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SETH THOMAS, THOMASTON, CONNECTICUT, USA, 1926, model #7, serial number 2562.

Single train, equipped with a double, three-legged (Denison) type gravity escapement. 1 1/4 second compensated pendulum.  Cast iron flat bed frame mounted to pipe leg style stand. Equipped with provision to drive slaves. Electric auto wind. 28"w x 88.75"h x 28"d. Read a discussion of this type of escapement which is in a class called escapement remontoire.

Click on the picture to go to a page for more detail.

ST #7 tower exterior (7).JPG (853806 bytes)   ST #7 Gravity (283).JPG (862081 bytes)

ST #7 Gravity (281).JPG (865767 bytes)  ST #7 Gravity (299).JPG (889355 bytes)

ST #7 Gravity (302).JPG (885231 bytes)  ST #7 Gravity (276).JPG (836901 bytes)

             ST #7 Gravity (328).JPG (829106 bytes)  ST #7 Gravity (336).JPG (896257 bytes)  

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This tower clock is very unusual in the fact that it's provenance is known. I had pulled it from it's original location from the tower of the former Bell & Howell factory building located at 1801 N. Larchmont, Chicago, Illinois in April 2006. The structure was converted a few years ago to a condominium complex. The tower's mechanism was derelict and the owners wanted the tower dials to correctly tell the time. However, they were not interested in the upkeep and expense that would be involved in maintaining the original movement, dial linkages and motion works. I offered my services to get the appropriate firms to refurbish the four 10 foot dials, create dial lighting, and replace the hands and electrify the dials with a modern controller from the Verdin Company. Of course the original clock mechanism and any other parts of the linkages and motion works were mine to salvage. The fact that this was a rare example of an American-made tower clock equipped with a gravity escapement made this prospect most attractive.

There is nothing subtle about this movement. It was designed to deliver a great deal of power. Not only did it have to drive four very large dials, but the way the dials were connected required a larger than normal power input. The tower has a 24,000 gallon wooden tank occupying nearly all it's room. Therefor, the clock was located in one corner of the tower; one floor below. From this corner the linkages were sent upward to the next floor then split right and left; each going to the closest dial and then branching to the next one over. A much less efficient design that involved more gearing and lengths of drive tubing than would be encountered in a conventional four dial design with the movement located at the center of the tower and dials. The motion works traversed 12" thick walls to drive the hands. Pendulum bob weighs 200 lb. The weight set is 207 lb. fully loaded with 40 lb. of removable trim weights. It has 3 feet of travel giving 4 hours of running time between windings. The running of the escapement and, of course, the action of the electric winding are both very visual as well as audible! See and hear on the video player.

The pictures shown are of the movement after degreasing and cleaning - but no other restoration whatsoever. It is in remarkable as-found condition and can be attributed to the fact that it was enclosed in it's own small, water-tight (and pigeon-proof)   room, of masonry construction. It even had it's own radiator to keep it heated in the winter! The last two photos gives one a feel for the size of this movement.

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