While I have over 85 clocks in my collection twelve are 30-hour or one-day clocks. One of the twelve is a relatively modern clock.
The history of mass-produced clocks in America began in the 1820s and 1830s with 30-hour clocks that had woodworks movements. While the clock business was booming with many companies selling clocks to the masses, an economic recession in the late 1830s brought clock production to a halt.
Pioneer clockmaker Chauncey Jerome, who was in the clock business at the time, considered his “business troubles and disappointments” and he along with his brother Noble formulated the idea that movements could be made from brass. Noble Jerome received patent number 1200 for his brass clock movement, issued June 27, 1839. Woodworks movements began to be phased out and replaced by brass movements which were made in the hundreds of thousands. 30-hour brass movements were made well into the 1860s and were eventually replaced by the 8-day brass movement.
Because 30-hour clocks were produced in the thousands many examples have survived to this day. Most clock aficionados today have at least one ogee clock in their collection.
Of the 12 in my collection 5 are running continuously. Yes, winding a clock everyday is a hassle but we often forget that at one time the thirty hour clock in the form of the bedside alarm clock was a fixture in every home but for this post I am excluding the dozen alarm clocks in my collection.
Half are weight driven, so let’s begin with those.
Sperry and Shaw
This, a four-column shelf clock designed in the “New York” style was made between 1841 and 1851. Sperry and Shaw were assemblers and distributors and sourced parts from various producers. The movements and cases could have been made by Silas Hoadley or Chauncey Jerome or both.
I bought the clock from student in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the fall of 2018 and he would not budge on the price. My only question to him prior to making the deal was whether or not the clock had the original wafer weights which would be almost impossible to source if missing.
Daniel Pratt and Son
This is the only clock I have with a woodworks movement. Daniel Pratt worked with others but eventually went out on this own in the 1830s. I would date this clock to around 1837. This clock was won at an estate auction for the price of $30 during a time when clock prices were hitting rock bottom. The clock has a wood dial and a mirrored lower tablet (may or may not be original) and the case is in very good condition for its age.
This clock is from around 1855, made just before Chauncey Jerome’s company went into bankruptcy. This was also bought at auction a few years ago. It came with an extra mirrored lower tablet and a “spare” dial. I am not sure if either the mirrored tablet or the JC Brown picture are original. The veneer, however, is in perfect condition.
George H. Clark
This is an ogee from around 1857. There is no makers mark on the works but it is a Waterbury type 2.411 movement. The case is well-preserved and in excellent condition, obviously well-cared for by a previous owner. The beehive tablet looks to be original.
Waterbury Clock Co.
This an ogee style clock from 1865. It was bought at an antique store in Halifax. There was no price on the clock. I asked the owner what he would sell it for. He said, name a price, I said $40 and he said, sold! Evidently it been in his shop for a while. It is the first clock on which I learned how to replace very worn trundles.
This is a 30-hour cuckoo clock with a Regula movement, made about 1976. A cheap German made mass-produced “tourist” clock that was given to me by a relation. It still works but it is on its 3rd movement.
And now for the spring driven clocks.
Ansonia Cottage clock
This cottage clock is from about 1895. This another clock that was given to me. These were probably dollar clocks at the time. They had cheap movements but were solid and reliable. Surprisingly, these command good prices on the auction sites since so few remain.
Canada Clock Company
The Hamilton Cottage Extra is from about 1880. These are now very difficult to find since so few have survived. It is Canadian made and collectors will happily pay hundreds of dollars for one. It has a very cheap case made of softwood with no veneers. The acid etched lower tablet is quite unique. It was bought in a local junk store for $40. I could not believe my find.
The Manross is a thirty hour time and strike and called a steeple clock. One interesting feature is that the Rosewood veneer is in a vertical orientation on the side columns unlike most that have a horizontal orientation. It is also the only clock in my collection that has brass mainsprings which were phased out in the early 1840s making the clock historically significant. Needless to say that in order to preserve the mainsprings I run this clock infrequently.
Hamilton Clock Company
The style is known as gothic steeple. The clock is from about 1876 and features a religious expression on the acid etched lower tablet, “Cling to the Cross”. There are some veneer losses but the clock is in decent shape. The steeple tips never seem to survive on these clocks.
This is a spring driven time and strike ogee from around 1875. Unfortunately the veneer has been stripped from the case and the softwood re-stained but it is an attractive little clock nonetheless. The dial is a replacement and the lower tablet has some losses.
This a called a Sharp Gothic according to the label. It is an American-made clock sold by a jeweler by the name of Thomas B. Spike in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) in the 1880s. The lower tablet features a seaside Parthenon scene which might suggest it was one of many produced for foreign markets. There are some veneer losses but the clock is in running order and keeps reasonably good time. It has replacement mainsprings because it will run for 3 days on a wind. Not bad for a 30-hour clock!
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of a part of my collection of 30-hour or one-day clocks and please leave a comment. As for expanding my collection of one-day clocks I am not sure that I would continue acquiring them unless I came across something quite unique or if one were given to me.