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Clocks, Watches/Ridgeway Grandmother Clock


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QUESTION: I recently purchased the contents of a house, which included a Grandmother Clock.  It is similar to a clock you discussed on 1/8/2010.  There is a tag in the back, inside my clock that reads, "Model ZZ-309"; "Movement-E"; "Finish Clai (someone tried to correct the second letter of the color, which looked like Caai.  I do have a document folder, which has "Clai" written in hand on the outside)"; "Serial-1035."  In your 2010 response to the fellow named Ashley, you indicated that you had a 1997 reference manual, however, the codes were newer ones.  I am wondering if you have acquired any further information about these clocks and where I might find a reference manual for mine.  My document folder also reads, "A Division of Gravely Furniture Company, Inc., Ridgeway, Virginia" and contains the installation instructions, an envelope that reads, "Extra Suspension Spring" and a list of "Authorized Ridgeway Clock Service Centers May, 1975."  So, I guess the clock must have been manufactured in 1975 or shortly thereafter.  One other question is that, not having owned a floor model clock before, I have moved the clock on a few occasions to open up the back and look for information and at the mechanism.  On the last move, when the clock strikes the house, there seems to be a slight "grinding" noise.  The clock strikes on the quarter hour nicely with no extra sound, including the preliminary strike on the hour.  So the problem seems to be with striking the actual hour.  I say, "grinding," however, that may be a little too strong a term for the sound I am hearing.  Anyway, when I first started the clock running, that sound was not there.  I can record the audio of the clock and send it to you if that would help.  I will attach an image or two of the clock and of the inside to this email.   -- Jack

ANSWER: Jack, Ridgeway was bought out by Howard Miller in 2005.  They still produce a line of Ridgeway clocks.  Before that Ridgeway was a division of Pulaski Furniture, originally connected with Gravely. From your photo of the back of the movement, it looked like it was manufactured by Urgos for Ridgeway.  I checked my last (1997) published Ridgeway Tech Manual and they still listed the "E" movement as an Urgos, but it was obsolete, meaning they did not use it any longer.  Urgos has been out of business for a few years.  Hermle bought out the remaining parts and tooling and does manufacture some of the Urgos models.  I don't think this is relevant to your movement, as they still can be repaired.  As far as the "grinding sound", the is a whirring sound as the fan (which is a governor for the speed control of the chime and strike functions) runs for each.  This noise is common with all chiming and striking clocks.  If the clock hasn't been serviced in the last 7 to 10 years, it could be that cleaning, inspecting and oiling would either correct this problem or show that the noise is acceptable.  I do not have any additional documentation on these clocks.  If you have any further questions, get back with me.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

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

QUESTION: Thank you for that quick response.  I was also wondering what is the difference between the "E" and "G" movements and what type is common in Grandfather and Grandmother clocks today.  Finally, not having owned a clock like this before, what kind of company should I look for to clean and repair the clock?  Thanks...Jack

The "E-" models were Westminster chime Urgos, the "G" models "GJ", "GW" and "GX" were Urgos triple-chime models. Other "G" models were Hermle.  The modern production (After WWII) floor clocks, grandmother and grandfather clocks used movements manufactured by Hermle, Kieninger, Urgos and Jauch.  There were a few others, but smaller companies, now out of business.  Of all of these, only Hermle, Urgos (made by Hermle) and Kieninger (owned by Howard Miller) remain.  To have your clock serviced, look for an experienced clockmaker in your area.  If you cannot find one, let me know the area in which you live and I will see if there are any members of my Internet Clocksmiths Group near you.  I also do have a few more clockmakers on my list.

John Newman

Clocks, Watches

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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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