New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC


Johnson &Wales Inn, Seekonk MA

Meeting Highlights

On January 26th Chapter 8 started the New Year with a winter meeting at Johnson & Wales Inn in Seekonk MA. A good turnout of 260 was on hand for an active mart with 66 tables and three programs.

The first workshop was presented by Bill Curley, a member of the Connecticut Chapter 148. Bill, a manufacturing engineer with a background as a tool and die maker, specializes, in his spare time, in making clock parts.

He was approached by the Timexpo Museum to make a large clock for display based on the design of Waterbury clocks. The clock would be used to explain how a clock works. It had to be easily dismantled and reassembled as part of the demonstration process. Timexpo had prepared a proposal sketch that Bill used as the basis for the design Using CAD (Computer Assisted Design) techniques Bill prepared three sets of scale drawings, allowing Timexpo to choose a size that resulted in a clock about two feet high with a 20 inch diameter dial.

Bill then set about building the clock and his story of some of the techniques he used and the problems he had to overcome was fascinating. The first problem was that the original concept design would have resulted in a clock, which ran counter clockwise! Much use was made of CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machining and Wire EDM (Traveling Wire Electrical Discharge Machining) with programs directly transferred from the CAD design.

Timexpo wanted the pivots on the back of the clock to be permanently fixed to the back plate (the wheels slip over the pivots) to ease the dismantling and reassembly, which they had in mind. However, because there was a requirement to use lantern pinions in keeping with the design of a Waterbury clock, Bill discovered that four wheels had to be meshed simultaneously when they were installed on the back plate. This, together with some other problems, resulted in abandoning the idea of regularly dismantling the clock. To run for a week the clock would have to be set up with a fifteen-foot drop for the weight. Since it is set at a lower level to be viewable, it is wound every two days. The clock can be seen by those who go to the Timexpo meeting in May.

The second workshop by Chapter Member Arnoud Meurs was a most informative talk about the peculiarities of the Japanese clock making industry in the period 1550 to 1887.

The first mechanical clocks introduced to Japan were probably Italian and Dutch clocks presented as gifts by European merchants in the early to mid sixteenth century. Between 1550 and 1650 there was a strong missionary influence in Japan, particularly the Jesuits, who taught clock making. In 1650 all Europeans were ejected from Japan with the exception of a small European enclave at Nagasaki. Early Japanese clocks therefore used Western technology to keep the Chino/Japanese time system.

This time system divides the day into two parts, each with six two hours periods. The first is from sun up to sun down and the second from sun down to sun up. The problem is obviously that with changing seasons the dark hours and the light hours will be relatively longer or shorter. This resulted in two kinds of clock, one with a variable running speed and fixed markers or one with a constant running speed and movable markers.

In 1853 Perry re-established a European presence in Japan and in 1873 the Japanese revoked their traditional time keeping system and adopted Western time keeping. Traditional Japanese clocks have therefore become very collectible.

Arnoud showed pictures of stick clocks (also known as pillar clocks), striking stick clocks, bracket clocks, lantern clocks (which were floor, table or wall hanging), and travel clocks. Some of the systems devised to provide variable running speeds or movable markers were fascinating. While Japanese clocks were very beautifully and delicately made they do not have great survivability. However, the clocks Arnoud showed were all magnificent. A well-received and excellent workshop.

This meeting's luncheon speaker was our own chapter president, Bob Frishman His talk, entitled "Gems from the Bench," presented selections from the thousands of slides Bob has taken during his 20-plus years of collecting, selling and repairing antique clocks. In describing nice surprises among the many clocks that come through his door, he showed photos of an early weight-driven striking banjo, a New Hampshire mirror clock's "wheelbarrow" movement, a Seth Thomas hotel clock with a system for wake up calls, a group of ornate and wildly colored French mantel clocks, and a Waltham boudoir clock he stripped of its green-crackle paint before learning that the factory produced them in that finish. He showed some close-ups of interesting clock labels including one for a Howard Clock Company of Quincy, Illinois.

As a finale, he offered a sneak preview of one of his upcoming Bulletin articles. He researched a large figural mantel clock, which appears in several Mathew Brady studio portraits, and he showed examples of civil-war era photos showing this clock with such well-known subjects as George A. Custer, Robert E. Lee, and Clara Barton. The clock, an Ansonia "Reaper" model, apparently was considered an attractive prop by these luminaries. Numerous members commented after the meeting about Bob's super presentation.

-- Bob Frishman and Harold Lincoln


Johnson &Wales Inn, Seekonk MA

Directions to Johnson & Wales Inn, Seekonk, MA. Pickup 195 in Providence off I-95.
From Interstate195E: Take exit 1 in MA. From thence take a left onto Rte 114A and continue to the junction of Rte 44 and turn right onto 44. The Johnson & Wales Inn is located a few hundred yards ahead on your right.
From Interstate 195W: Take Exit 1 in MA and proceed as above.

