The Art of Making Clocks
While we collectors often concern ourselves with just antique clocks or watches, at our April meeting we got a first-hand lesson in the extraordinary art of the modern clock maker. Engineering instructor Greg Graham presented his program entitled, "From Dream to Reality, The Art of Making Clocks." With professional-quality, computer generated slides, and fascinating first-hand accounts, Greg took us on a journey that combined the application of new-technology skills with an appreciation of how the old crafts can add the artistic touch to a modern horological masterpiece.
Early in the presentation, Greg told how he met Ed Beacham III in Oregon. It was the meeting of the modern technologist and the traditional craftsman. He then took us through various steps in the creation of a clock: choice of movement (hand made or purchased), case construction, veneering, inlay, hand rubbing, and dials.
One of the examples he brought with him – one of only eight made – had a beautiful porcelain dial with painted scenes in each corner. The scenes were echoed in small porcelain inlays on the clock case itself. Greg used a laser cutter to create the open fretwork panels on the sides of the clock which allowed the 9-bell movement to be heard. The other example was a beautifully detailed miniature Vienna.
Greg enjoyed explaining how modern technology could be adapted to custom clock making. He showed escape wheels being made on a machine controlled by a computer. He talked about verges being fabricated using Electro Discharge Machining (EDM). And he related an "engineering formula for making parts," which was Experience over Judgement: If either equals zero, you’re in trouble.
There were several criteria that Greg suggested when deciding to embark on a clock making project, including: Is it fun to make? Will it sell? Is it within your capabilities? Is it different? Is the design a pleasant mix of case and movement?
As he was winding down his program with a discussion of case making and his wood staining process, he passed an extraordinary one-hammer Westminster chime movement around the room. Everyone enjoyed a look at the amazing ingenuity involved in its works.
Our sincere thanks to Greg for a highly informative and superbly presented program.
Our Beginner’s Corner featured Roy Irick with some sage words of advice for people who take the advice of guidebooks and clock salesmen at face value. Using computerized slides, he related how a French lyre clock that had been represented as being made in the 1860s turned out to be from after 1900. The giveaway? Removing the bell from the back of the movement revealed a stamp that advertised an award the maker received in 1900.
Another acquisition was a carriage clock with a one-piece case. Such cases were listed in reference books as being made before 1845. Yet an examination of the movement revealed a medallion stamp that dated the clock at least 10 years later. The lesson for all collectors is to examine each potential acquisition thoroughly to avoid later disappointment.
Show and Tell featured Gene Osten with a Hamilton watch that has two hour hands. Gene explained that railroad engineers were not allowed to set their watches, so the dual hour hands helped them keep track when they crossed time zones.
Bud Saiben brought a pigeon timer with a 7-jewel German movement. He told several interesting stories about how these timers were used to time the flights of homing pigeons that had been released many miles from their home.
General Meeting Minutes
President Roy Irick called the meeting to order at 8:03 p.m., and welcomed guest Barry Jensen. He reminded us of the upcoming marts, the Pac Rim Regional and our own Goodtyme Supermart.
Bernie Pollack reminded us that we are co-sponsoring the Pac Rim Regional this coming September 13-15. He will return to a future Chapter 69 meeting to sign up volunteers to work at the registration desks.
Roy thanked Cora Lee Linkenhoker for the refreshments. This month’s Directors’ meeting will be held at the Linkenhokers’ home.
Jay McAlister reported that he is still seeking volunteers to help with table setup and security for the Goodtyme Supermart. Setup will begin on Friday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m. Clean-up will take place on Saturday at 1:30.
Dave Weisbart announced that Murray Lefkowitz was in intensive care at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange. A "get well" card was circulated.
Nominating committee chair Bob Linkenhoker gave a report on his work in preparation for the chapter election in June. He opened the floor to nominations. Al Kahn nominated Dave Weisbart for President.
Roy presented certificates to both Millie and Jim Espy in appreciation for their many years of hard work on behalf of our chapter and the NAWCC.
Roy presented the Beginner’s Corner. Using images projected via computer, Roy explained some unexpected "gotchas" related to dating clocks.
The main program was presented by Greg Graham. The title was "From Dream to Reality, The Art of Making Clocks." His slide show was created and run on his computer, displayed using a video projector. Both the graphics and narration were outstanding.
Show and Tell included Gene Osten showing a Hamilton watch with two hour hands, and Bud Saiben with a pigeon timer.
Door prizes were won by Pat Espe, Elle Clark, and Eric Leung.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15.
