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Antique Clocks/Universal Automatic Timer


Hello I have a Universal Automatic Timer Seth Thomas electric clock,which I cosmetically restored.Model D form vs-11.I sent the Sangamo motor out to be rebuilt,got it back,installed it,but it runs backwards.I switched the motor leads,thinking polarity might be an issue but no luck.It is only running on the clock motor,as the switching relay has been disconnected.It is a beautiful clock,
and I am quite disappointed that I can not get it to work properly.
I welcome any thoughts you may have.
Thank You for your time Cory

The starting and direction of rotation on electric clock motors is determined by the relationship of the shading copper rings on the magnetic poles. On some clocks you can turn the coil and pole pieces over to reverse the rotation. On those with the coil built into the motor the shading poles have to be removed and moved to the other side of the pole piece to reverse the rotation. If  you would send me a picture of the motor, I could probably give you a better description of how to accomplish this reversal.

The sangamon corporation is a builder of electric light meters. They use these clock motors in their meters which are of the "mechanical smart meter" design. I do not know the relationship between automatic, seth Thomas and Sangamon, however it sounds like they are using a General Electric/Telechron movement where the coil is external of the motor. If this is the case, it should be possible to get the correct direction of rotation by simply turning the coil over. When I was in college we had someone who intentionally reversed their clock in order to have something different than anyone else. It is impossible with these motors to rebuild them in such a manner that the rotation is reversed.

Let me know how you make out, and as I said before send me a picture for my further study.
You can either send it to me at my e-mail which is: or via All Experts questions, whichever  you desire.  

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Tom Williams


I can not think of any questions I cannot answer in regard to repairing antique clocks or radios. However, I am sure there are a few I have not heard and may not be able to answer. If I cannot, I will say so. I have been repairing them since I was a young child.


My experience includes repairing CooKoo clocks, Westminsters, BimBam, almost all antique clocks. I do a bit of repair on battery clocks where the value is sufficient to warrant working on them. I also repair antique (tube type) radios - all makes.

Indiana Historical Radio Society, Illinois Valley Antique Car Club, Military Vehicle Preservation Association

BEE from Cleveland State University

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Four patents.

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