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!
There are some large images on some posts, so that might impact your load times, bit I think you will find it worth the wait. Thanks for visiting!
A New Field of Clock Repairing
By JOHN T. LYNCH
This invention is a clock, faced with sensitized paper on which a needle marks a straight, steady line when the vehicle is standing still, and makes a shaky graph line while the truck, or automobile, is in motion.
The clock is synchronized with the time of the dash-board clock. Hidden in the body of the car, unknown to the driver, it is installed in the morning and removed at night, after the day's hauls are over. In this manner the whole story of the truck's movement is visible on the removable face. If the line is steady and straight for any unseemly length of time, the driver has a lot of explaining to do. It is also possible to tell to the minute how long it took a driver to make any certain stop.
One Los Angeles company has saved a great deal of expense in its trucking department. It seems that the clocks, when first installed, showed that from about three to five, every afternoon, not a truck moved. The boys would drive to some nice, shady spot and kill two hours before coming in for the night. The result was the elimination of two trucks-and much better service from those kept on duty. The drivers do not yet know that they were betrayed by mechanics. They just think that the truck boss suddenly became psychic.
The needle operates on the sensitized paper much as does a seismograph needle for recording earth movements. It is the vibration of the moving vehicle that makes the needle jump, or zig-zag. Because of this constant vibration the inside works become loose and the clocks need frequent servicing by an efficient clock repair man.
At least two Los Angeles repair shops have found their services so much in demand by truck companies that they are making a specialty of it.
Time Down in Rhode Island
To Repair Clock Escape Wheel
By W. H. Samelius
You mount one end of the arbor in the lathe, supporting the other pivot by means of a female center in the spindle of the tail stock. Then by raising the T - rest as high as it will go you use it as a means to support a very fine file or oilstone. Then when the lathe is in motion you take a very light cut off the top of the teeth until the wheel teeth are all the same length.
After this operation it may be necessary to cut the thickness of the tip of the teeth. To do this, use a fine cut file and cutting the front of tooth only until desired thickness is obtained. N ever attempt to file both sides of an escape tooth as the results may be disappointing.
You are apt to find the spacing from tooth to tooth vary. In other words, the circular pitch of the teeth will be irregular, making it impossible to set the pallets and getting good results. Figure No.
1 shows mode of procedure.
Clock pivots should be well polished to make a free running train. The work is easy and very simple.
Make a hardwood support with V-groove as shown in Figure No.2. It must be a close fit that there is no danger of slipping after once locked in place. Fasten wheel arbor in lathe chuck seeing that the V-groove is high enough to support the pivot to be burnished on center. Run the lathe at fair speed and use a burnish back file that has been cross-lined with a No. 2 emery buff stick. Take a few strokes with file applying a fairly good pressure and the results will be a highly burnished pivot.
See that edge of file is also cross-lined with a No. 2 emery buff stick. You will then have a nicely finished square shoulder. Any further detail is hardly necessary as cut is self-explanatory. (Figure 2. )
Dial repairs are not perfect, not this one is all but invisible since the bezel ends up covering part of the dial edge.
Here the upper pivot of a center wheel has a grove cut so deeply into the side that the wheel no long fully engages with its partners in the train. It has to be replaced.
Belgian Wonder Clock
A Practical Course in Position Adjusting
By HAROLD C. KELLY
Member of the Technical Board, U.H.A. of A.
A watch may be mechanically perfect, that is, its construction from barrel to balance may be as exact as human skill knows how to make it; and yet, in spite of such perfection there will be a variation of from fifteen to thirty seconds in twenty-four hours between some two vertical positions due to the condition of the balance spring alone. In watches that are less perfect, the error is frequently as high as forty seconds or more.
Action of the Balance Spring and Its Poise Error-The oscillation of the inner portion of the spring corresponds very nearly to that of the collet, that is, when the collet travels three-fourths of a circle the first coil in the center travels nearly an equal distance. Thus it is evident that each of the several coils, as they tend to become more distant from the center, will travel a shorter path until the movement ceases altogether at the regulator pins. If the coils are marked in a straight line from collet to pins, we would readily observe the distance traveled by the several coils and the extent of their path under different arcs of motion.
