American clock movement identification

July 21, 2019 1:34 am Published by Leave your thoughts

American clock movement identification

Us American's loved the mass produced eight day time strike units back in the 1920's through the 1940's. These are the ones you normally see in the Kitchen clocks, ginger bread clocks, Steeple clocks as far as the shelf series. Then you have the Mantle clocks, short drop wall clocks and the long drop units, both used in the banjo series and alot more. All these units are pretty much the same as far as they had a bar type plate instead of a full plate, they mostly all had consistent winding arbor configurations and the type of suspension with the feather steel at the top and a hook on the bottom. They were all 8 day run time also. The differences were in the pendulum lengths, the hand shaft lengths, and either front or rear escapement.

These same style clock movements were made by many USA companies. There was Seth Thomas, Gilbert, Welch, New Haven, Sessions, Ingram, Bristol and others. They all existed here in New England right where our company is actually.

So what all this means is there was constancy in there production runs, and therefore the India manufacturers starting producing replacement units for these. The India movement even goes as far as calling them replicas but this is not 100% accurate. Although they do the trick, they get the clock up and running for many years, its not the same quality as back in the 20's - 40's American made units. The brass is thinner and also the quality of the brass is not the same as it was. We do offer these units despite this because they do serve well as far as just making the clock work for a bunch of years instead of giving up. When an antique clock movement has been repaired wrong or already has 20 bushings in it or something silly, it may just make more sense to stick one of these in there instead.

There is not much information on the back plate of an American time strike mechanical clock movement. The only information usually on the back plate of these units are the person who made it and sometimes the pendulum length drop. Generally the best way to match it up with a replacement movement offered on this page, is to take some measurements and match it up that way instead of by any numbers off of them.

First thing to do is to see if the old movement looks like the style we are offering here. This is the style bar movement that is used on many antique American time strike units. You would need to measure some things to be sure it’s a fit. The dimensions of the winding arbors in relation to each other and also the hand shaft hole in the dial will all have to match the below diagrams. This is to be sure it will fit the old clock dial and line up with the key holes to wind the clock.

The next thing to measure is the “drop” this is the measurement of the pendulum from the hand shaft (the shaft in which the hands go on) to the very bottom of the pendulum itself.

The one other thing to measure is how long the hands shaft is, from the front plate of the movement all the way out to the end of the post that holds the minute hand. Your clock movement would need the dial off of the clock to take this measurement.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Ask a Clock Question

avatar