Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clocks Week

05.13.14

Grandfather Clocks are an integral part of USA history and the American way of life.  Therefore, by this proclamation, 1-800-4CLOCKS has declared that the week beginning May 12th every year shall now and forever be known as Grandfather Clocks Week.

While grandfather clocks, originally known as long case and tall case clocks and invented in the mid 1600s in England, they made their way over to the so-called New World, with earliest production taking place in a States like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York and Boston.  Probably the earliest made and most sought after antique grandfather clocks came from Pennsylvania.  Other later arrivals, by companies such as early Seth Thomas Clocks Grandfather Clocks and E Howard Regulators, among others, are still highly sought after to this day.

Farmers were among the earliest users of grandfather clocks, with one critical function being the rotating moon dial which showed – and still shows – when there will be a full moon, which is every 29 1/2 days.  Early American farmers found this useful both for planning when to plant crops, as well as when to pick and harvest their Earthly bounty.

Many are not aware that the term or phrase grandfather clock first began to take hold in the USA because of an American song that came out in 1876 by the composer Henry Clay Work titled “My Grandfather’s Clock”.  We have written about this song extensively on our 1-800-4CLOCKS.com website and in this blog, but suffice it to say here that the song was a huge hit, and these timekeepers formally known as Long Case and tall case clocks started to be called Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks. Other terms used include Floor Clocks and Hall Clocks.

Interestingly, the term Floor Clocks is used almost exclusively by Howard Miller Clocks for their Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks.  Howard Miller currently has the largest high-end market share, as well as much market cache, for its Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks. Yet you will see on Howard Miller’s own website it refers to Howard Miller Floor Clocks.

Other major makers of hi-end grandfather clocks include Hermle Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks, 1-800-4CLOCKS’ own Museum Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Americana Clocks and others.  Interestingly, Hermle Clocks, a German Company, has started to make some of its finest grandfather clocks right here in the USA, in Virginia.  We hope to see more Made in USA grandfather clocks, as are most of both Howard Miller’s and Ridgeway Clocks.

Any special suggestions as to how to celebrate and commemorate Grandfather Clocks Week, beginning this Friday on May 2nd?  We of course will be having some special sales!  Always feel free to call us about any pricing flexibility we may have.  And most of all, we would like to hear the thoughts of all the clock enthusiasts out there, so please feel free to call, email or post a comment on our Grandfather Clocks Blog right here and now.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Warranty

04.01.14

HOWARD MILLER® GRANDFATHER CLOCKS WARRANTY

Howard Miller Clocks

Howard Miller Clocks

Floor Clock Warranty

This warranty is our promise and commitment that our grandfather clocks and grandmother clocks and floor clocks have been manufactured using the finest materials, and have been thoroughly inspected prior to being shipped from our facilities.

Howard Miller and Ridgeway Floor Clocks are warranted to the original consumer or recipient to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship under normal use, conditions and service from the date of purchase for a period of 2 Years.

Fountain floor clocks are warranted to the original consumer or recipient to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship under normal use, conditions and service from the date of purchase for a period of 1 Year.

This warranty does not include: damage to product or components resulting from abuse, accident, alteration, or climatic/environmental conditions; damage resulting from normal wear and tear, misuse, or unauthorized repair; natural variations in wood grain or changes in surface finishes due to aging or exposure to light. The company’s obligation under this warranty shall be limited to repairing the product or component, or at its option, replacing it with a new product or component.

A copy of the sales receipt or other comparable proof of original purchase is required to obtain warranty service. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages or the limitation on how long an implied warranty lasts so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

Freight Damage

By accepting our product for shipment, the carrier acknowledges that the product is in First Class condition. By signing (or someone else signing on your behalf) to accept the shipment, you acknowledge that the product has been received in the same First Class condition as shipped. If the carton is crushed or otherwise damaged, instruct the driver to note the damage on the freight bill and file a claim immediately with the carrier. For your protection, we suggest that you inspect all merchandise at the time of delivery, before signing the Bill-of-Lading. When you or your representative signs without noting any damage, shortages or exceptions, you accept and own the merchandise, as delivered.

Concealed Freight Damage

Should damage be discovered after delivery, you (the consignee) are responsible for filing a written Concealed Damage Claim with the carrier, requesting the carrier to make an inspection and create a damage report. This must be done no later than 14 days after the delivery date. Filing this claim is your responsibility, however, we will help you with the process and act as your advocate in reaching a satisfactory resolution with the carrier.

