Is it a Jerome & Co. clock or something else entirely?

This interesting Rosewood veneered round top, mirrored tablet shelf clock appears to be a Jerome in name only. It is not a fake or marriage but a curious product of early to mid-1870s marketing.

But first, a little Jerome history.

Jerome & Co. shelf clock

One might be tempted to assume that this clock is associated with Chauncey Jerome, one of America’s most noted clockmakers who died in 1868.

Chauncey was well out of the clock business at the time of his death which poses two possibilities; 1) the Jerome in this instance may be Samuel B. Jerome of New Haven, Connecticut or 2) it is the New Haven Clock Company that was selling clocks using the trade name Jerome & Co. It would seem that New Haven and S.B. Jerome would be in conflict with each other. It’s all a bit confusing and perhaps more research is need to find those answers. In any event the Jerome name had strong marketing power.

The movement in this clock was made by Noah Pomeroy, who built clock movements from 1847 and went out of business in 1878. Some came with alarm mechanisms although this one never had one. Pomeroy was known for supplying movements to others such as New Haven, Ingraham as well as making his own complete clocks. The hour strike movement is unsigned, held by mounting blocks,  has a unique 24-hour count wheel and the plates are held together with screws, all Pomeroy features.

Pomeroy movement; 8-day time and strike

The partial over-pasted label on the inside over a typical wallpaper backing says J.J Beals, Boston. J.J. Beals was a clock retailer in Boston. His company purchased completed clocks from various Connecticut makers and he put his own label on them. This firm was comprised of Joseph J. Beals and Amos W. Southwick. In 1861 Southwick left and Beals took on Alexander K. Adams as a partner. They were clock dealers for primarily Connecticut made clocks.

It is highly unlikely his company did any clock assembly. The case might have been sourced by either J.J. Beals or Pomeroy.

Partial label; J.J. Beals

The company went through quite a few name changes and each label coincides with different time periods. In fact, labels are quite often how clocks are dated. The firm J. J. & Beals & Co. was in business at the Haymarket Street (Boston) address between 1849 and 1861. The label in this clock dates it sometime after the move from Haymarket Street, around 1870.

So, an S.B. Jerome clock by either Jerome or the New Haven Clock Co. with a Pomeroy time and strike movement and a case supplied by Pomeroy or retailer, J.J. Beals.

The clock is original in every way but not everything in the clock world is as it seems.