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? . . .)