THE COMPANY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF BREACH OF THIS WARRANTY OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY. IMPLIED WARRANTIES ON THIS PRODUCT SHALL BE IN EFFECT ONLY FOR THE DURATION OF THE EXPRESS WARRANTY SET FORTH ABOVE AND THEREAFTER, THERE SHALL BE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, (INCLUDING MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE), ON THIS PRODUCT.
860 East Main Avenue, Zeeland, MI 49464 PH 616.772.9131 • FAX 616.772.1670 www dot howard miller dot com

courtesy of HOWARD MILLER CLOCKS

Putting an 8 Day Deadbeat Grandfather Clock Movement into “Beat”

02.10.14

These instructions were written specifically for Hermle Grandfather Clocks, but should in general work with other high-end brands of mechanical grandfather clocks including Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks.  When in doubt, consulting an expert grandfather clock technician in always a wise option, and we would highly recommend it.  Furthermore, we can only warrant these Grandfather Clock Instructions for what you have paid for reading them.

Pull down on upper leader and move to the left approximately 1 ½” and release. You will feel tension but this is normal.  It would not be unusual if one needed help in understanding what a leader means as it relates to a grandfather clock movement, and its associated pendulum.  On the back of the grandfather clock movement, one will see a horizontal post that has a suspension spring attached to it.  If that spring is broken, the grandfather clock will not run. You may want to purchase the grandfather clock parts yourself, which we would only recommend if you are something of a clock expert, or you may want to call in an expert grandfather clock technician local to you.

Your grandfather clock also has a pendulum leader (generally about 5-8 inches long).  The pendulum leader hooks on to the suspension spring and the grandfather clock’s pendulum hangs on to its bottom.  There is also a lever that comes out from the top of the grandfather clock movement, is angled down, and it either goes through, or around the pendulum leader.  This is what pushes the pendulum.  If this particular lever either binds with or is not in contact with the pendulum leader, the grandfather clock will not run.

Pull down once again and pull the leader back to the right approximately 1”, and then release it.  Gently pull down a shift from left to right, stopping each time to see if you have an even beat. Once you have an even beat you then will be able to place your pendulum back on your clock, and as long as it is in beat – with an even left to right sound – it should work fine.

Once you are able to begin getting your pendulum to “tick-tock” one will need to listen to see if it is an even sound.  If not it is not in beat, with a rhythmic and synchronous “tick-tock”, first gently stop the pendulum.  One will then need to gently pull down on the pendulum and pull to left a small amount and then start the grandfather clock’s pendulum, gently pushing it from left to right, and listen again for the smooth grandfather clocks beat.

We always welcome comments to improve any instructions.  If one is not clear about how to adjust your grandfather clock, it is always best to bring in a grandfather clocks expert to make any adjustments or repairs.

Grandfather Clock Repair

Grandfather Clocks Repair

Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks

01.24.14

The Walter Durfee Tubular Chimes grandfather clocks were the pioneers in bringing Grandfather Clock with Tubular Chimes Clocks to the USA.  Below is an early advertisement which not only talks about these amazing Walter Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks, referring to them as Tubular Chime Hall Clocks, but it also shows the Authorized Dealers and Agents for the patented system they have in place.  You can see the text for the Walter Durfee ad, which we estimate was from circa 1900, and the actual ad itself, also below.  Note the ad referred to these grandfather clocks as Hall Clocks.  Also, generally speaking, grandmother clocks cases would be too small to house tubular chime clock mechanisms.  Most mechanical clock tubular chimes with 5 tubes play the Westminster Chime only and with 9 tubes play triple chimes, usually including St Michaels Chime and the Whittington Chimes.

Interestingly, today tubular chime grandfather clocks are still offered, but relatively few people in the general public, and even many grandfather clock enthusiasts, know little or nothing about them.  Howard Miller Clocks offers as its most expensive grandfather clock the J.H. Miller II Tubular Chime Grandfather Clock model 611-031 or 611031, in a Limited Edition, and shown just below:

Howard Miller J. H. Miller II Grandfather Clock
List: $27,293.00
SALE: $19,105.10

The above clock is also offered without tubular chimes and still in the same amazing Limited Edition Case,  model 611-030 or 611030, and is known as the JH Miller Grandfather Clock.  Both of these clocks are more expensive than Howard Miller Presidential Edition Grandfather Clocks, which are considered by many to be the top of the line.

