Chapter Eight Ninth Annual Symposium 9/19/98
The Ninth Annual Educational Symposium was held at Bristol Connecticut,not far from the towns of Thomaston, Forestville, Terryville, Waterbury, and Plymouth, and of course The American Clock and Watch Museum, on September 19, 1998. The symposium continued on the Chapter Eight educational theme for the year - "The Mass Produced Clock and Watch".
Chapter President Bob Merrill welcomed everyone to the symposium and Larry Chelmow introduced the symposium speakers, Chris Bailey, Tom Grimshaw, Jon Hanson, and Ian K. Roome. all very qualified horologists.
"From Bristol to Brooklyn "The story of the Ansonia Clock Company, was presented by Chris Bailey, who "charted " for us, the course of Ansonia Clock Company , starting with Anson G. Phelps, as a subsidiary to The Ansonia Brass Company , to increase the use of brass.
Chris a NAWCC Star Fellow , member of NAWCC since 1969, and is The Staff Horologist of the American Clock and Watch Museum. His presentation traced and navigated the history of The Ansonia Clock Company from its beginnings to its final years in Brooklyn , New York.
He described the history of the period , the various financial changes and the people involved.The company became successful in 1859 and incorporated in 1878, and in 1879 fire destroyed the factory. They produced some good clocks after the rebuild in 1880.,mantel ,gallery ,shelf and china cases. In 1930 the manufacture of clocks ceased and the machinery was sold to Russia. The presentation was excellent and very well received.
Chris has written a history of the Ansonia Clock Company "Theodore Terry's Ansonia Clock Company "which is an additional feature to the "Ansonia Clock Company "-price guide by Bob and Marlene Spence published in 1979 by American Reprints and reviewed by Henry Fried in the NAWCC Bulletin December 1980 ( # 209). He is also the author of "200 years of American Clocks & Watches" and has researched and published the histories of many Connecticut clock and watch manufacturing firms. He is a frequent writer for the Bulletin, and is a Bulletin Supplement author.He presently serves on the Editorial and the Seminar Committees of NAWCC He is a past national director, ,and is a recipient of the James W. Gibbs Literary Award (1995).he has a BS. (Research Technology) from Brigham Young University and is a credited genealogist
-Tom Grimshaw's talk concentrated on milestone events in Connecticut clock manufacturing such as the transition from the 30-hour wooden works looking glass clocks to the 30 hour brass ogee clocks.
His talk covered the integrity of the early American clocks the innovations , versatility and the need to produce a good clock cheaply and be able to export the product.The presentation was very interesting and provoked numerous questions.
He also presented "his " personal choice of American Clocks,with apologies to any other lists!! His choice was naturally very partisan ,however to please all he included the Willard Banjo as an honorable mention!!.,with due respects for the members from Massachusetts.!!
Tom is past President of Chapter 55 Central New York,and a Past Chairman of the Eastern States regional,and a past member of the NAWCC Research Committee.He is the current President of The American Watch and Clock Museum in Bristol..Tom is the author of Bulletin articles,the most recent being in the December 1995 Bulletin,co-authored with A.Lee Smith and J.M.Arvay "Silas B.Terry and his timepieces with springs outside the back plate."
He is the executive vice president of the Midstate Medical Center,Meriden,Connecticut.
Ian K.Roome presented his "Seth Thomas Tower Clocks" Ian has done extensive research on the history of the Seth Thomas Clock Company .The presentation was very imformative and covered the Seth Thomas Tower clocks from the mid 19th. century until its end in 1942.He explained the unique installations ,because of the weight considerations and the location of tower clocks including the maintenance With the slides taken from newsprint of the day,showing spectacular clock fires revealing the hazardous location of clocks,just natural chimneys.Well presented and it provided an unusal aspect side of horology.
Ian has been a collector of Seth Thomas Clocks since 1972 and a member NAWCC since that time.and a Past president of Chapter 69,Orange County.
