Ansonia Schoolhouse Clock – Part I – Assessment

Ansonia drop octagon
Ansonia drop octagon circa 1912

I acquired my Ansonia drop octagon clock in April of last year (2016) and put off servicing this clock because it was in good running order, kept good time and I had a number of other clocks that needed more attention. Now it’s on the bench.

When I first looked at the movement in April of last year I knew then that it was worn. American clocks have this uncanny ability to run for a long periods of time without servicing, unlike German or English clocks which tend to falter when they are the least bit worn. When the wear becomes too great for an American clock’s power to overcome, it simply stops. This one might have soldiered on for quite some time.

For a clock that was made in 1895 it has not been messed with by poor repairs

Time-ony movement
Time-only movement

Overall the movement looks pretty good and not overly dirty. For a clock that was made in 1912 it has not been “messed” with by poor repairs. In fact, I do not believe it has ever been serviced. There is definitely serious lateral movement in some pivot holes and a service / cleaning is certainly in order.

Although it might look like it has had bushing work, the bushing sinks are stamped by the factory. My inspection reveals that six bushings are required on this clock. The worst, the T3 on the front plate, looks like this.

The worst bushing wear
The worst bushing wear

And here is a closer shot with a black circle indicating where the pivot should reside in the hole. The wear on the left side has created an oblong hole – not good. The black mark on the plate is simply telling me that that particular bushing requires attention. The other bushing holes were in varying states of wear but this was certainly the worst offender.

Close-up of bushing wear
Close-up of T3 front plate bushing wear

Time-only movements are pretty simple to work on and certainly a choice movement for the beginner into clock repair to begin with on their journey into clock repair.

The next step is cleaning the movement.

Front plate is taken off
Front plate is taken off

In Part II, on April 5th, I will detail the cleaning, bushing work, testing of the movement plus any issues, concerns or challenges I encountered along the way.

2 thoughts on “Ansonia Schoolhouse Clock – Part I – Assessment

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