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Antique Clocks/have you seen a cuckoo clock like this before

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cuckoo clock
cuckoo clock  
QUESTION: This clock has been in our family for many years.  My father in law remembers it as a child and he is 80.  This summer it fell off the wall into a million pieces.  My in laws boxed it up as trash.  Finally they gave us the pieces and an amazing clock repairer put it back together again.  I would like to know the age and origin.  It is stamped Germany but was it imported or was that common practice?  I wonder if it could have been transported by the family.  There are no other markings inside or out or on the paper instructions.  The gentleman who put it together stated it was old due to the fact the pendulum attaches on the inside.  It is an eight day and is 23" from top to bottom.  The numbers on face are new.

ANSWER: There were very many styles of cuckoo clocks made. They tended to be somewhat hand crafted, hence, quite expensive. The movements were made by three or four manufacturers but there seemed to be quite a few case makers. I was told by a German exchange student that most Germans do not have cuckoo clocks and most are sold to tourists. Do you suppose it could have been a purchase by someone who was in Germany with the military or for some reason toured Germany.

The fact is stamped made in Germany, not particularly West Germany, indicates it was not made during the period 1946 until German reunification. Most chime and cuckoo clocks built after approximately 1915 used rack and snail movements which automatically synchronized the strike or cuckoo with the hands. Most earlier clocks used counting wheel movements which lacked this feature. My best guess it is between 90 and 110 years old. Congratulations on restoring such a fine piece. I personally have several cuckoo clocks much to my wifes dismay.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The family immigrated here from Germany six generations ago.  My son is the fifth generation on this property which was purchased in the late 1890s/very early 1900s.

My follow up question comes as we are finding this clock was identified as an eight day clock based on the length of chain and the weight of the cones.  However, we are pulling the very long chains twice per day.  I found this very curious.  It does keep good time!

Answer
It sounds like you have a one day clock. There is quite a wide range of weights available for cuckoo clocks. According to Merritts Catalog (www.merritts.com) weights of 420 grams (14.8 oz.)are used only on one day clocks. Weights in the range of 500 grams (1 lb. 6 oz.) and 875 grams (1 lb. 14.8 oz.) are found on both one and 8 day clocks. Weights of 1000 grams (2 lb. 3.2 oz.) and heavier are for 8 day clocks only.

I also have a cuckoo clock which must be wound 2 times a day. I am going to try to find a location where it can be hung higher. I have purchased longer chains for this clock and should be able to get it to run for a full day. This clock is also an old clock which uses the old counting wheel strike which does not automatically synchronize the strike with the hands.  

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Tom Williams

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

Education/Credentials
BEE from Cleveland State University

Awards and Honors
Four patents.

Past/Present Clients
Friends and family

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