Jon Hanson has been an avid researcher and watch collector for 39 years.and became a professional collector in 1950 . While his primary focus is early American watches, his interests extend to early English watches and pocket chronometers. He shared his passion for collecting with a presentation that was for the beginner and expert alike.He termed his passion as "worse than drugs!!" When John began collecting he noted the lack of price guides and imformation. Since then his efforts have brought to light, information and insights, as well as watches and movements that have clarified important features of our understanding of the development of the American watch industry.He recommends Major Chamberlain's "Its about time" Jon had bought part of his watch collection with him to share with the symposium, which we passed around -just like a show and tell -- he started to collect and get one of each. - "keep the best and sell the rest!' and describes his collection with such unusual "non-horological" terminology such as exotic, sexy, neat, just.to name a few. He urged us to look for sleepers--
He recommends "Hold it in your hand and look" A very fine "show and tell "- interesting plenty of information, thank you Jon for sharing your collection and your passion.
Jon's research has been widely quoted, discussed and pictured in scholarly articles and books, while examples from his extensive legendary collection have appeared in many exhibitions. Mr. Hanson is a founder and President of NAWCC National Chapter 149, Early American Watch club, a research chapter and President of the American Horologe Company, an organization devoted to acquisition, research and restoration.
The final event of 1998 Symposium was a tour of the American Watch And Clock Museum in Bristol. The Museum has the finest collection of American manufactured clocks and watches in the world.The museum's gateway exhibit "Connecticut Clockmaking and the Industrial Revolution" documents clock manufacturing's pioneering contributions to the American system of manufacture and its social impact on the country.
The event was very successful, due to the hard work carried out by the Symposium Committee - Laurence Chelmow (Chairman) Joseph E.Brown FNAWCC; George Grant ; John Lelievre; and David Deutermann.
On September 26th The New Hampshire Historical Society held an open house which featured an "antiques road show" NAWCC and Chapter Members Steve Sanborn and Mark Yusko provided and opinions evaluations for clocks and watches brought by the general public .Both Steve and Mark were kept quite busy -- clocks and watches, some good , some not so good, but all worthy of comment were submitted for appraisal.One lady, a relation of E.Horward, brought along , what else, but a couple of Howards!
A unique skull watch with the movement occupying the position of the brain in the skull, the watch is opened by lifting the lower jaw. The dial had one hand just one hour ,a unique watch -its probable date 1550-1600.
Steve and Mark did a fine job as Ambassadors of NAWCC and Chapter Eight.
8:00 AM Registration, Coffee and Pastries
8:30.AM Robert L.Merrill. Chapter Eight President
9:00 AM Chris Bailey.
10:00 AM Break
10:30 AM -Tom Grimshaw.
11:300 AM Lunch
12:30 PM Ian Roome
1:30 PM Break
1:45 PM Watch Presentation
2:45 PM Depart to the American Watch And Clock Museum
3:00 PM. Reception and Museum Tour.
A highlight of the 1998 Symposium is the reception and tour of the American Watch And Clock Museum in Bristol. Their new exhibit, "Connecticut Clock making and the Industrial revolution" should compliment the day's program. As this exhibit only opened in July, the Museum tour should be of interest to just about all attendees.
The theme - "The Mass Produced Clock and Watch" has been the Chapter Eight theme for the year.We will have an opportunity to follow a major clock manufacturer.Ansonia Clock Company ,throughout its life, which also follows Connecticut clock manufacturing. This will cover the introduction of major technical innovations and style changes from early days into the 20th. century. The history of the Seth Thomas tower clock will allow us to follow the development of a particular type of clock from the mid 19th. century until its end in 1942.
The Symposium fee is a modest $45.00 per person, payable in advance. Non NAWCC members are most welcome. Registrations includes the lectures, coffee and pastry on arrival, coffee breaks, buffet lunch and museum tour. Registration will be accepted by mail through September 10,1998. Cancellations accepted to September 10, no refunds thereafter.
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