The Whittier Model
This is the Whittier model from Welch’s Authors series. Tran’s 2d ed. shows it from the 1893 catalogue. It is a half-hour strike clock. Though an alarm could be ordered this clock came without one.
It is solid walnut in construction, deep brown in colour and darkened by age. It stands 22 inches tall by 14 ½ inches wide and 5 inches deep. The crown is an ornate machine-cut design with a single bulls-eye. The Roman numeral dial face with inner brass ring is original but has been covered with a clear varnish.
The spade hands with circular cut-outs also appear to be original. The tablet is in remarkable condition and features an embossed gold colored scene of two female child warriors on each side presumably guarding an older female warrior (laurel and spear), reminiscent of Greek or Roman mythology.
There are two labels on the back panel, the top designates the model name which is barely readable; the bottom label has generic operating instructions for several types of clock models. Both labels appear to have been varnished over at some point. The upper area of the back panel has a hook for hanging the clock, added by a previous owner. However, this is a shelf or mantel clock, not meant to be hung on a wall. I doubt that the pendulum bob was this colour originally.
Though incorrectly termed a kitchen or gingerbread clock it is commonly referred to as a parlor or hall clock. Since the company last produced clocks in 1902 I would comfortably date this clock at between 1893-96 or perhaps a little later, 1901-02. The E. N. Welch Clock Company has a fascinating history (detailed in Part I of this series) and unfortunately not many of these well-made American clocks are still around.
In Part III I will describe the challenges of servicing the clock movement.