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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

New Hampshire Looking Glass Clock

Author: C.D. Collins

( Article orginally published September 1942 by Hobbies )

The New Hampshire Looking-Glass Clocks, as I have told you before, are the most accurate time-pieces in our extensive clock collection. When we want to know the exact time, we always turn to one of these clocks. We have one or more in each room. They are the "master clocks," by which we regulate all our other clocks.

This month we illustrate a rare one, a striker. In more than half a century of collecting clocks, I have only found two. And I have them both - the one shown in the illustration, with the black and gold case, the other one in a mahogany case.

These clocks measure 31 inches high and 15 inches wide. You will note the huge weights; they furnish the power to run and strike the clock. These weights were made of block tin and filled with sand, and then sealed. This prevented the sand from gathering moisture and rusting the tin. The cords are made of catgut and are much larger than the ones ordinarily used on clocks of that period. The weights run attached to a brass pulley, which is held in place by a hook. This clock has no label, but I am confident it was made by Joseph Chadwick of Boscawen, N, H. I am basing my opinion on the works, as I have other Chadwick clocks that are of the same general order but do not "strike." Most of the New Hampshire looking-glass clocks are non-striking.

There were four clock makers in New Hampshire who made this type of clock, namely: Timothy Chandler, later his son, Abial, of Concord, Joseph Chadwick and Benjamin Morrell. Morrell made a mechanical clock that did all kinds of stunts: it had marching soldiers, it would ring bells, fire a miniature cannon and do other odd stunts. I have never been able to learn what became of it, but the presumption was that it was destroyed by fire. I have a "ticket of admission" to see this "wonderful clock" that was presented to me by a fellow clock fan.

A few years ago, an old gentleman visited my clock museum who vaguely remembered his father taking him to see the clock, so we know it was real and not a myth. I would like much to be able to tell you all about the clock, but its history is buried in the dim past. However, we do know that the four clock makers mentioned in this article were real craftsmen, and their clocks are far above the average.

The glass around the face of the clock illustrated is of striking beauty and is in almost perfect condition.

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