A woodworks movement by Daniel Pratt Jr. and it actually works

Won at auction this spring is a Daniel Pratt Jr. reverse ogee with splat although this one is missing the splat, the decorative piece on top of the case.

According to the label it was made in or after 1843.

It was also missing the suspension spring and pendulum rod and the wire with regulating screw for the pendulum bob.

Daniel Pratt Jr reverse ogee clock

There are a few other things that are not quite right. The green banding that frames the upper and lower glass looks a little strange and likely added later and the card stock which would have replaced either a mirror or reverse painted tablet looks out of place. The picture of a young soldier holding a sabre and an American flag looks quite old.

But it actually works and works well.

It has a time and strike 30-hour woodworks movement. Wood-works movements were introduced in American at the end of the 18th century and the high point of woodworks movement production was prior to the depression of 1837. During the depression most clock production was shut down and small companies began to consolidate into larger ones.

Wood-works movement

With the invention of the 30-hour brass movement by Noble Jerome, clock making began to boom again in 1838. Inexpensive woodworks movements continued to be made but by the mid 1840s the woodworks movement production had begun to phase out.

Count wheel on left, escape wheel in the middle

This movement works

The weight cord on the right side looks like it would let go at any time but what the heck, let’s see if this thing works. The green one for the strike side looks sturdy. I will restring the clock later.

I removed the verge and determined there was no power getting to the escape wheel. I felt underneath and although the weight had been wound to the top of the case the cord was binding on the main wheel. It took a little encouragement to bring the weight further down but the adjustment did the trick. I then fashioned a new suspension rod/spring from my supplies along with a pendulum wire, gave the pendulum a gentle push and success!

About 3 hours later as the weight on the time side was descending I noticed the cable had broken at some point and a past owner had simple tied the two ends together. I believe the knot was causing the power issue.

I had already tested the strike side and it was working perfectly.

I have one other Daniel Pratt Jr. clock in much better condition but the movement will not run for more than a few minutes. This one has a splat.

So, one Pratt with a not-so-good case and a working movement and the other with a stunning case but a non-working movement. Should I do a swap?

Daniel Pratt Jr with woodworks movement

I have never disassembled a woodworks movement in my years of clock repair and I doubt that many clock repairers have much experience with one. It is one of the few movement types I have zero experience with but I may have to bite the bullet some day because this clock will not run forever.


2 thoughts on “A woodworks movement by Daniel Pratt Jr. and it actually works

  1. Hello , Enjoyed the latest email I am new to the community and have no experience with the actual mechanical repairs although I have restored several clock cases with and with out assistance …with my beer pockets and Champaign taste I forge ahead saving as many time pieces as I can and enjoying every moment of it. All the best , Victor

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