When I attended the NAWCC Convention In June 2019 I bought this clock at the clock mart which is a unique opportunity to find that special clock among thousands offered for sale.
I have always equated E.N Welch with quality and this clock is no exception. I have one other Welch, the Whittier, a parlour clock, which is part of the “author” series, made in 1893. The seller knew nothing about this clock but it was attractive so I bought it.
In 1902 the E. N. Welch Clock Co. was absorbed by the Sessions Clock Company. E N Welch had a long and glorious history and are best known for their “Patti” series of fine clocks since Patti clocks are named after famous opera stars of the time. This clock was made well before reorganization in the mid-1890s when it began producing clocks that were less expensive to manufacture, like the Whittier that had wider appeal. This clock is from about 1875.
The clock has the squared-off look of a typical cottage clock but larger in size. It is 13 ¼ inches high by 10 inches wide at the base and 4 inches deep. It is the E. N. Welch Cottage Extra.
It is an 8-day hour strike with 24 hour count wheel and alarm adjustment wheel on the center cannon. Unfortunately the alarm mechanism was removed long ago for whatever reason. The movement is mounted to the back board by means of 4 screws. The bottom front of the movement is die stamped “E. N. Welch Mfg. Co., Forestville Conn.” The movement is held together by 5 brass nuts on steel pillars. Similar 8-day Welch movements were fitted with Geneva stops (stop works) which are not included on this movement.
The case has a curved ogee style outer frame sitting on a molded rectangular base. The Rosewood veneered case has had three visible veneer repairs on the access door. The repairs are passable. However, judging from other Cottage Extra clocks, the veneer on this one is in very good condition by comparison. The rough label, pasted on the inside of the back board, is missing pieces and although readable is hidden by a large iron bell gong. The lower tablet has a reverse painted floral design that is in excellent condition. The hinges and door hardware appear to be original.
When you work on enough American 8-day movements you notice interesting differences. The 8-day movement, as mentioned has a 24 hour count wheel. The time side mainspring has its own mounting post near the centre of the movement. Most mainsprings use the corner pillar post for mounting. Instead of a helper spring for the hammer assembly there is a wire wrapped around the time side arbor which extends to a hook on the hammer lever; somewhat elaborate for a simple production movement. The mainspring mount pillars have wires through the them to prevent the mainsprings from moving up the post. The placement of some of the pivot holes makes for some interesting bushing work.
The Roman numeral dial is a recent replacement. The moon hands look appropriate to the period but the original hands might have been Maltese.
Some clocks come with surprises. Inside the case I found a folded invoice dated Jan 16, 1983, the last time the clock was evidently serviced. It says, “ Complete overhaul of spring wound 8 day brass-works mantle clock made by E. N. Welch Co. Pd in full”, cost of the repair; $79.50. The clock-maker and customers names, both of Pennsylvania, are on the invoice. Eric Chandlee Wilson himself or one of his employees serviced this clock. As a testament to the repair the clock runs well to this day. Servicing may only mean a good cleaning and at worst installing a bushing or two.
This clock is not in line for servicing yet as others are in the queue but I will report on servicing in a later blog article. I also want to see it fully restored and plan to order a new replacement alarm mechanism.