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U.S.S. Culebra Island & "J.L. Taylor" "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1613
posted
Anyone have any ideas on this little clock..It has watch lever set movement I think..Haven't taken it apart yet to see..It has J.L. Taylor "5-44" on the dial..

 
Posts: 1967 | Location: Chesapeake City, Maryland in the USA | Registered: September 27, 2011
IHC Member 1613
posted
Pic 2

 
Posts: 1967 | Location: Chesapeake City, Maryland in the USA | Registered: September 27, 2011
posted
It looks like something some Navy guys made in a machine shop and gave to one of their buddies. On the back there are a couple of guys with the abbreviation MoMM after their name and a couple more with the abbreviation SAI after their name. MoMM is a specialty rating for enlisted Navy sailors that stands for Motor Machinist's Mate and SAI stands for a rating of Special Artificer (Instrument). The MoMM sailors fixed engines and the SAI sailors worked on instruments found on ships. There was an even more specialized SAI rating of SAI(WR) which was the guys who worked on timepieces - the WR stands for Watch Repair, but the tow SAI sailors on this clock were just ordinary SAI instrument repair guys. The ratings of these enlisted sailors makes sense since the U.S.S. Culebra Island was a repair ship that fixed up ships that were brought back to the rear areas after being damaged in battles or just plain breaking down. This is not a Navy timepiece, but it does have an interesting connection to some Navy sailors.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 1613
posted
Thanks for the information Jim..I was wondering what all the names and abreviations on the back were..The dial has the 5-44 which I am thinking is the date of the piece..I am going to give it a cleaning and oiling soon if I can figure out how it comes apart..Thanks again for the info..Gary
 
Posts: 1967 | Location: Chesapeake City, Maryland in the USA | Registered: September 27, 2011
IHC Member 1736
posted
Gary,

I am a retired MMC/SS/SW(nuc). A decedent of the Motor Mac!

I did a tour of duty on the Submarine Tender USS McKee, AS-41

The McKee had a foundry on board. The Foundry-men would hand carve blanks, put them in to oil sand molds, melt the brass, pour the molds and generate brass blanks.

I watched this process for many ships plaques and retirement bells.

Then, they bang off all the oil sand, blast and clean the item. Then it goes to the machine shop for trimming, final sizing and polishing.

There is a possibility, this case was hand crafted as an off duty project for the sailors in the repair department aboard the vessel. A navy version of trench art.

If this is a poured brass item, it should be course under and inside the base of the pedestal. It would also be quite heavy compared to a commercial case. (the materials were free to Chief Taylor and his guys).
 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
IHC Member 1613
posted
Paul I don't think it was a poured base..Looks like it was cut out of a solid piece of brass..It does look like it was hand made...What got my attention was it is a very heavy piece for the size of the clock..You are probably right about it being hand crafted on the ship..Thanks for you input on this little clock..
 
Posts: 1967 | Location: Chesapeake City, Maryland in the USA | Registered: September 27, 2011
IHC Member 1736
posted
Gary,

I just finished the COA on my 1907 2-1/5 inch Chelsea - Ball Watch Co automobile clock.

While surfing for period adds for Chelsea and Ball clocks... I stumbled across a 1911 add for a Chelsea Clock with a very similar design.

Perhaps the boys made or modified the base for an existing product?

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
posted
Possibly, but if you look closely at the base, the one in the advertisement has a gracefully tapering curved design of brass coming from the plinth at the bottom up to the ship's wheel design at the top. The home-made one that the original poster shows has a relatively flat base with a bit of easing of the top corner with a rod attached by a bare bolt to the base. Also, the ship's wheel design on the one in the advertisement is a bit more like a real wheel in that the wheel part is a band with the handles going through to then hold the clock while the one the one the boys made is a solid ring which is less like a real ship's wheel. I think that the boys on board the ship likely had seen designs like this Chelsea one and were trying to recreate one with the limited shop tools and experience making something like this that they had.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 1736
posted
Which makes it immensely more interesting than a store bought model. Great find Gary.
 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
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