December 15, 2017, 12:50Jim Hester
New Information on NASM Voisin VIII clock
I was chatting with one of the National Air and Space Museum's collections experts at the Garber facility who was able to give me a bit more information about the Allion a Versailles aircraft clock that is on display in the museum's World War 1 gallery in a display case beneath the French Voisin VIII night bomber. It is not from the Voisin VIII. Rather when this aircraft was being restored, there was no clock and so the restorers put this particular clock into the aircraft to “complete” the cockpit when it was restored. It was the general kind of clock from that era that would have been used rather than being the actual clock. What this means is that the actual clock that was originally mounted in the Voisin VIII could have been this type or it could have been one of the other French WW 1 types that we have discussed in other threads on this forum.
December 15, 2017, 14:18Greg Crockett
Thanks for the data, Jim. It makes sense.
You are fortunate to find someone at the Smithsonian/Air & Space who will talk to you. I sent emails and a letter to them seeking information about one of their early aviation pocket watches on display. That was several years ago. No response.
January 07, 2018, 15:45Jim Hester
I think it depends on knowing the right person to ask. In general there are curators and there are collection managers and there are research librarians. All seem to have different amounts of expertise on different things and all seem to be pretty pressed for time. I was lucky in that one of them contacted me first for some information and I then asked them for more information about that particular clock and altimeter. That person is likely the only one at the NASM who knew the details on the clock and altimeter from way back when the Voisin VIII was being restored and the restoration people at the Garber facility were trying to bring back this aircraft from its state of decay and put it to rights, including what to do about it not having all of its original instrumentation and so using these non-original but otherwise correct for the aircraft clock and altimeter selected from their general collection of Great War aircraft parts.