New England Chapter No. 8 NAWCC

Spring Meeting, Saturday, April 16, 2016

Old Sturbridge Village

1 Old Southbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566


8:30A.M. Registration: Nametags available for pre-registered members. Walk-in registration begins. Mart opens for set up for table holders only.

9:00A.M. Mart Opens - General Entry
Mart will close at 11:45 A.M. for the 12:00 Noon Luncheon.

9:00 to 11:45 AM. Silent Auction. A fee of $3.00 per item, multiple items for one bid count as one item.


9:45 AM. "Master and Slave Clock Systems." In this presentation Ross Hochstrasser will discuss timekeeping in public buildings at the end of the 19th century, which took a major turn when electricity became the current "high tech" innovation. With the advent of the "Master & Slave" system, the requirement of keeping multiple key-wound clocks was reduced to one electric master clock. He will demonstrate how these systems work and the different approaches that were implemented. Ross has been restoring clocks since the early 1980s and, with the acquisition of a Standard Electric master clock in 1985, put him on the path of electrical horology. Ross, and his brother Dave, completed the restoration of the Boston Custom House clock in 1987.

10:45 AM. "Ships Insurers and the Development of Precision Watches." In his talk Jon Weber will outline the impact of the introduction of steam ships on the needs and development of navigation watches. The talk will propose the view that insurance underwriters drove the entry of watches into marine navigation in response to new needs for steam commerce. Also, the talk will review the performance differences between marine chronometers and lever watches. He has published articles in the NAWCC Watch and Clock magazine plus the Swiss Journal "Chronometrophilia." Jon has given talks to several NAWCC Chapters and the AWCI Mass Watch and Clock Makers Association.

12:00 Noon. Lunch

12:45 PM. "Elegant Faces and Mahogany Cases: Willard Eight-day Clocks, 1785-1825." Recent scholarship by our well-known speaker, Robert Cheney, sheds new light on the shop structure and methodology of the production of Willard tall clocks during this period. A far more complicated trade than previously described, this talk will explore the vast journeyman trade in Roxbury and Liverpool and their role in manufacturing "elegant faces and mahogany cases" for the eager buyers in the New Republic. Robert is presently a Trustee at the Willard House and Clock Museum in Grafton, MA. He is currently Director of the Clocks, Watches and Scientific Instruments department at Skinner Inc.

If you do not have Acrobat reader on your computer you can get it here free:


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 © 2016 Price-Less Ads TM. All rights reserved.

For technical problems with this site please write to