February 16, 2015, 19:59Michael P. McNamee
Dial Question: Waterbury OG, ca. 1860's - 1870's
I just purchased this very nice Waterbury clock at a southern Minnesota antique shop. I've done some research and it appears to be an early "OG" model. Based on the design of the hands, it appears to be a model that appeared in an 1867 Waterbury catalog or advertisement.
The clock came with a terrific bit of provenance, which I display below. In it, the owner indicated that she had the clock repaired in 1979; that it originally belonged to her grandparents who bought it second hand in 1872, and that it was passed down to her parents and then to her.
The 19" tall mahogany case is spectacular; perhaps polished but in original, unfinished condition, with great surface crazing to the wood. It is a 30-hour spring-driven model that chimes (very rapidly) on the hour. The fruit-motif design appears to be entirely original and intact, although the blue background appears to be about 3/4 gone. And it has an original label, about 80% intact I'd say. If you look through the center cutaway you can see the inscription on the movement that says "WATERBURY CLOCK CO CONN".
My question pertains to the dial. It is a metal (tin?) painted dial which is in very nice condition, with the exception of some key marks. But the thing that caught my attention was the extremely tiny inscription "Made in USA" under the XII, and an interesting, apparently hand-drawn or stamped symbol directly above the VI that looks like a "W" on the bottom, a "C" on the top, and an "S" bisecting the C and the W.
Is anyone familiar with this symbol? I couldn't find another example in my research--in fact, I couldn't find another example of an OG dial that says "Made in USA" either. Any chance this is an original dial? Or, is anyone aware of an after-market dial company that may have used this stamp? I also note that the dial corners are entirely unadorned, which seems unusual for this model, at least the later ones that show up in the 1881 catalog.
Any thoughts or insights are greatly appreciated!
PS, this sucker is keeping nearly spot-on time over three days. Incredible, for a 150-year old mechanical device! (Maybe the movement has been changed out? . . .)
February 16, 2015, 20:13Michael P. McNamee
Dial Symbol and Movement Marking:
February 16, 2015, 20:26Dave Turner
That's a beautiful clock with some great history!
I think the dial is a replacement from E & J Swigart, which was a common repair/upgrade. Some one may be able to confirm that or give more specific information.
I would leave it just as is.
February 16, 2015, 20:35Michael P. McNamee
That's terrific info, Dave. Thanks!!
February 16, 2015, 22:30Paul D. Trombley
These are great clocks and super straight forward to work on. A bit of a learning curve for the springs, but otherwise, quite intuitive.
I too am fascinated/impressed with the time keeping ability of these early pieces.
February 22, 2015, 21:24Michael P. McNamee
Paul, I'm probably too late in posting this because the eBay auction ends in about an hour, but did you see this Chauncey Jerome OG? Currently at $67 plus $35 shipping.
February 23, 2015, 12:46Paul D. Trombley
Nice looking clock... I'm trying to get back to my pocket watches... I'm not really tooled up for clocks and hopefully, they are just a passing distraction.
If I get serious about them, I'm going to have to study up on the process and acquire the tools/materials to replace bushings.
I now have clocks in 4 rooms and it is becoming a Saturday morning event to go around the house to wind them up and do a health and welfare checkup.
February 23, 2015, 12:52Paul D. Trombley
On my clock, the black background was pretty rough, about 60%... It turns out the reverse painted art work was laid down first and then the black background was shot right over the gold as well as the open areas.
I taped off the clear window opening for for the pendulum and shot the glass with bbq black spray paint... if I had it to do again, I would take some clear glass and practice with several different flavors of black paint until I got the best match. the bbq paint is a little too flat for a perfect match, but plenty close.