A Collection Of

Torsion Suspension Clocks

Canadian Clocks

And

Canadian Watches

About Clocks Canada

My name is John Connolly and I live in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. I collect Torsion Suspension Clocks (also known as Anniversary Clocks and 400 Day Clocks) and Canadian Clocks and Watches as a hobby. I am always on the lookout for Torsion Suspension clocks with disc pendulums or unusual dials, pendulums and cases, and clocks made in Canada. If you have a Torsion Suspension Clock or Canadian Clock you wish to sell or trade, or looking for a clock to purchase, please EMAIL me at sunwood1@telus.net and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. The clocks you have for sale need not be working, as part of my hobby is in the repairing and restoration.

Please don't ask me to evaluate your clock without actually seeing it. So much depends on condition, rarity, location and provenance that it's almost impossible to give an accurate opinion without examining the clock in person. I thank you for your understanding.

If your wish to become a member of NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) or are already a member and want to join Chapter 168, please see links below for joining instructions.


FNAWCC 77424
Past National Director, NAWCC
President, Chapter 121 (British Columbia)
President, Chapter 168 (International 400-Day Clocks)
Member, Chapter 22 (Old Timers & Fellows)
Member, Chapter 180 (Friends of the West Coast Clock and Watch Museum)

What Is Time ?

The passing and measurement of time has fascinated humans since creation. But even that event, as to how and when, or even if, has been pondered by scholars and theologians for centuries.

So, what is time? Some say time is part of a fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur. Other say time is part of a fundamental abstract conceptual framework within which we sequence events, quantify their duration and compare the motion of objects (whatever that means!!!). But my favourite definition is that time is the imperceptible, irresistible and irreversible flow of the future through the present to the past.

But whatever definition you choose to accept, man has always tried to measure its passing. From the earliest calendars of the Aztecs and Egyptians, to the water clocks of the Chinese and the sundials of the Romans, to the crude metal castings of the English and the wood works of the Americans, to the brass works of the Swiss, Germans and French, measuring time appears to have been necessary in order to regulate ones life. Non of this is manifested more than in what we observe today when most of us cannot exist without knowing the time.

For the past few years, the measurement of time has become more sophisticated and scientific with time now being measured in milliseconds. But this did not come about overnight. It took centuries of experiments and development to get us to this point. We salute those dreamers and inventors from the past who brought us the timekeeping technology we enjoy today. What would we do without it?

Welcome to my web site. Feel free to visit all my pages, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have a question.

History of Torsion Suspension Clocks

The invention of the Torsion Suspension Clock can be attributed to an American named Aaron Crane. In 1841, Crane , a resident of Newark, New Jersey patented his idea for a clock using a torsion pendulum. He successfully made torsion clocks that would run for eight or thirty days, or some for a period of one year without winding. Crane also developed an astronomical clock based on the torsion suspension patent, but only four were made. Several of Crane’s original clocks are still in existence today.


Although two other Americans, Silas B. Terry of Plymouth, Connecticut and John Hile of Waterville, Kansas also patented torsion suspension movements in the 1800's, none of them proved to be very successful or popular.

It was not until approximately 1879/1880 that a German by the name of Anton Harder was granted a patent for a torsion suspension clock. His inspiration came about when he watched a servant turning a chandelier to ignite the last candle. When he released the lamp it swung back and forth. Harder visualized the principle of the rotation of mass, and figured he could make a clock that would run for a long period of time using this motion. Harder soon developed and patented a clock movement from this idea.

In 1880, Harder got together with some of his workers including one August Schatz, and they formed Jahresuhrenfabrik or Year Clock Factory, and began to seriously work on developing a torsion suspension clock that would run for a year with one winding, and be an accurate timekeeper. The clock was indeed developed and would run for a year, but the timekeeping accuracy of the clock left much to be desired.