Howard Miller Clocks most expensive wall clock is very modern or contemporary, with an open case and tubular chimes, and named the Howard Miller Focal Point Wall Clock model 622-779 or 622779, and shown below:

Howard Miller Focal Point Wall Clock
List: $11,575.00
SALE: $8,102.50

Hermle Clocks offers some Grandfather Clocks that are also Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks, and include these models:

Hermle Triple Tubular Chime Worcester Grandfather Clock
List: $8,097.00
SALE: $5,263.05

Hermle Triple Chime Essex Grandfather Clock
List: $18,379.00
SALE: $11,946.35

Hermle Foreman Cherry Tubular Grandfather Clock
List: $11,397.00
SALE: $7,408.05

Hermle Foreman Walnut Tubular Grandfather Clock
List: $11,397.00
SALE: $7,408.0

Hermle Anstead Walnut Tubular Grandfather Clock  Also available in Cherry and Oak wood models
List: $10,947.00
SALE: $7,115.55

Kieninger Grandfather Clocks also offers some high-end both contemporary and traditional tubular chime grandfather clocks.  An example of one contemporary Kieninger Clocks Tubular Chime Clock is shown, with model 0126-02-01, and pictured just below:

Kieninger Edwards Grandfather Clock   also comes is a brass-bronze contemporary clock case.
List: $24,130.00
SALE: $16,891.00

Some of these tubular chime grandfather clock models are the exact grandfather clocks that were offered by Sligh Grandfather Clocks and Bulova Grandfather Clocks.  Also, lead times can vary and new tubular chime grandfather clock models can be added and are sometimes discontinued.  It is always a good idea to call us at 1-800-4CLOCKS (1-800-425-6257, ext. 1) if you are thinking about purchasing one of any of these great tubular chime grandfather clocks.  At this moment, we do not have either and Walter Durfee antique tubular chime grandfather clocks or any Herschede Tubular Chime grandfather clocks. That can always change.

 

HALL CLOCKS.   This is the Walter Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clocks Ad also showing authorized agents.  Picture of actual ad is farther down below with text just below:

Do you want something that will last? The most beautiful Wedding Present that can be given is something that will speak for the donor fifty to one hundred years.

Can you spend the amount and get more satisfaction for your money than by purchasing a beautiful Tubular Chiming Clock? The Tubular Chimes are like the chimes of a Cathedral from a distance. Changes of the weather do not affect them, as the tone is produced by the bell and does not depend on a sounding board.

These Tubular Chiming Clocks are fully protected by Letters Patent, and persons purchasing should see that every bell is stamped with our name.

They are sold only by our authorized Agents, and any infringement of our rights is subject to heavy royalty on either buyer or seller.

Clocks imported with Tubular Bells come under this infringement, as we control all U.S. Rights.

The List of Agents given below speaks for the superior quality of these clocks. Each Agent has Photographs of all our designs, which they will forward by mail on application.

AGENTS:

Theodore B. Starr, New-York,   Woods & Hosley, Springfield.

Spaulding & Co. Chicago.  Tilden, Thurber & Co. Providence.

Bailey, Banks & Biddle, Philadelphia.  Henry A. Turner & Go. Boston.

Jas. E. Caldwell & Co. “   Bradstreet, Thurber & Co. Minneapolis.

J. C. Grogan, Pittsburgh  Frank Herschede, Cincinnati.

Wright, Kay & Co. Detroit.     Jaccard Watch & Jewelry Co. Kansas City.

The Cowell & Hubbard Co. Cleveland.  Mermod & Jaccard Jewelry Co. St. Louis.

WALTER H. DURFEE & CO. Providence, Rhode Island

Durfee Tubular Grandfather Clock

Walter Durfee Tubular Chime Grandfather Clock

 



 

 

 

 

Hermle Clocks History

12.30.13

Hermle Clocks North America

Welcome to Hermle Clocks’ History.  Hermle Clock builds beautiful clocks of all kinds, including grandfather clocks, floor clocks, anniversary clocks, grandmother clocks, wall clocks, mantle clocks, cuckoo clocks and specialty clocks including Telleriums and Astrolabiums.  Mechanical chime playing clock movements, as well as quartz operated movements, are one key specialty.

