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Clocks, Watches/Howard Miller Mod #4899 triple chime


I obtained this clock after some mishandling buy previous owners. I had to "re-string" the chains and replace the pendulum spring. I set the clock by turning the minute hand counter clockwise. The clock has run for 3 days and keeps good time but the chimes do not ring. I noticed three levers for the chime operation two of which prevent the hammers from striking, the other I believe is to let the chimes ring as a test, which does not seem to work. I did notice if I hold this down I can gently turn the gear and make the chimes work. Unfortunately I do not have a manual or the knowledge of how the chimes are triggered. Any info would be appreciated.

Thank You in advance for your time!!!!!!!


David, I would need to know the model of the movement to possibly give you a more detailed answer.  The #4899 is a number given by Howard Miller and very little cross reference information is available.  Send me the information found on the movement back plate and we can determine the model.  If the clock has not been serviced in the last 7 to 10 years, the failure of the chimes (and subsequently the strike) could be to gummy lubricants and/or worn parts.  The chimes are triggered by a 4-pronged star cam on the minute hand shaft.  Just before a quarter or hour, it lifts a lever partially which initiates what we call a "warning" and is like cocking a gun.  At the quarter or hour it completely releases the mechanism and the chimes play through the proper quarter, and it then triggers the hour sequence.  If the chimes get out of sync, the mechanism is self-correcting and will correct itself witching 1 to 2 hours.  Any of this can become misaligned and cause a failure.  One preliminary check is to make sure the heaviest weight is hung on the right side (as you face the clock).

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

(Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis
other than Allexperts follow ups.)  

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John Newman


As I am not a certified appraiser I do not give values of clocks over the Internet. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". However, considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. As clock case model label numbers are difficult to relate to the movements, it is helpful if you can give me the information usually found on the movements themselves. Modern clock movements usually have the information on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 40 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop in Prattville, Alabama.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required at Emperor. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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