Rare Synchronome movement


James Kelly
 
Edited

Dear All

Our newest member Jonny Flower has also kindly uploaded a file in the photos section ( aa rare Synchronome movement) a number of images of a recently discovered movement of unique design, it is rumoured that there are at least two complete clocks in existence ( a 3/4 second and a 1 second version) which have this unusual movement in them, it would be great if we are able to identify similar clocks and discuss them here, it is interesting to note that this type of Synchronome movement doesn't appear in Bob Miles masterwork book on Synchronome.

Please enjoy the images and lets hope similar clocks appear soon and can be discussed within our group.

Regards

Jim Kelly


Odell, Edward
 

Hi,

 

This movement is covered in Bob's book, but it's tucked away and there isn't much, its on page 70. One of the clocks was repurposed and doesn't appear until a later chapter. At the time the book was written I think only two were known but it would be great to know if there are others around

Eddy Odell

 

From: synchronome1@groups.io <synchronome1@groups.io> On Behalf Of James Kelly via groups.io
Sent: 02 April 2021 11:55
To: synchronome1@groups.io
Subject: [synchronomeelectricclock] Rare Synchronome movement

 

Dear All

Our newest member Jonny Flowers has also kindly uploaded a file in the photos section ( aa rare Synchronome movement) a number of images of a recently discovered movement of unique design, it is rumoured that there are at least two complete clocks in existence ( a 3/4 second and a 1 second version) which have this unusual movement in them, it would be great if we are able to identify similar clocks and discuss them here, it is interesting to note that this type of Synchronome movement doesn't appear in Bob Miles masterwork book on Synchronome.

Please enjoy the images and lets hope similar clocks appear soon and can be discussed within our group.

Regards

Jim Kelly


James Kelly
 

Hi Eddy,

Thanks for telling me this, I'll have a read of the relevant page, its certainly an interesting looking movement, lets hope more can be discovered.

regards

Jim


James Kelly
 

Hi Eddy,

We seem to have got our lines crossed here, the rare movement that Jonny Flowers has discovered is not what Bob is referring to on page 70 of his masterwork book on Synchronome, Bob in the paragraphs titled "The Final Design" is referring to the early numbered castings clocks 34 and 41 and which I am well aware of, and a similar example is the recently discovered clock number 4 which again thanks to Jonny Flower is now pictured in the photos section.

The rare and unusual movement I am referring to in my post and is pictured in the photos section is as far as I am aware not mentioned in Bob Miles book.

When Jonny first sent me images of the movement I was quite surprised by its appearance as I hadn't seen anything like it before, but there are enough elements of its design to suggest it is indeed by Synchronome and as previously stated there are reports of at least two complete clocks badged as Synchronome with this unusual movement in them. 

There is always the possibility that another member of this group may have seen or even know the whereabouts of another of this unusual type of Synchronome movement and I myself would love to see a complete clock, if one exists. I have checked the Clockdoc site and there is nothing remotely similar pictured there.

With regard to the wonderful world of electric clocks, it never ceases to amaze me what turns up, so I am eagerly looking forward to finding out more regarding this unusual movement, see attached image, and hoping by discussion we can understand how the movement would should work.

regards

Jim



 






On Friday, 2 April 2021, 20:59:08 BST, Odell, Edward via groups.io <edward.odell@...> wrote:


Hi,

 

This movement is covered in Bob's book, but it's tucked away and there isn't much, its on page 70. One of the clocks was repurposed and doesn't appear until a later chapter. At the time the book was written I think only two were known but it would be great to know if there are others around

Eddy Odell

 

From: synchronome1@groups.io <synchronome1@groups.io> On Behalf Of James Kelly via groups.io
Sent: 02 April 2021 11:55
To: synchronome1@groups.io
Subject: [synchronomeelectricclock] Rare Synchronome movement

 

Dear All

Our newest member Jonny Flowers has also kindly uploaded a file in the photos section ( aa rare Synchronome movement) a number of images of a recently discovered movement of unique design, it is rumoured that there are at least two complete clocks in existence ( a 3/4 second and a 1 second version) which have this unusual movement in them, it would be great if we are able to identify similar clocks and discuss them here, it is interesting to note that this type of Synchronome movement doesn't appear in Bob Miles masterwork book on Synchronome.

Please enjoy the images and lets hope similar clocks appear soon and can be discussed within our group.

Regards

Jim Kelly


Odell, Edward
 

 

Dear Jim,

 

Yes sorry wires crossed, I was referring to the early mark one castings.

 

The new image attached to this message is a shortt large inertia bar clock, the forerunner of the observatory small inertia bar regulator. The principle is that the large inertia bar impulses a crutch through a wheel on a roller, varying the impulse depending on the speed of pendulum movement. This was refined in the small inertia bar regulator (Bob's book page 156 and 157) and later used in the shortt free pendulum. 