In 1977, Hermle Black Forest Clocks located in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains manufactured and shipped its first
Hermle mechanical movement on US soil.  It was the beginning of how the modern era of the clock industry was going to proceed.  Hermle supplied many of the existing clock case goods manufacturers with its sought after German quality mechanisms. Many of Hermle Clocks customers received training of our expertise in the assembly of their case goods.  Naturally, in the early 1980′s, Hermle Clocks was asked to assemble our movements into our customers cases which then became a staple of our production line.

In 2002, we opened our doors to the clock retail industry with Hermle branded clocks, including Hermle grandfather clocks, being assembled in our factory in Amherst, Virginia, and a selection of German made Hermle clocks.  After 6 expansions to our factory, Hermle continued our growth as not only the world’s leader in clock mechanisms, but as an alternative grandfather clock, wall clock and mantel clock source to the retailers of North America.

Our innovations in design, form and function keep Hermle Clock ahead of the curve and its meticulous quality improvements have made
Hermle North America a preferred clock source to the industry. Hermle Black Forest Clocks was rebranded as Hermle North America in January 2011 to signify the next step into the future.  Hermle North America will become a one-stop shop for all genuine Hermle products, including carrying the largest Hermle and Urgos movement selection available to the trade in the world.  Our clock movements, clock accessories, clock parts and clocks are distributed throughout North America to a vast dealer network. To find Hermle Clocks in North America, please contact 1-800-4CLOCKS.com (1-800-425-6257, ext. 1).

The Hermle Clock History

In 1922 Hermle Clocks founder Mr. Franz Hermle founded the Franz Hermle Clock Company located in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg, a small town in southern Germany’s Black Forest region.

Within ten years Hermle Clocks became known as one of the most efficient manufacturers of clock movements in the clock industry.  Even though the first half of the 20th Century brought with it many difficulties to overcome, including the complete dismantling of the factory after the World War II, Franz Hermle and his sons” dedication allowed them to prosper while other companies struggled.

Franz Hermle passed away in 1953 and left a modern and prosperous operation to his sons Gebhard, Alfred, Hans and Heinrich Hermle.  With tremendous willpower and energy, they continued to build the company into the worldwide leader in manufacturing mechanical movements and clocks.

In 1977, Hermle decided to establish another manufacturing facility, Hermle Black Forest Clock Company to serve the North American market out of Amherst, Virginia, USA.  Hermle’s Headquarters in southern Germany is now in its third generation, still family owned and operated.  Hermle employs over 200 people in 3 locations in both Germany and USA.  In October 2010, Hermle Gosheim was
rebranded as Hermle Uhrenmanufacktur GmbH and as of January 2011, Hermle Black Forest Clocks rebranded itself as Hermle North America.

Franz Hermle Clocks in Gosheim in Baden Wuerttemberg Germany

Grandfather Clock Owners Manual

11.05.13

Behind the grandfather clock dial that shows time is the grandfather clock movement that keeps the hands telling time, as well as the grandfather clock chiming mechanism, and connected to that mechanism the weights and pendulum that drive the operation of the grandfather clock.  When doing anything new with a grandfather clock, whether moving the grandfather clock, setting and starting it up for the very first time, or troubleshooting for whatever clock reason, the Grandfather Clock Owner’s Manual or Grandfather Clock Instruction Guide can be the go to place for clock information about how to do things right., whether it is a grandfather clock setup, a repair, or even changing the time for Daylight Savings time.

Most all grandfather clocks from high-end makers like Howard Miller Clocks, Hermle Clocks, Kieninger Clocks, Ridgeway Clocks and others come with a reasonably extensive manual with the basic How Tos for the new owner or the not so new owner revisiting this Grandfather Clock Instruction Manual and thinking of it as the first line of offense and defense to both manage the grandfather clock optimally while maintaining it correctly, to what do do if something is not right or something is quite wrong with the operation of the grandfather clock.

Interestingly, Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, which are considered certainly amongst the highest-end grandfather clocks, call all of their grandfather clocks floor clocks, and the Owners Manual even says Guide to Howard Miller Floor Clock Operation.  This is likely because it does not distinguish between grandmother clocks and hall clocks and tallcase clocks and longcase clocks, and many people do use the term Floor Clock, though we believe it to be a relatively small minority of the public, much less grandfather clock shoppers and horologists alike.

