A New Look at “Made in Japan”
One man’s quest for knowledge about Japanese clocks was demonstrated at our November meeting. Charlie Davis, Fellow and Life Member of the NAWCC, gave a fascinating talk on the Japanese clock industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He used a series of overhead transparencies to help illustrate his lecture. His talk was also peppered with many interesting anecdotes on how unexpected events in his life influenced and helped his research.
We began with the connection between the early Japanese clock industry (after Japan adopted modern time- keeping standards) and the movement and case designs of the Ansonia Clock Co. It is well known that many early Japanese movements are indistinguishable from Ansonia’s.
Charlie showed clippings from the NAWCC Mart from the early 1970s, when ads for Japanese schoolhouse clocks first appeared. He also displayed what he termed “the definitive article” on Japanese clocks from a 1978 Bulletin.
We heard how, in 1872, Japan changed from its traditional time-keeping method of dividing day and night into 6 hours each, regardless of the season, to our modern 24-hour system.
Charlie then surveyed the various clock companies, including such giants as Seikosha, as well as a large assortment of their trademarks. He also showed some examples of exact copies of American movements produced in Japan.
Finally, he talked about the wealth of information he discovered when he visited the library at NAWCC’s Columbia headquarters, and showed some of the material he now wants to translate from Japanese to help in his continuing research.
Our thanks to Charlie for a very informative presentation.
Our Beginner’s Corner presentation was a must for everyone who aspires to work on his or her own clocks. Ray Marsolek displayed and discussed several mainspring winders. He started with an indispensable accessory – leather gloves to protect the hands. He recommended that the leather not be too thick, so you can feel what you’re doing.
Bringing out the winders, he began with the simplest one, a small, inexpensive frame useful mainly for typical American movements with open springs. He showed the “Ollie Baker” type, and the Keystone. He discussed the prices, merits and drawbacks of these and the Webster model. He then showed the one he uses, a very simple, hand-made model.
Ray stressed that the cheapest winder is usually not the best solution, and that practice is necessary to become confident and proficient with any winder. Ray’s presentation was received with a warm round of applause.
We had an extensive Show and Tell this month, covering the letter “C” and clocks from Japan. Dave Weisbart displayed three Ansonia carriage clocks, one with a music box alarm which played “America” (or “God Save the King,” depending on where it was sold).
Japanese clocks were shown by Mary Ann Wahlner, who had a Nagoya Shoji schoolhouse clock, and a newer Aichi box wall clock, and Bud Saiben, who displayed a handsome variant on a steeple design from Seikosha.
Bob Ciampa displayed a pocket watch from the Columbia Watch Co. of Waltham, MA. It had a hunter’s case and a 7-jewel, lever-set movement.
Roy Irick had a variety of “C” clocks on display: a Chinese cloisonné clock with a French movement, a champleve carriage clock, a Carrington & Co. porcelain clock from 1903-1911, and a one-piece case carriage clock with calendar.
General Meeting Minutes
President Roy Irick called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Guests and new members were welcomed, and Mary Ann was thanks for the refreshments. Roy also welcomed new chapter member, Bill Tounzen.
Upcoming marts were announced, as was the Directors’ meeting at Julie Stevens’ house.
Roy offered congratulations to both Mary Ann Wahlner and Ray Marsolek for their nominations to run for national directors posts.
A letter from the Santa Ana Elks, thanking us for repairing their clock was read. The Elks donated $100 to the chapter.
The quarterly report from the Treasurer was posted.
Ray Marsolek provided an informative Beginner’s Corner talk on spring winders.
Charlie Davis provided the main program, a talk on Japanese clocks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Show and Tell included Dave Weisbart showing three Ansonia carriage clocks, Marsha Cunningham displaying an Ansonia porcelain clock, and Mary Ann Wahlner showing two Japanese wall clocks. Bud Saiben showed a Japanese variant of a steeple clock, and Bob Ciampa displayed a Columbia Watch Co. watch. Roy Irick displayed four clocks relating to the letter “C”.
Door prizes were won by Charles Register, Alvina Marsolek, and Bud Saiben. Meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, David Weisbart, Secretary
Directors’ Meeting Minutes
The November directors’ meeting was held in the home of Julie Stevens with President Roy Irick presiding. In attendance were: officers Roy Irick, Terry Cunningham, Dave Weisbart, and Bob Linkenhoker; directors Mary Ann Wahlner, Sally DiMino, Ray Marsolek, Julie Stevens, and Cora Lee Linkenhoker; and guests Angelo DiMino, Marsha Cunningham, and Bud and Pat Saiben. Roy called the meeting to order at 7:30.