 

The large inertia bar regulator was only made for a short period but there is at least one clock that was used commercially and another with shorter pendulum. Again, this clock is actually in Bob's book but it is hidden. You will find a picture of the movement and on page 155. This is from a one second clock in in working order. The clock has a number of other features carried forward into later clocks and presumably designed by shotrt, such as the back of the casting extending through the case to contact the wall. These were definitely a synchronome product, one clock is labelled as such. You will find the patent number 12,328 of 1911 in WH Shortt’s name together with the small inertia bar regulator. The large clock diagram shows a simple release lever with impulsie every pendulum swing. This would obviously be excessive with the huge impulse provided and Jonny’s new found clock and two I know both have a count wheel with 30 second impulse

 

I also have some parts from a fourth clock. The inertia bar has extra attachments and a much larger damping dashpot than on the other clock, not sure why.

 

Eddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: synchronome1@groups.io <synchronome1@groups.io> On Behalf Of James Kelly via groups.io
Sent: 03 April 2021 10:38
To: synchronome1@groups.io
Subject: Re: [synchronomeelectricclock] Rare Synchronome movement

 

Hi Eddy,

 

We seem to have got our lines crossed here, the rare movement that Jonny Flowers has discovered is not what Bob is referring to on page 70 of his masterwork book on Synchronome, Bob in the paragraphs titled "The Final Design" is referring to the early numbered castings clocks 34 and 41 and which I am well aware of, and a similar example is the recently discovered clock number 4 which again thanks to Jonny Flower is now pictured in the photos section.

 

The rare and unusual movement I am referring to in my post and is pictured in the photos section is as far as I am aware not mentioned in Bob Miles book.

 

When Jonny first sent me images of the movement I was quite surprised by its appearance as I hadn't seen anything like it before, but there are enough elements of its design to suggest it is indeed by Synchronome and as previously stated there are reports of at least two complete clocks badged as Synchronome with this unusual movement in them. 

 

There is always the possibility that another member of this group may have seen or even know the whereabouts of another of this unusual type of Synchronome movement and I myself would love to see a complete clock, if one exists. I have checked the Clockdoc site and there is nothing remotely similar pictured there.

 

With regard to the wonderful world of electric clocks, it never ceases to amaze me what turns up, so I am eagerly looking forward to finding out more regarding this unusual movement, see attached image, and hoping by discussion we can understand how the movement would should work.

 

regards

 

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday, 2 April 2021, 20:59:08 BST, Odell, Edward via groups.io <edward.odell@...> wrote:

 

 

Hi,

 

This movement is covered in Bob's book, but it's tucked away and there isn't much, its on page 70. One of the clocks was repurposed and doesn't appear until a later chapter. At the time the book was written I think only two were known but it would be great to know if there are others around

Eddy Odell

 

From: synchronome1@groups.io <synchronome1@groups.io> On Behalf Of James Kelly via groups.io
Sent: 02 April 2021 11:55
To:
synchronome1@groups.io
Subject: [synchronomeelectricclock] Rare Synchronome movement

 

Dear All

Our newest member Jonny Flowers has also kindly uploaded a file in the photos section ( aa rare Synchronome movement) a number of images of a recently discovered movement of unique design, it is rumoured that there are at least two complete clocks in existence ( a 3/4 second and a 1 second version) which have this unusual movement in them, it would be great if we are able to identify similar clocks and discuss them here, it is interesting to note that this type of Synchronome movement doesn't appear in Bob Miles masterwork book on Synchronome.

Please enjoy the images and lets hope similar clocks appear soon and can be discussed within our group.

Regards

Jim Kelly


James Kelly
 

Hi Eddy

Many thanks for your detailed explanation, hopefully more information and images will emerge in the near distant future, and now its back to Bob's book to re read and assimilate the information.

ATB

Jim 


hansford@...
 

As a sporadic visitor to the Synchronome 1 Group I probably peruse it every fortnight, on average and, as the owner of Clock 41 I was very much interested to see that another similar movement (No 4) has now come to light.

I can confirm that it is very similar to mine, differing in only a few minor details, the most obvious being the arrangement of the NRA mechanism (although there are tapped holes in my casting and a curious horizontal extension of the NRA, the rest has gone), a lead pendulum bob and the fact that straps with wing-nuts to hold the pendulum suspension in place were never fitted.

The case instead is a different matter.  Even though it has obviously been its home for many, many years, I strongly suspect that it is not original and had been previously used for display purposes as the backboard was made of veneered softwood and had many miscellaneous holes as well as those made by woodworm.  Because of its irretrievable state I have had a new backboard fitted as otherwise the case is quite nice.

Unlike Clock 4 it came with a pilot dial (referred to on Page 111 of Bob Miles’ tome).  The movement is, to all intents and purposes, identical with that shown on Page 112 but here the bodgers had got to work.  The thin original silver-plated brass bezel contained a very thin anodised aluminium dial to which the movement had been inexpertly secured by the first two screws that came to hand.  Not only was it off- centre, but wobbly.  This means that it is now impossible to know what the original arrangement was.