If you want to set some of the special features of your grandfather clock, like automatic night shutoff, or switch from the Westminster Chime to the Ave Maria Chime or reset the rotating moonphase Dial, the grandfather clocks instruction guide or owner’s manual would be a good place to go.  Similarly, people who have received a grandfather clock that has already been used, either from an inheritance or estate, or a gift from a friend who is moving, or bought at a local yard sale or antique store, one of the first steps the new owner will take is to attempt to get the instruction manual for his or her clock.  This is definitely one of our most frequently asked questions.

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks Manual Cover

Howard Miller Grandfather Clock Instruction Manual

 

 

 

How Much is My Grandfather Clock Worth?

10.25.13

One of the most common inquiries we get at our stores selling grandfather clocks and other furniture and wall and mantel clocks, is what is the worth of my xyz grandfather clock.  Despite being one of the most common grandfather clock questions we get, it is a very difficult one to answer.  One of the defining factors is whether the clock is one of the many antique grandfather clocks out there, and if so, a grandfather clock by which maker, the condition, the look, the quality, whether everything is all original, and how and where one is planning to sell the grandfather clock.  Generally speaking, there should not be any major difference in the worth or appraisal of comparable grandmother clocks vs grandfather clocks.  They are both Floor Clocks.

For new grandfather clocks such as Howard Miller grandfather clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Kieninger Grandfather Clocks and the Ridgeway and Americana Grandfather Clock Collections, we generally always advise that a grandfather clock purchase, even of one these high-end grandfather clock and furniture brands, should generally not be thought of as a purchase for investment purposes, even if you are at the greatest grandfather clocks sale with a grandfather clock discount wherever you turn.  Yes, many if not most of these clocks can and should be reasonably thought of as heirloom quality grandfather clocks that should live through many generations, and perhaps fought over as cherished heirlooms within families.  Many of the calls we get of from people either liquidating an estate with one or more grandfather clocks or from a family member who wants to try to establish the grandfather clock worth for a trade of sorts within a family.  Additionally, while on this point, grandfather clock estate planning is something we have seen quite frequently, with parents wanting to make certain that each of their children are give grandfather clocks that they each can and will cherish, and so their own grandfather clock bequest with be either predefined or a non-issue.

Establishing the value of a vintage grandfather clock, whether one of the Howard Miller Clocks or a Hermle Clock or Ridgeway Clock, can be near impossible to do with any high degree of  either confidence or accuracy.  Yes, when it was made, of what wood(s), what grandfather clock chimes it has, the condition of the grandfather clock movement, any special features such as auto-nighttime shutoff all do matter, but aside from not knowing what the condition of the grandfather clock is on the inside, whether everything is all original, the condition and style of the case, there is the reality that the grandfather clock will be worth what somebody is willing to pay for it, and there are hundreds of variables that can effect that.  People frequently have a difficult time understand that reality.  There is also the question of what the age of the clock does to the value of a grandfather clock, and that is also a question with many layers to any coherent answer.  A true antique grandfather clock, like an antique car, can be worth a lot more than it might otherwise, but what happens before then is especially uncharted territory by definition.

Whether you are selling your grandfather clock at a yard sale, or on Craigslist or on eBay, or at a store in general, or perhaps one of the finest antique stores, there can be many price points, and aside from the sale venue, how long one is willing to wait and advertise and publicize their grandfather clock sale, and what credibility they might have, also matter importantly.  Another critical factor is the coat of shipping, and associated with that the risk of damage, which can be very expensive, especially for an individual.  Even moving the grandfather clock, unless one knows what they are doing, is fraught with the risk of damaging the grandfather clock during the move.

The simplest answer therefore, if one is buying a grandfather clock, is simply what it is worth to you for your home decor value, and what risk or level of confidence do you have that there are no hidden issues with the grandfather clock.  If you pay no more than it is worth as a piece of high-end furniture to be appreciated by interior decorators and visitors alike, there is no way you can go wrong with that grandfather clock or floor clock purchase.  That is the best advice.

What is my grandfather clock worth?

How Much is My Grandfather Clock Worth?

