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Old Clockmakers Guide


Vich

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I have been meaning to post this for a while.  In my other hobby - Genealogy I found that my ancestors have a long history of Clock and Watch making.  One of them, Samuel Harlow published a booklet in an early attempt at standardisation it is very old and probably well outdated but may be of interest to those that like a bit of historical reading.

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

 

 

 

 

The_clock_makers_guide_to_practical_cloc.pdf

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  • 6 months later...

I am glad that it is of interest to folk. The Harlow's that came from Ashbourne developed quite a little clockmaking dynasty and spread about the area building business in clock and watch making as well as brass founding and also iron founding in Macclesfield as well. It's a pity I did not get more of thir genes.

Cheers,

Vic

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Here is one from Robert Harlow, son of Samuel Harlow that started the clockmaking business in Ashbourne.

post-197-0-02075700-1426982252_thumb.jpg

post-197-0-85831800-1426982284_thumb.jpg

There are probably quite a few in existence as at least five ancestors were making them.

Cheers,

Vic

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There are a lot of these clocks about but require a lot of work to revive them to their original condition. To see what can be achieved for those in the UK and happen to be in the region of Kent visit the West malling clock shop. The guy re-furbs high end vintage clocks & does an absolute brilliant job. He seems to be selling well to. For those who visit the UK  go to The National Maritime museum Greenwich to see their selection of clocks including "Harrisons H1 Timekeeper"

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go to The National Maritime museum Greenwich to see their selection of clocks including "Harrisons H1 Timekeeper"

This is a must do for anyone interested in any form of horology. I visited when on honeymoon two years ago, it was the second best thing I did! ;)

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Just out of curiosity were the third, fourth and fifth best the same as the second best.  My wife just asked whether it matches up with what your other half thought was the best thing about the honeymoon - actually she had that certain smile on her face which makes me think carefully about what she says - .

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

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Yes it is a pretty clock but I can't help but wonder if it is too good for its age.  Sometimes the restoration goes a tad too far and the original makers work is actually lost. 

Then again I have been advised and I am not sure how accurate it is,  that on a long case clock the only thing likely to be made by the clockmaker would be the works and all else like the dial and cabinet would be made elsewhere by other craftsmen so perhaps although the workings were made by my ancestor the overall appearance may be the handiwork of other craftsmen.  Either way his name is on the face and workings and that would be enough for me.

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

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It is almost certainly the original dial that would have been re-painted & the case re-furbished. To restore these clocks requires a high level of skill & craftsmanship.

I used to subscribe to a clock magazine and the repairs done by some of these guys is amazing, they make new parts such as gears,escapements, hands they also re-paint the dials to as near as possible to the original design. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I knew an old clock repairer more than 30 years ago who used to mix plaster of Paris with molten candle wax to repair enamel clock dials, when set it could be shaped & polished to match the original. Amazing stuff ! .

I might just give that a try, thanks for posting! :)

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I wonder how many other old clockmaker / watchmaker "tips of the trade" have been lost over the years, must be hundreds. Someone should start collecting them together.

Cheers,

Vic

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I wonder how many other old clockmaker / watchmaker "tips of the trade" have been lost over the years, must be hundreds. Someone should start collecting them together.

Cheers,

Vic

It's up to folk like us to find out, and if possible keep some of the techniques alive.

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  • 2 months later...

Yes it is a pretty clock but I can't help but wonder if it is too good for its age.  Sometimes the restoration goes a tad too far and the original makers work is actually lost. 

Then again I have been advised and I am not sure how accurate it is,  that on a long case clock the only thing likely to be made by the clockmaker would be the works and all else like the dial and cabinet would be made elsewhere by other craftsmen so perhaps although the workings were made by my ancestor the overall appearance may be the handiwork of other craftsmen.  Either way his name is on the face and workings and that would be enough for me.

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

You are right about the clock maker he would have contacts for others to make the dial and case. The clock you show has an 8 Day movement. Behind the dial you have what is called a falsplate. The falsplate is between the dial and the movement, that falsplate I expect it to have a name on it from some foundry. By the looks of the dial and hands I would say it has been restored. 

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Thanks for the info Oldhippy,

 

The records show that a lot of the Harlow Clockmakers were Brassfounders as well which was probably not a coincidence given what you wrote.

 

Cheers,

 

Vic

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