The December program was discussed. It was agreed that there would be no Beginner’s Corner in December to allow more time for the annual holiday party.
Mary Ann reported that six members renewed from the latest round of reminder post cards, and Sally said that several renewals resulted from checking cards at the door of the general meeting.
The mailing list was discussed. Mary Ann reported approximately 41 complimentary issues being sent out. There are largely to other chapters and honorary chapter members. It was mentioned that Art Bjornsted was on the list even though he had moved out of the area. Ray moved, and Sally seconded a motion that his name be removed. Motion passed.
A discussion of the policy regards guest attendance at general meetings followed. After consulting the by-laws, it was determined that a policy clarification was in order, and it could be done without changing the by-laws. Effective immediately, the policy for guests who are not members of chapter 69 is as follows: members of the national can visit as often as they like, paying the extra dollar at the door. People who do not belong to the national may visit no more than three times, and must be sponsored and accompanied by a chapter member.
The next board meeting will be in January at the home of Ray Marsolek.
Roy revisited the topic from the last meeting regarding outside activities, such as field trips and workshops. After a lengthy discussion, including suggestions such as auctions and “garage sale” events, Dave proposed that a survey be included in the Tic Talk Times to gauge members’ interest in various possible events. Dave and Roy will collaborate on this.
Another topic from the previous meeting dealt with Directors’ access to Treasurer’s reports. Dave moved and Cora Lee seconded a motion that the Directors would receive a copy of the Treasurer’s report in the month after the end of each fiscal quarter, and that the report would not be posted for the general membership until the general meeting held in the second month after the end of the quarter. The motion passed on a 8-1 vote.
Terry Cunningham addressed the need for a policy on the use and protection of the video projector. After some discussion, it was agreed that such a policy could be formed only after we found out whether the projector was covered by our insurance. Bob agreed to look into this.
The possible need to appoint another Director to complete Dave Weisbart’s term was discussed. Clarification of one person’s standing on the board will have to be obtained before action can be taken.
Bob reported that one of the chapter’s certificates of deposit will mature in December, and that this money should go to the 2002 convention committee. Dave made the motion, Ray seconded it, and it was approved. The status of other CDs was discussed. Terry moved and Cora Lee seconded a motion that Bob would be in charge of renewing the CD coming due in January, and he would have discretion in determining the best rate and term. Motion passed.
Bud Saiben asked whether we would be having a 50/50 drawing at the December meeting. It was agreed to do this, and Bud agreed to be in charge.
Mary Ann reported that all 8 members of the South County sub-chapter attended its last meeting.
Sally moved and Ray seconded a motion to provide a gift of $50 for James, the caretaker at the Ebell Club. The motion passed.
Roy asked Bud to look into dates for a Goodtyme Supermart at the Tustin Community Center. There was a discussion about the advisability of opening the mart to the public.
Dave made a motion to adjourn, Bob seconded. Meeting adjourned at 9:35.
Respectfully submitted, David Weisbart, Secretary
South County Meeting Minutes
The Orange County South sub-chapter meeting was held on Sunday November 5, 2000 at the home of Jeffrey Stewart. at 2 P.M.
Minutes of the October 8, 2000 meeting were approved as circulated. Chairman Mary Ann Wahlner thanked Julie Stevens for providing the refreshments, program and minutes of that meeting.
A tour of Jeffrey’s lovely home and his fine collection of clocks provided the program for the afternoon. An in depth discussion and examination of two English bracket clocks followed. A small bracket clock by Knibb, circa 1630, was probably used in a bedroom as it contains only a separate striking mechanism activated by a pull chain which can be used in the dark or from a room beneath the room in which the clock rests. The wooden case has a small hole in the bottom of the case through which the bell chain can be dropped. The case key is inserted in upside down fashion under a brass escutcheon in typical Knibb style. A second, larger English chiming bracket clock circa 1680/1710 was also examined. The dial of this fine clock is engraved “Benj. Grey / Just. Vulliamy, London”. Secondary dials for strike/silent, and fast/slow are above the main dial. There is also a small calendar dial below the main dial, which must be set by hand from the back. The rear door contains a small brass dealers plate inscribed “Percy Webster” who was an active London dealer in the 1920/30s. Jeffrey also has the original bracket containing a key drawer. These two fine clocks were purchased at auction in London.
Jimmy Takai eagerly accepted an offer of an antique automotive display case brought by John Meiling. Meeting was adjourned at 4:20 following refreshments.
The next meeting will be held on Sunday, December 10 at2 P.M. at ParaTech, 31 Argonaut, Aliso Viejo.
—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.
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