Classic watches, watchmaking, antique tools, history, vintage ephemera and more!

Learn about mechanical timepieces and how they work, the history of the American watch industry and especially all about the Elgin National Watch Company! Check back for new content daily.

Although this is technically a blog, the content is not generally in a time-based sequence. You can find interesting items throughout. Down the page some is an alphabetical word cloud of keywords used here. A great way to dig in is to look through those topics and click anything you find interesting. You'll see all the relevant content.

Here are a few of my favorites!

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P7240130.JPGImage by orngejuglr via Flickrhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eUibFQKJqI

Take a look at this remarkable demonstration of a model of the Antikythera mechanism, the earliest known (150–100 BC) device for calculating the positions of known astrological bodies. It is a mechanical computer of astounding complexity.

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William Samelius Seeks Rare Clock Part

The following was run in horological publications all over the country in about 1947. I found it clipped, by my Grandfather, from a copy of Northwest Jewelry. William Samelius was my Grandfather's teacher. He always spoke very highly of "The Dean".

Seeks Rare Clock Part

Elgin, Ill. - A search among collectors' clubs throughout the nation for the missing part of a clock so rare that less than a dozen are in use, has been launched by William H. Samelius, director of Elgin
Watchmakers College and dean of American horologists.
Samelius seeks a jointed doll, not more than three inches high and seated in a swing. It served originally as the "bobbing pendulum" of a clock produced in 1886 by the Ansonia Clock Company, now of Ansonia, Conn.
He explained that, unlike an ordinary clock, the bobbing pendulum operates in a vertical motion with the weight suspended on a helical spring. It is kept in motion by a regular escapement through a lever connected with the spring, the lever getting its energy from the escape wheel.
In the ordinary clock - says Samelius - the pendulum is suspended with a thin leaf spring and the pendulum is kept in motion by a lever that receives its energy from the escape wheel.
"Since the original equipment was lost I have operated my bobbing clock with a weighted buddha," he said. "Now I have other uses for the buddha and I believe that some collectors' group may put me on the
trail of the missing doll."
He will exhibit the clock to the collectors' group of the woman's club of Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, to get underway the hunt for the missing doll.

William Samelius was particularly expert in unusual escapements and owned a large collection of escapement models.

As an aside, the same page on which the above article ran included this interesting note, a sign of those times...

Clock Workers Alert
Boston - The national convention of the Independent American Watch Workers union has adopted a resolution barring "Communists" from holding appointive or elective office in the organization.
The delegates, representing 8,000 watch workers in Waltham, Mass., Elgin, Ill., Lancaster, Pa., Lincoln, Neb., and San Francisco, also sanctioned plans for expansion of the union into the clock and repair field.

The Klockwerks Chronulator


Check out this novel clock design combining modern/retro gauges with a classic clock case design. The clock works, using analogue gauges, is available as a kit.
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