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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Estate Auction

Hi all – if you missed out on the Harmon Estate sale – you can still get in on the action! Cabin Fever took over the estate when I returned to Seattle last year. They have been slowly selling the inventory over the months following the sale in June of 2014. BUT! They have saved some of the best stuff for their annual Expo and the upcoming sale on March 22. Check out the inventory here.

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The Harmon Workshop

Sale Announcement!

KEEP AN EYE ON THE HARMON ESTATE SALE PAGE – AS THAT IS THE OFFICIAL NEWS AND INFORMATION PAGE ON THE SALE. IT WILL BE REGULARLY UPDATED WITH A LIST OF CONTENTS AND THE SALE INFORMATION, ETC.

 

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Day No.7 – Now that’s a demagnetizer !

A Boettger and Wittig Demagnetizer, a watch was placed inside of the core and the slide was then moved in and out to change the polarity of the magnet, as described in patent number 699863:  The slide and comb thereon constitute a pole changer, and in practice the same is actuated to cause frequent reverses of the direction of current that goes through the electromagnet. A magnetized watch, tool, or other device is placed in the hollow core of the electromagnet… the pole changer is operated to effect its function… the result being demagnetization of said device.

Boettger and Wittig Demagnetizer

 

A Boettger and Wittig Demagnetizer, a watch was placed inside of the core and the slide was then moved in and out to change the polarity of the magnet, as described in patent number 699863:  The slide and comb thereon constitute a pole changer, and in practice the same is actuated to cause frequent reverses of the direction of current that goes through the electromagnet. A magnetized watch, tool, or other device is placed in the hollow core of the electromagnet… the pole changer is operated to effect its function… the result being demagnetization of said device.

The watch is placed inside

 

Patent US699863

Patent US699863

 

To use, a watch is placed inside of the core; the slide is then moved in and out to change the polarity of the magnet, as described in patent number 699863:

The slide and comb thereon constitute a pole changer, and in practice the same is actuated to cause frequent reverses of the direction of current that goes through the electromagnet. A magnetized watch, tool, or other device is placed in the hollow core of the electromagnet… the pole changer is operated to effect its function… the result being demagnetization of said device.

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Oddly enough, or maybe not oddly at all given the circumstances, Dennis had a collection of demagnetizers. This was my by far my favorite though.

Here are some other goodies from today’s work:

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Gorgeously golden aged lacquer on an antique microscope

 

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Pocket meter with original leather case

 

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A sample of the level collection

 

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Lovely little drill press

 

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Extra Schaublin 102 headstock

 

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Engine turned background

 

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Watchmakers lathe transmission drives

 

 

Day No.5 – leaks

Today the roof was inspected and deemed beyond repair. The options are limited, so we’ve decided to have the roof tarped in the meantime. New leaks have started and the buckets are filling fast. I spent much of the day navigating the leaks, as we experienced a torrential down pour.

New leaks

New leaks

Water pooling beneath the safe

Water pooling beneath the safe

In between emptying buckets, I found a dozen or so small antique alcohol lamps of varying sizes.

A modest collection

A modest collection

Under a bench and under some other stuff I found what looks like a second complete Lorch lathe in its original box.

The 8mm Lorch lathe

The 8mm Lorch lathe

This was sitting near by:

Hand wheel

Hand wheel

There are several lovely glass bell jars of many shapes and sizes. Here are a few…

Bell jars

Bell jars

and of course more clocks and bits.

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