Connecticut Chapter 148 NAWCC Logo

Chapter 148

Al Comen, Pres.
phone: 203-378-4323
Cheryl A. Comen, Treasurer
409A Montauk Lane
Stratford, CT 06614
Mary Jane Dapkus, Secretary

NEXT MEETING - May 16, 2015

Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street, Newtown, CT, 8:30 AM. Table holders may set up at 8:00 AM. Please do not come before 8:30 if you do not have a table. Must be member of NAWCC (or guest) to attend. The usual refreshments of doughnuts, pastries, bagels, and beverages will be served.

Click here for directions.

Chapter 148 meets on the 3rd Saturday of odd months.
January, March, May, July, September and November

Meetings Past

March 21, 2015 Meeting Highlights
by Mary Jane Dapkus

More than sixty Ch. 148 members and friends braved a spring snowstorm to attend our meeting on the morning of Saturday March 21. Despite less than ideal weather conditions, attendance was good and mart trading brisk.

Our guest presenter was Tom Grimshaw (CT), whose unbelievably varied background is known to include engineering, teaching, ice cream making, and administration. Perhaps best known to chapter members, however, as an avid learner, lecturer, collector, and clock restorer, Tom's presentation was entitled "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??"

Intended as an exercise to develop engineering judgment and analysis skills, the program featured about one dozen remarkable (and often, understandably, rare) examples of American shelf clocks dating from approximately the 1830s to 1860s. These were set up with printed queries encouraging attendees to puzzle over (with Tom's assistance), ways in which the clocks' designs were poor...or in some instances, utterly impractical.

To those of us who may have entertained the thought that brilliant design and rarity go hand in hand, Tom gleefully disabused us of that notion. Furthermore, as habitual experimenters it was perhaps not surprising that a few of the clocks in Tom's presentation were attributed to Joseph Ives and Silas B. Terry.

In the Ives category, for example, a round Gothic shelf clock with a tin plate movement (to reduce costs) required brass bushings and a costly roller escapement to attain functionality.

An S.B. Terry 30-hr. brass time & strike movement had at least three times the number of parts as its Jerome's patent 30-hr. stamped brass analog, and probably had to be assembled in its case (click photo for larger view).

An unlabeled shelf clock with an iron plate 30-day t&s movement attributed to Ives was also brass bushed; it had iron going barrels, iron chains, a roller verge, and a nice tablet...albeit one that had been installed inside out(!) An attractively carved paw foot S.B. Terry shelf clock had an equally attractive solid plate time & alarm movement, which suffers from the disadvantage of having to be taken completely apart to set the clock in beat. The presentation also featured an example of a rather ineffectual ca. 1860s "burglar alarm" clock.

Many thanks are due to Tom for his efforts in bringing us this engaging and educational presentation! In addition, many thanks are due to all those who contributed generously of their time and effort to make our meeting an interesting and hospitable one!

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January 17, 2015 Meeting Highlights
by Mary Jane Dapkus

A well-attended "cabin fever" Chapter 148 meeting took place on the frigid Saturday morning of January 17, 2015. Activities included mart, raffle, and silent auction. We were pleased to welcome several new members and guests.

Chapter 148 members browse mart offerings at the January 2015 meeting.

A very large 8-day 1920s-vintage Waltham pocket watch with a "spot indicator" in a little window on the dial that shows red when the spring is wound down, went home with a pleased new owner. Additional items spotted at the mart included a black Chelsea 15-day military or engine room timepiece in a Bakelite case with what looked to be an original stand; a 20th c Smith's "Cricklewood N.W. 2" English ship's clock; two Florence Kroeber, New York City shelf clocks, ca. 1890s, French styled with boulle trim, both in good original condition; a miniature ogee shelf clock bearing the label of Ansonia Clock Co. with "The Highland Chase" decalcomania tablet; a large ogee shelf clock bearing the label of "E. Manross, Forestville, Ct." with a brass movement and "Merchants' Exchange, Phila.[delphia]" tablet; and a German two-weight regulator. In addition, a Birge, Peck & Co., Bristol, Ct. triple-decker shelf clock with faux marbled half-columns and original Fenn tablets found a new home.

Members sought and received help in identifying movements, and in proper repairing techniques for specific projects they are working on.

The very happiest, healthiest New Year to all!

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Have you visited NAWCC's home page?

The American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol, Connecticut

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