 

 

Ohio Grandfather Clock

10.15.13

On the second floor of the Capitol Building stands a grandfather clock that had garnered a lot of attention in the news about the Countdown to a potential Government Financial default and counting up of the days since the Federal Government has shut down and “non-essential” workers remain at home.  During this Debt Ceiling Limit and Government Budget showdown, the so-called Ohio Grandfather Clock made by Thomas Voigt actually stopped running, and that was a euphemism to many that our Government was indeed broken. The Senate purchased the clock in 1815 from Thomas Voigt.  The rumor is that the clock was meant to celebrate Ohio joining the Country because the clock has 17 stars and Ohio was the 17th state to join.   However, there is no proof that the rumor is true and the clock was ordered 12 years later when there were 18 states in the Union. The big, wide Senate hall just outside the back of the Senate Chamber, on the second floor of the Capitol, attracts dozens of reporters every Tuesday around lunchtime.

Democrats meet privately in a room on the far right (as one walks away from the president’s room) while Republicans meet around the corner. Arrive around 12:30 p.m. to get senators as they go in, then leave around 1:15 p.m. Come back at 1:45 and get ‘em as they go out.

The more in-demand senators will go to special microphones to the right of the clock around 2:15. Be sure to bring a tape recorder.

The Ohio Clock, standing in what is now known in the Capitol as the Ohio Clock Corridor, is an imposing grandfather’s clock opposite the main doors of the chamber, is often cited as a place to meet sources — easy to find, easy to remember.

Thomas Voigt 1815 Grandfather Clock on Second Floor of US Capitol outside Senate Chambers in Ohio Corridor

The government shutdown was ironic from the moment it began — It all happened over the health care law, which started registration the moment the government shut down at midnight on Oct. 1.

Over the days since, the United States has witnessed a variety of strange consequences. Here is s a look at the weirdest effects of the shutdown, from a panda cam going dark to the hands on a historic Senate clock frozen in place to bored Congressional workers.

Clock hands ‘frozen’ in place
Credit: U.S. Senate

The hands of the Senate’s historic Ohio Clock are frozen at 12:14, according to NBC News. The curators tasked to wind the 11-foot-tall (3.4 meters) clock have been furloughed, last winding the clock on Sept. 30.

Despite its name and the shield with 17 stars on the front of it, the clock is not meant to celebrate the 17th state Ohio’s statehood, according to the U.S. Senate. In 1815, Sen. David Daggett of Connecticut ordered the clock from clockmaker Thomas Voigt. Though Sen. Daggett gave fairly detailed instructions about the clock’s appearance, he didn’t mention anything about it commemorating Ohio or how many stars should be placed on the shield.

“The dial to be about two feet in diameter, an hour, minute and second hand, a Spread Eagle on the top and the United States arms at foot. We wish it good and handsome and expect to pay accordingly,” read the order for the clock, according to the U.S. Senate website.

Complete Resource of Information on Grandfather Clocks

10.09.13

When shopping for grandfather clocks online, or looking for the best grandfather clock discount, knowledge of the market is critical to any savvy buyer.  Unless one happens to be an expert at their local Grandfather Clock Store or Furniture Retail Store which may have grandfather clocks on sale, the array of choices can become very hard to create a climate where a floor clock buyer feels he or she is in control.  This is compounded by the fact that more and more grandfather clock stores have gone out of business, and those that remain have significantly curtailed the number of grandfather clocks they may have on display on their showroom floor.  This is true because the economics of selling clocks of all kinds, whether floor clocks or mantel clocks or wall clocks or cuckoo clocks, have changed dramatically over the last decades.

Whether you are looking for a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, a Kieninger Floor Clock, one of the Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks or a Hermle Grandfather Clock, a sophisticated shopper is likely to run into the same grandfather clock shopping questions and issues regardless of where in the USA, Canada, or other parts of the world the consumer or individual may be located.  It is relatively easy to see many grandfather clocks online, but trying to see the one you are most interested in by a particular maker, whether it be one of the Howard Miller Clocks or Hermle Clocks or Ridgeway or Kieninger Clocks, finding the clock to view in person can be a challenge.

In response to that, clock retailers like 1-800-4CLOCKS, in addition to the obvious toll-free service and advice they provide, have also created resources for shoppers to at least begin to understand the different both between and within grandfather clock brands, as well as the type of movements and musical chimes available, the wood used, which is solid hardwood for most all cases, and what the pros and cons are between different clocks, styles, movements, manufacturers, price points, features and much more.