Respectfully submitted, David Weisbart, Secretary
Directors' Meeting Minutes
The meeting was held at the home of Bob and Cora Lee Linkenhoker. President Roy Irick called the meeting to order at 7:32. In attendance were: officers Bob Linkenhoker, Terry Cunningham and David Weisbart; directors Doug Adams, Ray Marsolek, Cora Lee Linkenhoker, Mary Ann Wahlner, and Julie Stevens; and guests Jay McAlister, Marsha Cunningham and Alvina Marsolek.
Ray moved and Bob seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the previous minutes as published. Motion passed.
Jay reported on the Goodtyme Supermart. We have paid the city of Tustin for the hall, and they can provide up to 22 tables. Volunteers are still needed for security detail. Dave Weisbart volunteered to wear a security hat for part of the mart.
Next month’s program will be provided by Bob Linkenhoker. Beginner’s Corner will be skipped in May to allow for the possibility of extended discussion of business topics.
The May Directors’ meeting will be held at the home of Sally and Angelo DiMino.
An extensive discussion of chapter-organized workshops was held. Ray explained that in order to qualify for the "suitcase course" certificate, the course would take four days to cover a topic. If it is not a certificate course, we have more flexibility. The workshop location(s) would dictate how many participants there could be. It was tentatively decided to work towards workshops on four consecutive weekends: September 22, 29, October 6 and 13. Julie will look into possible sites.
Treasurer Bob Linkenhoker circulated the financial statements. Budgets for door prizes and refreshments were discussed. It was pointed out that the chapter has an operating deficit. Part of the chapter’s monthly shortfall could be attributed to the fact that just printing and postage costs for the Tic Talk Times exceed the current membership dues. There was consensus that membership dues should cover the costs directly associated with supporting chapter members. After further discussion, specifically about setting a workable dues increase, Terry moved and Ray seconded a motion that the membership be asked to approve a raise in annual dues to $10.00. The motion passed with one dissenting vote. Roy, Bob, and Dave will work on a newsletter article explaining the increase.
Bob also notified us that, due to the Anaheim Convention Center’s insistence on early payment, part of a CD that is coming due in April will be diverted to the 2002 National’s account, with the remainder being placed in a liquid CD at a favorable rate.
There was a discussion of the establishment of an Audio-Visual Committee. Bob distributed an analysis of the by-laws with several options for establishing such a committee. The simplest option employed a passage in the by-laws that allows the Directors to establish committees as needed. Dave moved and Mary Ann seconded a motion to establish an Audio-Visual Committee that would be in charge of storage and operation of the chapter’s A/V equipment. The motion passed.
Ray continues to work on formal guidelines for refreshments. He will ask for member volunteers who would like to provide refreshments at future meetings.
Bob gave a report on the activity of the Nominating Committee. A slate of candidates will be made public at the May general meeting.
There was a brief discussion of the need for the chapter to acquire a better video camera, especially to facilitate watch programs. Dave presented some preliminary results of his research into prices and features, and said he will explore some purchase options with Bill McNelis and the 2002 committee.
A motion to adjourn was made. Yummy goodies were consumed.
Respectfully submitted, David Weisbart, Secretary
South County Meeting Minutes
A Touch of England
The South County sub-chapter meeting was held on Sunday, April 8, 2001 at 2 P.M. at the ParaTech Coating building in Aliso Viejo.
Minutes of the March 11, 2001 meeting were approved as circulated as well as the financial report.
The NAWCC video program of "Metal Statue and Figure Repair" was viewed and discussed.
Show and Tell consists of whatever members choose to bring or discuss. Jeffrey Stewart brought the book "English Manor Houses" by Nichols Cooper and Marianne Mojerus. Several houses and locales where he was born and grew up were viewed. He also brought a bank vault timer with three electrical movements marked "Yale" who probably made the safe as well. Jeffrey also brought a copy of the March 25, 2001 issue of the London Financial Times with several articles on antique watches. Mike Taylor brought several examples of scrimshaw; tow walrus tusk lapel pins and and ivory handled pie server. Mike also brought the case for a bracket clock he is making for his brother who has the antique English movement.
The next meeting will be held on May 6, 2001 (one week early due to Mothers Day) at ParaTech at 2 P.M..
Any NAWCC member is welcome. For information call 949-859-7784. ParaTech may be reached from El Toro Road by going south on Moulton Parkway; right on Glenwood Dr.; left on Argonaut to #35.
— Minutes submitted by Mary Ann Wahlner
These were the minutes as published in Chapter 69's official newsletter, the Tic Talk Times.
National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Orange County Chapter 69, home of The NAWCC Southern California Adventure, The 2002 Convention of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.
© Copyright 2000, NAWCC Chapter 69