainsprings are so much thinner, yet run the clock well, with plenty of power (many American antique clocks with mainsprings are over-powered). The Brocot escapement is nearly deadbeat (there is very slight recoil on the entrance pallet) and this adds efficiency to the time side of the clock.

The hands were originally blued, and a previous repairer had polished the blue off. I polished them smooth, and evenly heated them until they turned blue. I replaced the broken hammer return spring.

The movement has the patent date June 18, 1882; and I estimate it was made around 1885 to 1910.

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