It is impossible to poise a spiral spring. Therefore it is at once evident that it is the unpoised inner portion of the spring when acted upon by the pull of gravity that causes position error in the vertical positions. The effect is similar to that of a balance which is out of poise. Slightly varied effects under different arcs of motion result, however, due to the fact that the greater mass of the unpoised inner portion of the spring vibrate a shorter path than does the balance proper.
Experimental Demonstration-A demonstration entirely at the command of every watchmaker is to take several watches and run them, first with the figure one up and following with the figures two, three, four, etc.; continuing the experiment around the dial with all figures up, running the watches in each of the twelve positions for twenty-four hours and taking note of the rate in each position.
Table I shows the result in an experiment at stated above, using four popular makes of American watches. All watches were in excellent condition with the balances perfectly poised, fitted with Breguet balance springs and the grades ranged from fifteen to twenty-one jewels.
The arc of motion of the balance of all watches was about 540 degrees when fully wound and a little more than 450 after twenty-four hours of running.
An examination of the balance spring showed that the fastest rate always occurred at the time when the middle of the first half of the inner most coil happened to be up. This error, due to the oscillation of the center of gravity of the inner portion of the spring, is called the natural error and it is unavoidable, we can, however, make such alterations so as to limit the fullest manifestation of the error in three ways. They are as follows:
(1) Pinning the spring at the collet in such a position that the natural error would be the least detrimental to the uniform rate of the watch.
(2) Reducing the natural error by the application of correct terminal curves both outside and inside.
(3 ) Neutralizing the effect of the natural error by counter-poising the balance.
These corrections will now be considered in the order stated above.
The Breguet Balance Spring on Position Error - It is natural that the reader would inquire as the effect of the Breguet spring with correct terminal as compared with the ordinary flat spring on position error. Experiments have demonstrated that the Breguet spring does reduce the variation in the vertical positions, but only to a small degree, proving that the position error is due primarily to the oscillation of the center of gravity of the inner portion of the spring.
- ► 2017 (129)
- ► 2016 (465)
- An 18 Size Hampden, 1888
- Hamilton 992B
- Elgin Grade 303
- A New Field of Clock Repairing
- Time Down in Rhode Island
- To Repair Clock Escape Wheel
- Elgin Grade 2
- Elgin Grade 386
- Why Get an Old Watch Serviced When It Runs Fine?
- Belgian Wonder Clock
- A Practical Course in Position Adjusting
- Old Harmonite Clock
- Moving Clock Found to Run Slower Than Stationary O...
- Ordering Material
- The Timepiece and the Auxilary
- Fixing Band Watch Hands
- Late Model Elgin Clock
- New Video Collection
- Ethical Advertising
- U. S. Government Calls On Elgin For Precision Inst...
- Navy Department Calls For Your Help
- Information Please!
- O.B. McClintock Clock
- Winding or Setting Slips in a Pocketwatch
- Sada, Tavannes and Bulova
- Elgin Grade 335
- Elgin Grade 313
- "Tennessee Activity"
- Signal Clocks Solve Emergency Guard Problem in Wes...
- Symmetry Vs. Symbolism
- Old Mainsprings
- To Tighten Cannon Pinion
- Watch Running Too Fast? Too Slow?
- Pallet Stones
- NY Standard
- Waltham Seaside
- Elgin Grade 152
- Clinton, COD Returned Unclaimed
- Shakespeare and Horology
- Elgin Annual Statement Shows Larger Net Profit
- New Haven Clock
- Monarch and Excello
- ▼ July (53)
- ► 2014 (291)
- ► 2013 (281)
- ► 2012 (406)
- ► 2011 (135)
- ► 2010 (75)
- ► 2009 (96)
- ► 2008 (25)