In 1884, Harder sold his patent to one F.A..L. deGruyter of Amsterdam who continued to market the Jahresuhrenfabrik clocks. But in 1887, for some unknown reason, deGruyter allowed the patent to run out, and the idea was soon adopted by several other clock companies, and mass production of torsion suspension clocks began. To begin with, pendulums for the clocks consisted of a flat disc pendulum. Later on, several other designs of pendulums were developed in an attempt to make the clocks more reliable timekeepers, and eventually creation turned to the four ball pendulum we find on most of these clocks today.

In 1901, Bowler and Burdick, a jewelry store in Cleveland, OH took out a patent for the name Anniversary Clock as applied to the torsion suspension clock. This name soon caught on and it became common for people to choose an anniversary of some sort to wind the clock each year. This, along with 400 day Clocks, are commonly the names we give to these clocks today.

But the clocks, as nice as they looked in their glass domes with the pendulum swinging back and forth, were very poor timekeepers. Clockmakers spent many years in trying to develop a pendulum they thought would increased the accuracy of the clock. It was known that temperature change affected the accuracy, so experiments were carried out using various metals to counteract the expansion and contraction of the pendulum, but to no avail.

But it turned out they were attacking the wrong area. Where the problem lie was in the suspension spring itself. It was not until 1951 when Charles Terwillinger of Horolovar Company invented the Temperature Compensating Suspension Spring, that the clocks could be properly adjusted and become fairly accurate tellers of time.

400 Day Clocks became very popular gift items at the end of WWII when returning soldiers brought them back to North America by the thousands. Soon department and jewelry stores were importing them and they became very popular as wedding gifts. Around 1980, most torsion suspension clock manufacturers quit producing the key wind clocks, and turned their attention to those with quartz movements. Thus, these key wind clocks have now become sought after by collectors, and shall be the antiques of the near future.

A Sample of My Torsion Suspension Clocks

  • Patent Dial
    C 1883

  • Small Dials
    C 1885 - 1900

  • Advertizing Dial
    C 1900

  • Turkish Dial
    C 1920

  • Umpire
    C 1920

  • Victorian Scenes
    C 1949

  • Beehive Wood Case
    C 1910

  • Inlaid Wood Case
    C 1905

  • The Art Decos
    C 1920 - 1930

  • Guilloche Dial
    C 1920

  • The Kerns
    C 1950's

  • Louve
    C 1911 1950 1930

  • Figural Dial Clocks
    C 1950's

  • Unique Dial Miniatures
    C 1950's

  • The Beckers
    C 1902 - 1910

  • Becker Empire
    C 1909

  • Neuchatel
    C 1952

  • J Kaiser GMBH Universe
    C 1954

  • Madamoiselle
    C 1955

  • Carriage
    C 1950's

  • 1000 Day
    C 1955

  • Hasi Passing Strike
    C 1930

  • Master & New Master
    C 1965

  • Atmos
    C 1960

  • Never Wind
    C 1920

  • Electric's
    C 1955

    Clock Ads

  • Torsion Clock Ads
    C 1900's - 1950's

    A Few Of My Canadian Clocks

     

    The Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company

    Arthur Pequegnat moved to Canada from Switzerland with his family in 1880 settling in the Berlin, Ontario area (the name Berlin was changed to Kitchener in 1917 because of the war with Germany). He was a master watchmaker having learned the trade in Switzerland from the age of ten. Authur set up a business repairing watches and clocks, but soon turned his attention to bicycles and established The Berlin & Racycle Manfacturing Company. Around 1904 he again turned his mind to clocks and watches, and formed the Arthur Pequegnat Clock Company. Pequegnat began operations making his own movements with the cases being manufactured by another company. He soon bought the clock case company and began making the entire clock in his factory. Although Arthur passed away in 1927, the company continued to produce about ninety different models of long case, wall and mantel clocks until around 1940 when manufacturing ceased as supplies were required for the war effort. Many of their clocks survive today and have become a favourite among collectors.

