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I am new to this particular group, but I've always loved old clocks.  I found an interesting piece today, an old Seth Thomas 30 hour spring clock.  I am mainly looking for info on a date it was produced.  I have looked around the internet and I think it is from ~1870.  It's labeled Thomaston, Connecticut which I read was after 1865. 


The movement is stamped "Seth Thomas, Plymouth Conn, USA"


I also read something about a date stamp, and there is a stamp on the case that looks like on, but the dates don't match (The stamp is 1481L, with what looks like "ID" above it).  According to what I read that would mean is was December 1841, which doesnt match the label dating, and also didnt match the years the company date stamped their clocks.


I could be wrong on all of this I'm not an expert and am just going off what I read.


Also, I removed the face to fix a few minor things.  When I got it the clock was not working, the right side spring was unwound and not holding tension.  I fixed that, and when I wound it I saw the gear that hold then tension (small gear on top of the larger gear, not sure the precise name) had many broken teeth.  This most likely was the cause of the unwind.  I also adjusted the chime and the chiming hour, which was not working either. 


Sorry for the long post.  If anyone knows any more specific dating for this, or any leads where to go it would be greatly appreciated.  Also, any ideas how to go about replacing that worn gear and anything else that might need fixing (it's missing a screw in the back, which makes the movement loose).  It probably needs a nice servicing :).  But it does work!!!  That's the best part :) 


Thanks for the help!!




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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Your clock is a Kitchen clock made around 1863-1873 many were produced. When you talk

    about the dateing, that was only done by Seth Thomas on their weight regulators an higher

    end clocks, (should be in black ink, backwards, an on the rear of a wood case, large stamp)

    never run into it on OG's an kitchen clocks 

The thing to be concerned with is the wheel with broken teeth. This is a click wheel. It holds the tension on the mainwheel .

I would not wind this clock until you take care of this problem.  as you wind the clock  the click or pawl digs into the teeth to hold the tension . If  you wind this wheel and the click ends up where there is no longer a tooth you can be injured  or at the very least  receive a bad rap on the hand. The release of power can also break the clock.

The repair requires the movement be taken completely apart , the old wheel driven off and a new wheel made and installed. This is definately not a do it yourself job.

If you sell such a clock you run the risk of being sued if and when the new owner  gets hurt winding .

Clock mainsprings once wound hold tremendous power.

Your clock is literally a ticking time bomb.


I agree with Steve. Please do not do this yourself unless you fully understand how to remove the tension on the mainsprings.  Clearly, if teeth are broken off the wheel something has happened and a repair is not for the inexperienced. Do not take the clock apart. Leave it to an experienced professional.
I am interested in fixing it because I would love to keep it.  How much does a repair like that cost?  Would a new gear need to be made or would it help if I located a replacement?

The gear is called a ratchet wheel. Wheels of this type are not available from suppliers  and they are made with a custom made hub.

When I do work like this I overhaul the entire movement . The movement has to come apart and it makes sense to take care of  everything else while the clock is apart. There are many adjustments to be made while the clock is being put togther ....in other words its not a ten minute job.



Just to clarify one of the earlier responses, Seth Thomas's model name for this clock was "Kitchen." The term "kitchen clock" is a generic one that came into use later and referred to out-of fashion parlor clocks that were relegated to kitchens. These are typically of the type with elaborate pressed or incised wood surrounds. Your clock can be described as a miniature bevel-front shelf clock.


The fact that the movement is marked "Plymouth" while the label says "Thomaston" indicates that the clock was manufactured just after the town of Plymouth was re-named Thomaston in honor of Seth Thomas.


I agree that the click wheel or ratchet wheel needs to be repaired before running the clock and that it is not a do-it-yourself job.


I also note that the paper dial, though it appears old, is a replacement. The logo of E S stands for E. Swigart, a parts supplier. The original dial, remnants of which may be under the paper, was probably painted on the zinc dial plate. Seth Thomas dials are known for paint failure.


It is a lovely little clock, and I hope you are able to get it repaired.


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