So, what happened to the original dial?  My guess, (hypothesis, if you like) is that it was a painted dial.  Anybody who has been collecting/ paying an interest in early Synchronome and Gent clocks for any length of time will know that it is rare to find one with a painted dial in perfect condition.  These dials were generally painted on a sheet zinc substrate and if a clock was fixed or stored in a damp location, corrosion under the paint (together with embrittlement of the paint itself) caused cracks and lumps of paint to fall off.  Unless the damage was minor it was (and still is) next to impossible to repair satisfactorily, short of a complete and expensive re-paint, resulting in the fitment of another dial or, more often than not, one suspects, the dumping of the clock.  I suppose I should be thankful that someone thought enough of my clock to save it from such a fate.

The clock was acquired as a result of a holiday visit to the Isle of Man in the summer of 1998 (mainly to savour the delights of its railways) and I found it in a little shop run by someone who had not long “emigrated” from “somewhere in North London”.  It specialised in old motorbikes, cameras, clocks, telephones and other interesting items and he had brought the clock with him.  Unfortunately, he was not particularly forthcoming about how he had acquired the clock but I got the impression it was from another dealer; on the other hand, he was very helpful as he offered to ferry it back to the London area as he would be driving back to pick up other stuff and a few weeks later I duly met him one evening in a pub car park “somewhere in North London”.

Anyway, if anyone wants to see Clock 41 it was already my intention to bring it to the next meeting of the Electrical Horology Group of the AHS due to be held on Saturday 26th June at Toddington Village Hall (just off Junction 12 of the M1), the first physical meeting for what seems ages.  For anyone who has never attended, these had become effectively an annual event and were well worth the trek up/down the M1.

I will also bring another quite early Synchronome which I bought at the second Arthur Mitchell sale held by Gardiner Houlgate in February 2019, as it has some interesting features including a narrow case almost identical with that of Clock 4 and a pilot dial movement like that of Clock 41.

Cheers

Laurence Hansford


jonnyflower1@...
 

Hi Laurence,
I didn't know that Synchronome had made smaller dials that fitted the narrow cases - please could you post an image as that is something I would like to see.
Best regards,
Jonny.


jonnyflower1@...
 

Hi Laurence ,
I had a look at the clocks in the Arthur Mitchell sale part 2 and did not see any examples of the slimmer case, I think you may be talking about the architectural case that has carved rosettes in the upper corners and not sunrises that the early cases had, it is an easy mistake to make as from a distance they do look similar.
best regards,
Jonny.


hansford@...
 

Hi Jonny,

Well, all I can say is that you didn’t look hard enough.  If you have a catalogue, it was lot 1220, and the width of the glass “window” is 6⅛” as opposed to the usual 7”. 

In actual fact, I think it was ignored by many people as it was pretty filthy both outside and in, it was locked without a key and lying flat on the floor underneath the counter at the back of the room where you ask to see various items in boxes, etc.  Because it was so dirty, locked and on the floor in an awkward spot, it was very difficult to see what was inside so, basically, I bought a pig in a poke hoping for good luck.

It is best described as a narrow version of the “normal” architectural case (an example of which I have) being 8½” wide O/A instead of the normal 9¾”.  Like yours, the bottom of the door is curved and the door itself is hinged to the LEFT, with the hinges on the side instead of the front.  However, mine has the bracket extension underneath so it can’t stand up.  The spandrels on my clock are of the more common foliate type (I actually prefer the sunburst type as on your clock).

Whilst I was picking the lock to get in, I was a bit surprised to find it was of the “warded” type (as opposed to “lever”) which I think had generally gone out of use by the time this case was made.  I can only assume that it was old stock as it is well fitted and there are no signs of it being re-worked.  It does look as though the key-hole was originally fitted with an escutcheon.

It is very easy to see why they very quickly widened the case as there is barely ¼” clearance either side of the casting, making access awkward for anyone not possessing slim hands. The Serial No is 256.

Cheers

Laurence


jonnyflower1@...
 

Hi Laurence the depth of the sunrise case is only 3 1/2" so that the trunion support arms of the cast iron frame extend into and almost touch the back of the glass therefore making it impossible to fit a dial to.
What is the internal depth of the case for 256?
Best regards,
Jonny.


hansford@...
 

Good Evening Jonny,

Well, I have just been doing some measuring.  Whilst I am accustomed to being rather more precise I am excusing myself on the grounds that we are dealing with what, essentially, are wooden boxes, made a century ago when they wouldn't have used anything but fractions!

Anyway, the box of 256 is 3 5/8", whilst the glass is recessed in the door by a bit (variable) over 3/8", making the total clearance a tad over 4".  Out of curiosity I checked the "normal" architectural case and the corresponding figures are 3 3/4" and 1/4"+ and a 1920s plain case which was even deeper at 4 1/8" and 3/8".  Interesting!

Kind Regards
Laurence


jonnyflower1@...
 

Hi Laurence,
That is interesting - how is the pilot dial fixed to 256 and No.41?

 I am trying to establish when pilot dials were introduced as I am sure the first ones were an after market addition that then became the standard for the company and in turn lead to the introduction of the larger cases.

Best regards,
Jonny.