E Ingraham and Co. 30 hour movement cleaning

The movement was pulled out of a 30-hour shelf clock made by American clock-maker E. Ingraham and Co. in the 1870s (the name the company used from 1861 to 1880). The clock was bought at auction in mid-March 2022 along with 3 other clocks.

E Ingraham 30-hour movement

This is one of those situations where the case looks distressed whereas the movement looks like it has been well cared for over the years. It has seen service at least three times.

The three dates, two on the back panel and one on the rear of the dial, are all presumably service dates. The inscription, Bridges Bros, Woodstock, New Brunswick, 1879 is the earliest and on the back panel are the dates January 31, 1916 (barely readable) and October 1994.

Auction photo

The case

The gold band on the front face of the “octagon top” has some losses. I intend to hide the nicks with gold artist paint matched to the case. There are a few scratches over the rosewood case which will be hidden by a fresh coat of shellac following cleaning with soap and water.

5% of a label remains on the back. The inside label is interesting since most of the back panel is covered in black paper with E Ingraham Co. inscribed in gilt on the bottom section.

Dull dark blue paper label with gilt lettering

The dial shows considerable wear following years of daily use and the plan is to enhance the numbers with multi-surface black acrylic paint.

Auction photo

As a collector who has seen many of these styles of clocks, I initially assumed the access door glass was a replacement since many from this period had reverse painted tablets. Due to the decorative pendulum, the bright brass bell, the stylized wood panel that is the base for the dial, the glass panel with its waviness and various imperfections plus the putty-like material that is used to mount the glass, the total absence of any sign that it was painted, the clear glass appears to be original to the case.

It is always a bit of a disappointment when something is lost or changed in a clock’s history but the case looks reasonably good despite the minor wear.

Some of the scratches, dents, etc. found on a case (not all of course) are no doubt the result of rough handling either when transporting the item to the auction house or during its stay.

This is certainly not an example of a case that requires refinishing. The minor touch-ups and enhancements will dramatically improve the appearance of this clock while not changing its character or value in any way (but may even increase it marginally).

The movement

Now to the movement. The movement looks surprisingly good for its age and from my first inspection, it does not need much to put it right.

The front plate and escape wheel removed

Every time-side pivot and bushing is in very good condition and there is an old replacement bushing, 3rd wheel back-plate.

The strike side requires a new bushing second wheel back-plate. There are two old replacement bushings on the front plate and two on the backplate, all on 3rd wheels. The bushings are nice to see but it is not encouraging when one pops out while pegging the movement. It will be replaced. Not the best of workmanship.

There are punch marks around four bushing holes, front, and back. All pivots on the strike side are in very good condition.

It also appears the time side mainspring has been shortened a bit, not a concern since these clocks when properly serviced will run well past 30 hours.

All in all, it should be a quick project. Now that I have a clear idea of what needs to be done I will get to work on the case. Expect a post on the case itself in the next few weeks.


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