The Grandfather Clocks Blog was launched, in fact, to be a thorough and highly searchable resource for someone who wants to learn not only about new grandfather clocks, but also antique grandfather clocks and Vintage grandfather clocks.

Here are but a few of the titles of blog posts we have used to be the best single source of information for grandfather clock buyers:

Moving Grandfather Clocks

Antique Grandfather Clock Prices

Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks Setup Video

El Howard Miller Video de Como Construir su Reloj de Caja

Granfather Clocks

Types Grandfather Clocks Tops Swans Neck Bonnet Flat or Round Styles

Clocks Index

Grandfather Clocks Information

Grandfather Clock History Revisited

Discounts Grandfather Clocks

Tick Tock Tick Tock

Grandfather Clock Diagram

Grandfather Clock Buying Guide

Tempus Fugit Grandfather Clocks Means Time Flies

Hermle Grandfather Clocks on sale

Grandfather Clocks Discount

Presidential Grandfather Clocks by Howard Miller

Clock Collecting Across Generations

Black Forest Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clock Showroom

Chiming Grandfather Clocks

Discount Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clocks Made in America

Grandfather Clocks Running Fast Slow Over Time

Grandfather Clocks Private White House Office

Big Ben Clock Turns 150 Today and is As Good as Old

Grandfather Clocks Running Fast Slow How Fix

Discount Grandfather Clock

Grandfather Clocks Make Beautiful Heirlooms

Grandfather Clocks Tallcase Clock Long Case Clock

Grandfather Clocks Wedding Anniversary Presents

Grandfather Clocks eBay

Unusual Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather Clocks Antique or Not

Grandfather Clocks for Sale-Discounts

Grandfather Clocks Howard Miller vs Ridgeway

We also hope you will out 1-800-4CLOCKS.com website, as well as ClocksBlog.com to see even many more resources to help make your clock shopping experience most valuable.  And remember, we at 1-800-4CLOCKS never use a call center and always have knowledgeable grandfather clock people who will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Grandfather Clock Complete Resource Guide

Grandfather Clock Complete Resource Guide

Grandfather Clocks History Past-Present

10.07.13

Some grandfather clock history and clocks history never gets old.  Just look at the stories of Simon Willard, Aaron Willard and Benjamin Willard.  An article written in 1936 is still as informative and interesting to a clocks historian as one written today.  Grandfather Clocks enthusiasts are sure to minimally find this interesting.

Richmond Times-Dispatch
May 24, 1936

Grandfather Clocks, Some Genuine Old-Timers Still Tick Off Hours or Chime Timely Melodies, Proof of Care Their Makers Used

Many things had been discussed by the little group seated behind the plate glass window of a Franklin Street store. And that isn’t exactly true either. Many things had been broached, but the discussion was almost wholly a monologue by the host, a veteran of many a trek into the hinterlands of the antique country and a recognized authority on early American antiques. Now and then a listening member would throw a few words into the conversation, more to keep the oratory flowing than for any factual use, until at last someone uttered those well-worn last words: “What time is it getting to be?”

Subconsciously glances were directed toward the tall dominating grandfather clock against the far wall. Then they fell back to modern wrist-watches and there was a concerted start–for watch and clock pointed to the same hour. No one mentioned it, but there was a subtle sort of mental agreement that it was all “just a coincidence.” But it wasn’t. That old grandfather’s clock was still keeping time, and correct time. “How come?” I lingered to question the antique dealer. And thereby came this tale, a story of famous old American clocks and clockmakers.  It seems that– when Simon Willard was 13 years old he made his first “grandfather” clock. When he was 82 he made the large clock in the Capitol at Washington. He was born in 1753, lived to be 95 years old, and left behind him some of the best and most beautiful clocks that have ever been made.

Simon Willard had no grand ideas about organization, sales promotion and production. He did all his work in the space of four rooms. It is good to think that Simon’s clocks, which were made by hand and with infinite care and solicitude, command a higher price today than those made by Aaron Willard, his brother, who opened up a factory and turned out watches and clocks by the hundreds.