  • Berlin
    C 1910

  • Brandon
    C 1920

  • Canadian Time
    C 1910

  • Chester
    C 1940

  • Grecian
    C 1910

  • Jewel
    C 1915

  • Majestic
    C 1930

  • Monarch
    C 1910

  • Maple Leaf
    C 1910

  • Midget
    C 1910

  • Montreal
    C 1910

  • Moncton
    C 1910

  • Ontario
    C 1910

  • Ottawa
    C 1915

  • Panthenon
    C 1910

  • Peterboro
    C 1910

  • Picton
    C 1915

  • Quebec
    C 1915

  • Sarnia
    C 1910

  • Swan
    C 1920

  • Tokio
    C 1910

  • Victoria
    C 1910

  • Ward
    C 1910

  • Custom Longcase
    C 1910

    Canada Clock Company

    The Canada Clock Company was first established in Whitby, Ontario in 1872.. It was the first attempt to mass produce clocks in Canada, but was not successful. The company operated until 1876 producing only ‘Ogee’ style clocks. A second attempt to manufacture clocks under the Canada Clock Company label began in Hamilton, Ontario upon the demise of the Hamilton Clock Company in 1880, but this too failed when the company claimed bankruptcy in 1884. During the four years of production, the company produced many different models of mantel and wall clocks, few of which survive today.

     

  • Quebec
    C 1880

  • Niagara
    C 1880

  • Prince of Wales
    C 1880

  • Windsor
    C 1881

    The Hamilton Clock Company

    The Hamilton Clock Company was established in 1876 when the Canada Clock Company went out of business. They operated until 1880 using the equipment from the now defunct Canada Clock Company and moved operations to Hamilton, Ontario. They produced a few different models of both mantel and wall clocks, all of which are very rare today.

  • Ogee
    C 1876

    Canadian Watches

    I haven't as yet discovered any true Canadian watch makers who produced watches of their own design, but there were a few who imported unassembled watch movements from watch makers in England and assembled them in Canada or Newfoundland (a seperate country at that time having joined Canada in 1949). The movements were then engraved with their name , placed in a silver or gold case, and usually sold from their own store.

  • B. Comens, Montreal
    C 1806

  • John Gibbings, Newfoundland
    C 1812

    Other Horological Items

  • Victorian Necklace
    C 1750-1850

    Restoration

    Clock restoration is a subject that means different things to many people. Some feel that a clock should remain in the condition it was found, ie: cleaned, but not polished, as in brass, or refinished, as in wooden or marble cases. Some feel that the clock should be brought back to it’s original condition, the condition it was in on the day it was purchased, while others feel it would destroy the natural patina, or the wear and tear that should be accumulated over several years of use.

    In a way, I follow both trains of thought. Some clocks, especially well tarnished torsion clocks, must be cleaned and polished to their original luster. Some that have darkened through natural oxidation of the brass, may remain in that condition as it does add to the provenance and age of the clock. But again ,to polish or not polish lies in the eyes of the beholder, or to the wishes of the owner.

    Wood cased clocks are another matter. Most wood cases can be cleaned and polished without destroying the original finish, if the the original finish is in fact intact. Unfortunately many wood cases, as they became scratched or chipped through their years of service, have been painted over or refinished by those without concern for their preservation. These clocks, in order to be put in their original condition, must be taken to a professional restorer who will have the necessary skills to complete such a task. If the clock has great value either historically, monetarily or sentimentally then the services of a professional restorer are recommended.

    Clocks For Sale

  • For Sale

    Vancouver,BC

    NAWCC - Chapter #168 (International 400 Day Clocks)
    National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors
    NAWCC - Chapter #121 (British Columbia)
    Landmark Clocks International
    Canadian Horological Institute
    British Horological Institute
    Canadian Clock Museum
    Pacific Antique Clocks
    Prestige Timepiece

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