Simon Willard Eight-day Clocks: In Search of the Finely-Divided Trade, 1785-1825 by Robert C. Cheney
Jul 22 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Robert C. Cheney of Brimfield, Massachusetts is a third-generation clockmaker and a nationally recognized authority on early American clocks. He has served as a conservator and consultant for nearly fifty museums including Old Sturbridge Village, Worcester Art Museum, The American Antiquarian Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and has served on the Boards of the National Watch and Clock Museum, the American Clock and Watch Museum and the Willard House and Clock Museum.

As the most complicated trade in 18th century America, clock making relied heavily on a finely divided shop structure to produce domestic timekeepers. Cabinetmakers, carvers, gilders, dial makers, painters and at least seventeen different metal-working trades all joined forces to capture the fervor of nouveau riche Americans to mimic fine English interiors with locally produced furniture, silver, portraiture and clocks to fill elegant new homes.
Previous scholarship by this speaker has documented a little known, but extensive trade in Liverpool and Birmingham goods to supply Willard and others with most of the materials and components needed to fill the needs of an emerging American market. This talk will widen the importance of Liverpool and Birmingham for American clock production and discuss how Willard began to recreate English methodology in Boston by 1800.

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An Overview of Escapements
Aug 12 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Speaker: Jon Weber has been member of the NAWCC since 1972 and has been a member of several chapters. He has a PhD in experimental solid state physics. He took two courses at the NAWCC school of watchmaking when it was in operation. He has worked in government labs, commercial sales and military systems engineering. He has several patents on military related systems. He is interested in both watches and clocks. His watch interests include repair tools and watches that shows developments in watchmaking. His clock interests are in precision time keeping and pendulum stability. He is currently a board member of Chapter 8 and assists on the NAWCC message board.

Description: This webinar is a top down view of the escapement beginning with a description and a review of what an escapement does and how it distinguishes different types of timekeepers. The theme is that all escapements have three things:
1) They unlock the power that drives the timepiece
2) They apply power to the timekeeping element
3) They re-lock the power source

It includes examples of various escapements showing them operating in slow motion and how each performs the three functions of an escapement.

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Waltham Clock Co. History and Clock Production – Andy Dervan
Sep 30 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm


Andy Dervan began collecting antique clock in 1997 and joined the NAWCC. He found clock collecting was a fascinating hobby, and his principle collecting interest is 19th and 20th Century weight driven clocks particularly banjo clocks. Researching the manufacturing histories of various makers and companies was more challenging than simply collecting; he has published many articles in NAWCC Watch and Clock Bulletin, American Clock and Watch Museum Electronic Timepiece Journal, and Clocks Magazine. In 2011, he retired from DuPont Performance Coating and now volunteers at Henry Ford Museum, runs a clock appraisal business, and continues his horological research. In 2011, he became an NAWCC Fellow, in 2016 he was awarded NAWCC James W. Gibbs Literary Award, and in 2017 he became an NAWCC Star Fellow.

In 1890, Walter J. Dudley and Walter K. Menns began work on an electric (battery powered) clock in John Starks shop in Waltham, MA. They convinced a group of Natick, MA investors to form Waltham Electric Clock Company in New Hampshire on June 5, 1890. A factory was setup in Natick and 1st clock was sold in early 1891. In April 1891 a group of Natick investors took over the company and moved it back to John Stark’s shop Waltham; the Natick businessmen could not provide sufficient financial support to keep the company in Natick.

January 1893 Waltham Electric Clock Co. introduced a weight driven precision regulator clock, and American Waltham Watch Co. purchased an early regulator for the 1893 World’s Fair exhibit to control the watch making machinery. At the June 1894 annual meeting Waltham Electric Clock Company Board of Directors voted to change the company’s name to the Waltham Clock Company. The company quickly acquired a reputation for manufacturing high precision weight driven regulators.

November 1898, the Waltham Clock Company reorganized and elected new officers: John Stark, President; William Henry, Treasurer and Business Manager; and Thomas W. Shephard, Mechanical Superintendent. The company was ready to introduce a new Hall Clock designed by Mr. Henry and a new synchronized time system, and planned to offer a complete line of regulators, office, and marine clocks. This new partnership appeared very successful, because many newspaper articles and other publications highlighted the company’s success. Waltham Clock Co. chiming hall clocks became a big seller for the company along with large and small regulators and Willard banjo clocks.

The company continued until the death of William Henry in January 1913. After William Henry’s death John Stark and Thomas Shepherd purchased his interest of the business. In February 1914, John Stark and Thomas Shepherd felt the company required additional capital and sold the company to Waltham Watch Company.

Waltham Watch Co. increased its product offerings and maintained Waltham Clock Company as separate department to capitalize on its recognized name for quality. After Waltham Watch Co. 1925 reorganization the separate clock department was abolished.


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