Registrations by January 21, 2002 are $19.
Registrations received after January 21, 2002 and "walk-ins" will be $25.
As always, registration includes your luncheon and is required for participation in any of the meeting activities.

Your Attention Please: We are back to our normal staring hour.
7:30 AM Registration name tags available for those members who preregistered.
Registration table open for "walk-ins".
8:00 AM Mart area open for setup by table holders only.
8:30 AM Mart open with closing at 11:30 A.M. for 12:00 Noon Luncheon.
Silent Auction Table will run from 8:30 to 10:30A.M.
9:30 AM Workshop: BUILDING A CLOCK FOR TIMEXPO: Connecticut Member Bill Curley will describe the "from Scratch" building of a large-scale brass clock movement for the TIMEXPO museum in Waterbury. Bill is a Manufacturing Engineer with an extensive Tool & Die background currently with Anchor Stampings in Waterbury. He repairs clocks as well, specializing in gear cutting and other custom-made parts.
10:45 AM Workshop: JAPANESE CLOCKS, 1500-1887: Chapter Member Arnoud Meurs returns to lecture on the peculiarities of Japanese clocks as a follow-on to his well-received Black Forest and Dutch clock presentations. This slide program will be on stick clocks, bracket and lantern clocks and Inro/specialty clocks. Arnoud has lectured and exhibited his clocks at NAWCC chapters in Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut as well as throughout northern New England.
11:30 Break for Lunch
Luncheon Speaker: Our own Chapter 8 President and owner of Bell-Time Clocks in Andover, Mass., Bob Frishman will present a slide talk on "Gems from the Bench". During the course of his many years of clock collecting, repair and restoration, Bob has taken thousands of horological slides. From the pile, he will select some of the best and worst cases that have passed across his workbench. Bob, a former Capitol Hill speech writer in Washington, D.C., has spoken often to historical societies, adult education classes, etc. and has three articles upcoming in future issues of the NAWCC Bulletin. Included in his talk will be a sneak preview of one of those articles.
3:00 PM Mart closes, security ends.

Silent Auction Table will run from 8:30to 10:30A.M.
There is a change to a flat fee of $3.00 per item, multiple items for one bid to count as one item. The charge is collected in advance. It applies regardless of whether item sells or not. We hope you find that this is cheaper and easier for you.

President's Message - Bob Frishman

Chapter 8 Success Formula
"Why do we have to pay for the lunch even if we don't want to stay for it?"

Your volunteer officers and directors hear this question and we discuss it at our Council meetings. But we are convinced that our rich meeting format is why we continue be one of the oldest, largest, busiest and most respected chapters in the NAWCC. Our meetings are a great bargain. The one registration fee provides mart access plus two morning workshops, a sit-down social meal, and a major after-lunch speaker, all in a quality facility. And for those who take mart tables, we provide a comfortable well-lit indoor venue and over 200 serious buyers at a cost far less than local antique shows or flea markets. None of this would be possible if a large proportion of attendees opted for a cheap mart-only admission fee. Many of us have attended meetings of small chapters with short marts, brief or no program, no lunch or socializing, and far fewer members; so we know the difference. While we are trying new ideas like Sunday meetings and the August picnic, we are proud to stick with our high-value format. Why? Because it works!
Happy New Year.
- Bob Frishman

Schedule of Events for 2002 (We have had many requests for some Sunday meetings):

Sunday - Apr 14th Worcester Holiday Inn, Worcester MA.

Spring - 2002, Willard House Workshop, Grafton, MA.

Sunday - May 11th, Special Event-Joint meeting with Chapters 2, 84, and 148 at Timexpo Waterbury, CT.

Sunday - Aug 4th Bowen House Picnic, Woodstock CT.

Thur - Sat-Oct 17th-19th Rolling Green Inn, Andover MA. National Seminar, "Boston: Cradle of Industrial Watchmaking". Chapter 8 is cosponsoring this and this will be in lieu of our fall educational symposium.

Saturday - Nov 2nd, Worcester Holiday Inn, Worcester MA.

Chapter Contacts:
If you any of you have a question or wish to contact someone in the chapter, get in touch with any of these four and they will get your message to the right person if they cannot help you.

President Bob Frishman
53 Poor St., Andover MA 01810

1st Vice Pres Dave Deutemiam
81 Kingman St., Lakeville, MA 02347

Treasurer Wayne Paskerian
5 Warren St., Winchester, MA 01890

Secretary Dick Trepp
573 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA 01106


Return to Ch 8's Home Page.

The right to download and store or output the articles in Price-Less Ads is granted to users for their personal use only. Any other reproduction, by any means - mechanical or electronic - without the express written permission of Price-Less Ads is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2002 Price-Less Ads TM. All rights reserved.

Send comments on this web site to Ron Price