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!

Hill Dweller Makes Unusual Clock

From The American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, January, 1946

Hill Dweller Makes Unusual Clock

A number of years ago a rugged man of the soil, T. Z. Roberts, of Boone County, Ky., began fashioning a clock with his bare hands. The product of that skill, labor and mathematically perfect wizardry, was a tall, sturdy, glistening, solid "grandfather's clock" with as astonishing an array of gadgets as can be imagined.

Reposing in the home of a nephew, Ralph Cason, it is the center of awe and attraction to people from all walks of life. many of whom come from miles away for the rare privilege of inspecting it first hand.

Roberts first bought the mechanism, but to the commonplace works he added 18 cogs of his own individual design-handmade and of brass, they were built for the express purpose of operating other devices contained in the clock.

Today the unusual clock not only tells the time accurately but it also designates the days and months and certain phenomena of the solar system.

According to the old timer's nephew the only tool the hill dweller had was a jack-knife, which he used only in the fashioning of the clock case. Beyond this, he swears that his uncle was illiterate, knew not a fraction from a unit, had never had any horological experience and was bereft of any other knowledge, except for raising a large family, and "plumb lucky with tools and other fiddly diddlin' tools."

The nephew has turned down some highly lucrative offers for the novel clock, the latest of which was from the Ford Museum-who pays just about the highest price of any museum in the country.

He hopes to keep the clock until his death, then what his kinfolk decide to do with it - well, "that's their gosh-dern business!" 
- Ray Freedman. 

Post a Comment

Click "Older Posts" just above for more, or use the archive links right here.

Blog Archive