Side by side in a Richmond, Virginia antique shop may be seen a grandfather clock made by Simon Willard and one by Aaron Willard. To the connoisseur with blood in his eye the clock made by Simon is much the finer. To the casual onlooker both the clocks are rare examples of early American grandfather (or long case) clocks.

A Simon Willard “Grandfather” clock (left), which is still in first-class condition. The case is very handsome with its curved fretwork on top. Phases of the moon and the days of the month are both given. Simon Willard made his first Grandfather clock at the age of 13.
A Simon Willard shelf clock (right). The Willards’ called these clocks, which were made as early as 1784, timepieces, because they did not strike. The works are made of brass.

 

Benjamin Willard, who started making clocks in 1764, was the father of Aaron and Simon, and the first of this famous Massachusetts family to engage in clock-making. In the Boston Gazette for February 22, 1771, he advertised, “Musical clocks playing different tunes, a new tune every day in the week, and on Sunday a Psalm tune. These tunes perform every hour.”

Reliable Clocks Kept Puritan Sabbath

And such is the reliability of a Willard clock that there is no single record of a Puritan Sabbath being violated by week-day tunes. Likewise, the beauty and workmanship which went into the clock cases of Simon Willard is not the only reason these clocks bring good prices wherever antiques are sold: The clocks run and they keep good time.

Simon Willard was an inventor of genius, but that did not keep him from being a thrifty American. He thought that clocks ought to be good and that they ought to be cheap enough for an American to own one, and at the same time have money enough left for a house to put it in. He advertised little, relying on his clock papers (and his clocks) to put across his ideas. One of these clock papers tells his story:

A Simon Willard ‘Grandfather’ clock (left), which is still in first-class condition. The case very handsome with its curved fretwork on top. Phases of moon and days month are both given. Simon Willard made his first at age 13. A shelf (right). Willard called these clocks, were as early 1784, timepieces, because they did not strike. The works were brass.

“Simon Willard, at his Clock Dial in Roxbury Street, manufactures every kind of clock work, such as large clocks for steeples, made in the best manner. . . . Clocks that will run one year without winding up, with very elegant cases, price 100 dollars. . . . Elegant daytime pieces, price 30 dollars. Timepieces which run 30 hours and warranted, price 10 dollars. . . . Chime clocks that will play six tunes, price 120 dollars. . . . Gentlemen who wish to purchase any kind of clocks are invited to call at said Willard’s Clock Manufacture, where they will receive satisfactory evidence that it is much cheaper to purchase new than old and second-hand clocks. He warrants all his work–and as he is ambitious to give satisfaction–he doubts not of receiving public approbation and patronage.”

Willard Originated the “Banjo” Clock

Although Simon Willard knew the worth of his clocks, it is doubtful if he dreamed of the approbation and patronage they would receive less than a hundred years after his death. He set out to make serviceable clocks that thrifty Americans could buy with a clear conscience. What would he say if he could happen in today on some sale of rare antique clocks and see his paragons of thrift and mechanical perfection sold for prices for four figures? And the purchasers, descendants, perhaps, of those thrifty New England customers of his, glad to get them at that price and paying for them with a smile?

Aaron Willard turned out his clocks by the hundred. The clock at right is mahogany with inlay. The other clock is by Nathaniel Edwards of Acton, Mass.

In 1802 Willard brought out his patent timepiece, which was later called the banjo clock. It was a prodigious success. No improvement has since been made on the original design. The story goes that such accuracy did Willard have in his hand and eye that he habitually filed the teeth of his cogwheels without marking them; and that when someone asked him why he didn’t stamp his brass with markers, he replied that it was unnecessary–his wheels were accurate. And Simon Willard was right! One proud owner of a Willard order clock says that it has run within 30 seconds of accuracy for a month.

Simon Willard died during the turbulent year of 1848. He had retired from business in 1839 and sold his tools and the good will of the business (together with the privilege of putting the name Simon Willard on the dials) to Elnathan Taber, his best apprentice. Simon Willard Jr. took these clocks and sold them at his shop in Boston.

It was this son, Simon Jr., who made the astronomical clock now in the observatory of Harvard University. His astronomical regulator was standard time for all railroads in New England.

Since the first grandfather clock appeared in England in 1681, clockmakers in this country and abroad have given them thought and consideration, so that now, when the antique hunter goes clock hunting, there is every style, every wood and every price at his disposal for this useful and beautiful ornament.

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