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Antique Clocks/seth thomas selfwinding clock


I recently  purchased a Seth thomas 86 A   selfwinding clock   first one i ever owned,,,     only has one wire coming from the clock to where the batterys   go   is there a special way to hook up batterys  any help  will be nice   thank you

Seth Thomas became a part of General Time Instruments Corp. in, I believe, 1931. Westclox of LaSalle, IL, joined General Time a little bit later. Eventually, the term Instruments was dropped from the name. Recently the Seth Thomas factory in Thomaston, CT, closed and all manufacturing was diverted to Georgia and overseas.

I have a few of these battery operated mechanical clocks in my collection. Unfortunately they are up North and I am in FL for the winter and cannot see how the wires are connected. In all cases, there is a red wire which goes to the positive terminal of the battery and a black which goes to the negative. If you remove the movement you will probably find where a wire has been broken off the movement. If this is a non transistor clock, polarity of the lead wires probably will not be critical. Generally the red wire goes to a contact which turns on either a motor or winding solenoid and the negative goes to the movement side plates. These are soldered on and are easity broken off which probably has happened in your case.  

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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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