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Antique Clocks/How to tell which clock I have

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Question
My mom has a bulova mantle clock, I'm trying to figure out which click it is. I'm very new to clocks and find it very interesting. Where do I look for date codes, model number, etc... I'd alsoike to find a manual for it, she got it as a gift so we never got one. Thank you

Answer
Table of Bulova Date Symbols: 1924 - 1949
Marks indicating age of Bulova movements
Year   Date Symbol
1924   
1925   
1926   
1927   
1928   
1929   
1930   
1931   
1932   
1933   
1934   
1935   
1936   
Year   Date Symbol
1937   
1938   
1939   
1940   
1941   
1942   
1943   
1944   
1945   
1946   46
1947   47
1948   48
1949   J9
Table of Bulova Date Codes: 1950 - 1999
After 1949, Bulova used a 2-digit date-code which was stamped on the case back (usually near the serial number) and sometimes also on the movement (usually near the set-screw).
The first digit indicates the decade and the second indicates the year.
For example, date code L5 = 1955, date code P2 = 1982.
   L   M   N   P   T
0   1950   1960   1970   1980   1990
1   1951   1961   1971   1981   1991
2   1952   1962   1972   1982   1992
3   1953   1963   1973   1983   1993
4   1954   1964   1974   1984   1994
5   1955   1965   1975   1985   1995
6   1956   1966   1976   1986   1996
7   1957   1967   1977   1987   1997
8   1958   1968   1978   1988   1998
9   1959   1969   1979   1989   1999

Above is a copy of Bulova's symbols and date codes. If this is not readable please send me your e-mail or a fax number and I can resend it to you in better detail.

I have not had much luck finding manuals for clocks. In many cases the operating instructions were single sheet attached to the back door or bottom of the case. These discussed lubrication and setting of the clock. They also identified the method of adjusting the beat rate.

Bulova apparently started out making clocks, probably with wood movements, then began making pocket watches and about the time of WWI they began to make wristwatches. They were the first that I know of to make an electronic watch, the tuning fork timed unit called the "Accutron". Later they switched to quartz movements and build them to this day.

I do not know whether they built their own clocks or simply purchased and marketed them under their name. I even have a Bulova radio in my collection of radios. This rounded out the jewelers line of merchandise. Many clocks used Hermle movements which were made in Germany. There were many case makers and I am certain Bulova would have used only quality items in their line. If it is a Hermle movement it probably has a three digit marking followed by a hyphen and three or more digits. I have had difficulty tracing man;manufacturers because in many cases there are no markings on either the case or the movement indicating the name on the dial is not the manufacturer.  

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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.

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Friends and family

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