For the Love of American Clocks

Hello readers! I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful holiday season! David took Steve and I on a little study tour to see some private collections. Partly, this was an attempt to engender in me a love for American clocks. As I specialize in English and European objects, I am not as familiar with American styles and makers. There are more visits scheduled to see clocks by Pennsylvania maker David Rittenhouse and others. American horology has a fascinating history. It’s brief compared to that of Europe, but seems quite rich in ingenuity over a relatively short period of time. From the long case (or tall case) clocks of early settlers, to the Hamilton marine chronometers, Bulova mechanical detonators and the Apollo 11 mission timers, to the first quartz clock and watch and more – there is quite a fascinating story! The NAWCC library is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in delving into American horology. They’ve kept on file all records of Marine chronometers made and sold by the Hamilton Watch Co. – this is just one of the gems hidden in their archives. Nearer to the end of the post are pictures of David’s gorgeous MADE lathe. I couldn’t resist. I’d rather buy that machine than a house (clearly my priorities are in order). They are in the process of completing one at David’s workshop. I hope to post photos of it once it’s finished. There is also a small escapement model David built – quite sweet. We are looking at making some decorated versions and developing a kit for this, so one could build and finish it on their own. Lastly are some little movements for dwarf tall clocks that David’s daughter made.

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9 responses

    • Yes, it’s true. I could live anywhere with that lathe and be happy. Thanks for following along! Hopefully there will be some photos of the lathe complete!

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  1. Brittany,
    Thanks for sharing – great photos, especially the one of the tree framed in the skylight. Having just gotten back from West Dean in October it is taking me a long time to get settled and get a work shop together – I have a few more months before I can actually get to work. We had a nice holiday in Santa Barbara with family – missed that last year. Sounds like you had fun. Sorry, I am going to miss you at the AIC in May – I will be heading back to West Dean in July for formal graduation.

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  2. Woah. That is indeed a drool-inducing lathe!
    The pilgrimagey nature of your Holidays (as opposed to the comparatively mundane family visit) is certainly inspiring.
    Have fun and keep the pictures coming! 🙂

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    • You should be jealous! It’s been such a great time. You’ll have to go visit too! Looking forward to catching up when I return!

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