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pre 1850 Seth Thomas "Ogee" Clock in Great Condition

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Seth Thomas Clocks158 of 265Seth Thomas ClockMy Seth Thomas Clock, made June 1899
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    Posted 8 years ago

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    Found this Beautiful item in a garage sale !! It is in perfect working condition and very well preserved. Wish the label inside were still in order but looks like someone may have tried to spray some laquer or something on it to preserve it which in turn deteriated it. Mohogany veneer is in really good shape. I love it !! It is pre-1850 and distinctly says Plymouth Hollow, Connecticut inside. Anyone else have one like this ?

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    1. Bruce99 Bruce99, 8 years ago
      Very nice clock! It may have been restored at some point in the past. The dial/face looks too fresh to be over a century and a half old, but if it was restored, it was done professionally with a lot of attention to detail.

      According to my reference sources, Seth Thomas formed his company in 1853, so this clock would have to have been manufactured after that date of course. Plymouth Hollow was officially named "Thomaston" in honor of Seth Thomas on July 6, 1875 so your clock would have been made before then.

      Seth Thomas Ogee mantel clocks were generally between circa 1863 to as late as 1913. If you provide the case measurements, I'll see if I can narrow the date of manufacture further for you.

      In any case, it's a beautiful piece of American Clock Manufacturing history. A GREAT pick! Thanks for sharing it!
    2. toolate2 toolate2, 8 years ago
      Bruce, Didn't Seth Thomas start producing clocks in Plymoth Hollow around 1813? Check out this link. It has him incorporating his business in 1853.... not starting it...
    3. Bruce99 Bruce99, 8 years ago
      Hi Nathan,

      Seth Thomas was definitely making clocks long before he formed the Seth Thomas Clocks Co. He started his clock making career, at the age of 21, around 1806, as a skilled woodworker making tall cases for Eli Terry's clocks. Prior to that he had been an apprentice to Daniel Tuttle, a 'joiner' with a business in the southern part of Plymouth since the age of 14.

      Terry sold his tall case shop to Thomas and another woodworker named Hoadley in 1810. Terry then set up shop in Plymouth's "Hollow" experimenting on the manufacture of shelf clocks.

      Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley formed the Thomas & Hoadley Mechanics in Company of said Plymouth. They continued to make 30-hour tall case clocks and added an 8-day version to their "line".

      Thomas, taking a page out of Terry's playbook, sold out to Hoadley in 1813 and bought out a clock maker named Herman Clark, who was yet another Plymouth wooden clock maker and Terry apprentice. Thomas continued to make tall case clocks in his new factory. I'm not sure what name he marketed his clocks under during this period of time.

      Thomas eventually partnered with Terry again, making some of Terry's new and improved wooden shelf clock movements. This was circa 1820 or so. Then another innovator, Chauncey Jerome, and his brother Noble came into the picture with popular case designs and eventually with revolutionary brass movements circa 1840s.

      Thomas' business was now booming. Between 1849 and 1850, his firm had cranked out 24,000 clocks but again, it's not clear to me what name he was producing these clocks under. What is clear to me is that the "Seth Thomas Clock Company" was formed around 1853 and if you look at the gong base (aka the "Boss" or Nipple Gong) of this clock, that is the company name you will see.

      I'm pretty sure that this clock is not pre-1850's but I could be wrong. Please correct me if I am! I would also be very interested to know under what name Seth Thomas produced and sold clocks circa 1820 - 1850. A quick glance through my main Seth Thomas reference book (Tran Duy Ly) doesn't reveal anything prior to circa 1860...perhaps I've missed something? It sure wouldn't be the first time, and it definitely won't be the last unless I don't wake up tomorrow morning! (:
    4. toolate2 toolate2, 8 years ago
      Bruce, What do you think?
    5. kerry10456 kerry10456, 8 years ago
      Nathan(toolate2), very informative link, thanks for sharing. I always love learning something new and I did today.
    6. Bruce99 Bruce99, 8 years ago
      Nathan, I think someone has seriously confused the histories of the Seth Thomas and Ansonia Clock Companies, that's what I think.
    7. toolate2 toolate2, 8 years ago
      "The city of Seth Thomas was originally part of a larger area called Derby. When the city was incorporated in 1889 it was named Seth Thomas in honor of Anson Phelps." Do what??? lol....
    8. Bruce99 Bruce99, 8 years ago
      Chuckles...yeah, I'm not sure what that was about.
      Here's a pretty good link to the Ansonia Clock Company History:

      It's like someone used a text editor to replace "Ansonia" with "Seth Thomas". If it was done as a joke, I don't think that it's funny.

      You and I know better, but they are spreading misinformation and probably causing some confusion in people who are really trying to learn the history of the American Clock Manufacturing Companies. If you don't have access to good reference materials, you're at the mercy of junk like that.
    9. timeless5 timeless5, 8 years ago
      ok heres my 2 cents,after Hoadley in 1813, he marketed his clocks under Seth Thomas, Plymouth Hollow 1813-53 then it became Seth Thomas Clock Co. Plymouth Hollow 1853-65 than Seth Thomas Clock Co. Thomaston 1866-1930 after that it split.ok thats my 2 cents.hope it helped:)
    10. Bruce99 Bruce99, 8 years ago
      Okay. That sounds reasonable to me. Still, this clock is marked Seth Thomas Clock Co. so IF that Gong base is original to the clock, it can not be "pre 1850" but considering how much restoration has obviously been done, who knows? The dial doesn't look pre 1950. I've asked for the case dimensions, if supplied I'll try to nail down the date further. Other than that I'm done here.
    11. timeless5 timeless5, 8 years ago
      I think your right about the restoration Bruce. Nice job on the dial.

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