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1920s Waterbury Regulator Clock--from one-room schoolhouse

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Wall Clocks224 of 233New England Clock CompanyNew Haven wall Clock
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Posted 7 years ago

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According to my my mother, who died in 2009, this Waterbury "Regulator" wall clock was in her one-room schoolhouse in Bemidji, Minnesota. She told me that as a little girl (c. 1930), she was fascinated by the clock's swinging pendulum, and that she had been chastised by her teacher on several occasions for watching the clock and not paying attention to her studies. Years later, when the one-room schoolhouse was about to be closed, the county was selling the old books and desks, etc. and her mother (my grandmother) bought it for $1 – and gave it to my mother (as a wedding gift of sorts). Mom bequeathed the clock to me – and when I look at it, it helps me feel close to her. I always liked this clock, although I don't ever remember seeing it working while I was growing up. I have tried the key to wind it, but the key won't turn at all and I don't want to force it. If I give it a swing, the pendulum will go for about 15 minutes before it stops. I would love to hear if this clock has chimes. Does anyone have any advice on how I might get it working? Is this a fix that I can do? Or should I look for a clock repairperson?

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  1. tikiray tikiray, 7 years ago
    Definitely take it to a clock repairperson! Old clocks like these become worn down over time and their gears need to be cleaned and a lot of times replaced. In the mean time, make sure the clock is level on the wall, if it isn't it can cause it to stop. Love your clock!
  2. Roberta Hightower, 7 years ago
    My parents had a clock that looks just like yours. They bought it 70 years ago for $10.00 at an auction. They had it hanging on the wall all my life and it worked like a champ, still ticks away today. My parents both passed away this past year, my dad reaching the age of 100 years and my mother 92. My brother inherited the clock, which I'm thankful we kept it in the family. The clock didn't chime but had a loud tick tock. The people who owned the clock prior to my parents said it belonged to their grandparents. What a treasure it's been.
  3. toolate2 toolate2, 7 years ago
    Great clock. It doesn't chime though. It only has one winding hole. If it chimed it would have two. One to wind the clock and one to wind the chime mechanism. These old clocks are pretty. Back in the day it was recomended to take the movements out and soak them in kerosene for cleaning. A clock like this would most likely have all brass works. Take a look at the movement. If you can't see anything gumming it up like hair or lint balls I would give it a good spray with WD40 then wipe off the excess... Then if you want to you can take some 3 in 1 oil and just touch it onto the pivots, Just a little bit of it though. This isn't the best way to do this. Over time, a very long time, dirt in the pivot holes will wear out the metal and make the holes bigger and the clock will no longer keep good time... or it will stop altogether. At that point it would need a visit to a clock repair shop for bushings.
  4. Gargaryun, 7 years ago
    I have this exact clock on My kitchen wall, passed down to Me by My Mothers' death 8 mos after My Grandmothers', whose wall it hung on as far back as I can remember (I'm 55)...I learned years ago that if wound too tightly, it will behave as You describe Your problem...try starting the pendulum swinging & if it stops 15 minutes later, start it again WITHOUT winding any more...it may take a few repeats to get the spring unwound enough to not lock up when it hits a tight spot, but it worked for Me. Just remember that when You DO wind it, when it won't go any further fairly easily, it's done...mine runs for a week on 1 winding, & I do it the same day every week.
  5. Bootson Bootson, 7 years ago
    Did you try winding it counter-clockwise or clockwise? The first time I had a clock like this I just assumed that it was wound clockwise, I did not even think to try it the other way.
  6. Bruce99 Bruce99, 6 years ago
    If you're still out there, this is referred to an Octagon Long Drop case, possibly as early as 1906. Never use WD-40 on a clock. It will end up costing you much more in the long run. It has a way of making a bad situation much worse in a relatively short period of time.

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